Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wool blankets and calico edges

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Isn’t wool itchy?  I hear this all the time, and it always makes me feel sad, because I think wool is possibly the loveliest thing anywhere, and that’s even with me remembering about silk, which is also nice.  I know there are people out there with actual wool allergies (and if you are one of these unfortunates, I wish I could just give you a big hug right now) but I think mostly it’s just that some people find wool itchy.  They just don’t like it.  It makes their skin feel oogy or something.  I don’t know how it happens that some feel that way (and I believe they do, which is fine because there’s more for me that way) and some feel that wool is awesome and snuggly and cozy and (maybe a little rough but never itchy) and almost always perfect. 

So, knowing that there can never be enough wool, and that sleeping under a wool blanket is the very best--no matter the season--when I found these blankets the other day, while out on a thrifting binge with (blogless but crafty) Michelle, I greedily grabbed them up. 

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The satiny edgings were a little tattered and I don’t know if I saw this in a Cath Kidston book or not—probably I did—but they needed new bindings, and what’s cuter than calico?  I held my breath and tossed the blankets into the washing machine (delicate cycle, no agitation) and then hung them to dry in front of the living room fire.  The room smelled not unpleasantly of damp wool—it reminded me of wet mittens on a snowy day—and the next day they were dry, and had not shrunk at all, somehow.  I think they’d been washed before, and were already felted a little, and are therefore even more cozy, if such a thing is possible.  Then, I just cut long lengths of calico and sewed it on, presto.  They are now, if you can believe it, just as cozy as before, but now they are crafty, too, and much cuter.

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Two of them had this awesome tag, which made me hope I’d made one of those Antiques Roadshow-style finds, but it looks like these are just some ordinary but nifty wool blankets of the kind you would have slept under at camp. 

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Oh I love these.  Love love love. 

23 comments:

  1. I love, love, love them too! What a totally brilliant idea. I have some very old woollen blankets in my cupboard that have seen better days around the edges. I never in a million years would have thought to do this. But that's exactly what I'm going to do now! Off for a girly shopping session tomorrow so I'll keep my eye out for some perfectly pretty edging fabric!! Have a fabulous cosy week, under your new blankies.
    Leah
    xx

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  2. What a brilliant idea ... love it!
    Henny x

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  3. OOOO love their redo! I am :( afraid one of the few that is actually allergic to wool. Horrible looking red itchy bumps appear on my skin - it is very sad because I love the way it looks.

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    1. *hug hug hug* For you, there is silk and cotton and those luscious bamboo blends that are just oooooooh. :)

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  4. What a charming and lovely idea. Well done!

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  5. Really great idea. Love them.
    Meredith

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  6. Truly a find and what a fabulous idea adding the calico. I would have passed on them with the bindings as they were. I will think again on how to change a thrifty find.

    blessings, jilly

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  7. Oh you lucky, lucky girl! I find wool cozy and campy, and warm, and cool, and all of those things! The tag isto die for cute! And what you did with them made perfection even better, if that is possible. Why yes it must be, because you made perfect even more perfect!! Love them!

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  8. What a charming and lovely idea. Two of them had this awesome tag, which made me hope I’d made one of those Antiques Roadshow-style finds, but it looks like these are just some ordinary but nifty wool blankets of the kind you would have slept under at camp. looking forward to all the good things your blog shares.

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  9. SUCH a nice idea! Simple and beautiful! Yes, wool is great - how I love my first crochetblanket made of merino wool! Sitting under it, it gets instantly warm, like snuggling with a cat, or maybe with a sheep ...?
    xo Hilde

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  10. I am sooo jealous right now, those blankets are the cutest blankets I have ever seen. So so beautiful, you did a fantastic job and chose the perfect fabrics. Love the blanket label too. x

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  11. Well, love the idea! I happen to have my uncle cover from years ago and I never use it because of its plain style...But nothing a lovely border couldn't improve! Thanks a lot!

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  12. What an absolutely fantastic way to make a boring wool blanket into something new and exciting....I love it!

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  13. I love wool too. I think my Welsh heritage may have something to do with it!! What a pretty idea to bind them with a lovely material.

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  14. Yet another excellent idea, i would never of thought of doing that.
    Pixie x

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  15. I can never find anything this good at our thrift stores. Maybe California just doesn't have wool :( These are peachy, what lucky finds. Even the blue color is great. I love the fabrics you chose to bind them. So Cozy!!!!!

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  16. oh my gosh i love love LOVE these too. SO much. i want to find some blankets now too, i love wool. clothes, felt, skeins of it, all forms. and now i really need some blankets too.

    when my babies were small i did this with their little blankets, but i've never thought of one for me. and the label. oh, i hope i can find one too kristen

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  17. Your perfect solution reminds me of fixing some towels. One of my daughters washed them in HOT water and dried them on HIGH. That tightly woven strip about three inches from the edge shrunk so they were all funny looking. I cut that strip off just above the offending band, and did a nice (preshrunk) cotton border. They are a little shorter than they were when new, but we've long gotten over that. I still use them every day and they look really great. (And the cut off strips make great dishcloths!)

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  18. Ooo, so pretty! This is just such a lovely idea - thank you for sharing it!

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  19. I recently purchased the blue striped with red flowers fabric from Joann's! I am using it to make curtains for some shelving in my kitchen.

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  20. I found your post when trying to find an idea for lengthening some wool blankets we used growing up. Not only are the silky borders frayed, but many of them are not long enough to tuck under the bottom of the mattress. Your post gave me a great idea: Use a border on one end (narrow) to replace the frayed edge, and then match it with a very wide border on the other which will be the part that tucks in. Thanks for the post! Can't wait to get some fabric and make these blankets more usable!

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