Blue Border Throw, A Clare Youngs design

Border THrow, a Clare Youngs pattern from Scandinavian Needlecraft

Make a Blanket for Valentine's day

Obviously mine isn’t blue, but the pattern is titled “Blue Border Throw” and appears in Clare Youngs’ book "Scandinavian Needlecraft".

I love the projects in this book and had a really tough go of it trying to decide what to make first. I thought that this would be perfect for Valentine’s day, so I decided to start here.

I’ve got to be honest and say that I’m pretty happy to finally be done with this one.

Basic construction: You embroider two pretty pieces of woolen fabric with french knots, using yarn. You then attach them to either end of a piece of fleece.

Sources of Conflict:

The pattern calls for two pieces of 40x13.5 in, woolen fabric and a 40X54in piece of white fleece. Conveniently, fleece fabric is 54 inches across straight off the bolt.  Eventually the 13.5 in piece of fabric is folded over, but you’re adding it to either end of the 54 inch length, so you end up with a blanket that is 40x 67.5 (minus the seam allowance), which makes it just a bit smaller than a twin mattress. I found that to be an odd size for a throw.  My first thought was that I’d adjust the embroidery so that I could attach it to the longer sides of the fleece, until I checked out the cost of soft woolen fabric. I found some that I loved but it was close to $40 a yard. I would have needed a little over a yard and a half and that would have made for a fairly spendy border.

I decided, in a misguided moment of brilliance to use fleece for the entire blanket. It was the most cost effective solution and I was afraid of ruining a spendy piece of wool with my own ineptitude.  I also decided to go with the dimensions called for in the book. The bright pink fleece was Kitty’s idea. She was just sure that her daddy would love it as much as she did.

Transferring the Pattern: I took a piece of tulle, taped it over the pattern and then traced it with a sharpie. I then placed the tulle over the pink fleece and made a dot along the pattern directly on to the fabric wherever I needed to place a french knot. easy enough..

 

Unfortunately, fleece seems to stretch out of shape easily. While my pattern was straight and most of my knots are placed directly over the dots, my end product isn’t particularly straight, especially near the points of the hearts. That wasn’t the hard part though…

 

When attaching the embroidered strips to the fleece, you fold over a hem on both of the long ends and then sandwich the fleece between the two. You pin it, baste stitch it and then sew along making sure to pick up both the front and back at the same time. I was stitching through 5 layers of fleece and it didn’t really work out for me all that well. I didn’t take any photos, because it really looked like crap.

 

Aside from the obvious mess of construction, Geek had two complaints. It wasn’t large enough for both of us to really snuggle under it and he didn’t care for the single layer of fleece in the middle.  The seam ripper and I got cozy on the couch and I set about mending things.

I purchased a second piece of fleece and stitched it together in the following way. Pink piece, fleece, pink piece, fleece and then attached the first pink panel to the last piece of fleece to create a big tube. I was mindful to make sure that both of my heart strips ended up on the same side, facing the right way. I stitched down the length of one side, and then almost all the way down the other side, leaving enough of the seam open to turn it right side out. Then I stitched it closed.

I gave it to Geek for his birthday a few days ago and he absolutely loves it. He’s still not crazy about the size but the the blanket has a wonderful heft to it.

Don’t let me scare you off of making this blanket. You too can make a pretty blanket for Valentine's Day, because Nothing says "I love you" like a hand made gift for the holiday. I wouldn’t recommend using the fleece fabric unless you’re on a tight budget, but it can be done.

You can look for"Scandinavian Needlecraft" at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Powell's Books.