If you have ever shopped for neutral-colored baby gear, you may have discovered (like I did) that it’s hard to come by. I have perused the typical large retailers looking for pretty bouncers, swings, cradles, etc. Well friends, these things exist.
But if you want a play gym that isn’t all the colors of the rainbow and then some, you’ll pay well for it. And this is why we DIY things. Because really, isn’t necessity the mother of invention?
Since I won’t be building my own bouncer or swing any time soon, I’m focusing on projects more in my wheelhouse. I’m starting with a handmade baby wardrobe that is unique, neutral-colored, and just as sweet as a tiny newborn.
Making baby things myself is a task easier said than done, but here’s the first of my handmade labors. An heirloom baby blanket that is undoubtedly full of lace, but hopefully in a classic way that will make this suitable for wrapping up a newborn, whether boy or girl.
So what inspired this particular project?
Princess Kate’s Baby Shawls
Well, when Princess Kate had her first baby, I still remember seeing the beautiful shawl she wrapped him in and it just spoke to me. I’m normally not someone who feels the need to copy celebrities, but I loved the style, simplicity, and elegance of this sweet baby heirloom.
When I went to knit my own version, I didn’t bother trying to replicate Kate’s shawl exactly. Instead I just chose a lace shawl pattern I loved and went for it. I used the Lehe Shawl pattern from Nancy Bush, picked a soft gray yarn, and increased the size of the border to make a 34″ square blanket.
FYI, if you love Kate’s shawl, I learned that you can actually find the real deal here.
How Do I Make an Heirloom Baby Blanket?
Since buying the “real thing” wasn’t in the budget, here is how I managed to make an heirloom baby blanket that was basically free. Minus my time of course.
Two things made this project really affordable.
1 – I knit it myself. And I didn’t charge myself for my time, ha!
2 – Recycled yarn. My awesome friend gifted me beautiful reclaimed yarn for this project. If you aren’t familiar with reclaimed yarn, it’s a pretty amazing situation. If you knit, are on a tight budget, and want to cover your baby (or yourself) in hand knits, well my friend, learn how to reclaim yarn.
A great tutorial on reclaiming yarn can be found here if you are curious. You can pick up 100% wool (or other natural fiber) sweaters easily from garage sales or thrift stores, oftentimes for just a few dollars a piece if you are shopping sales. Plus, you get to rescue a previously discarded garment. Win, win!
I will add, this project was certainly a challenge (the border almost took me down), but it was also so rewarding. And like any good challenge, I’m already (crazily) considering another one. Somebody stop me, please.
At any rate, I absolutely am so looking forward to snuggling our little one in this heirloom baby blanket come February. <3