I am a member of a charity organization called the Threads of Love. Threads of Love is a sewing ministry meeting the needs of tiny premature infants and newborns who struggle to survive or who die due to stillbirth, miscarriage or infant death.
The ministry is about healing and binding the hearts of parents together at a time of uncertainty about their baby's health or when they lose an infant.
Our local chapter makes a number of items that we put together in 2-gallon Ziploc bags and give them to two different hospitals in our area that have neonatal units where premature babies are born. Every two months, each hospital receives 30-packages. All items are made by volunteers who want to show their love and service by using their sewing, knitting, or crocheting talents.
This instructable is for an easy, crocheted baby blanket that is a minimum of 20-inches square.
For the charity where I am from, it’s made for babies that are 3-1/2 pounds or smaller. We call it a “Kangaroo Square.” A baby Kangaroo Square is a miniature baby afghan (20” to 24” square) that provides warmth for the critically ill premature baby and privacy for a parent as they ‘kangaroo.’ This is a therapy that places the developing premature baby on the parent's chest, skin to skin. Experts believe it is one of the best strategies to help at-risk babies become healthy.
These little blankets have also been called “lovey’s.” Many children use these blankets as they grow up to cuddle with and keep around for comfort and self-soothing. You are more than welcome to use the pattern below to make a miniature blanket!
For whatever reason, if you do make one of these miniature blankets, I would love to see it and hope that you post a picture in the comments section.
Please read on if you would like to become involved in this charity.
You can also jump to Step 3 if you just came to get the pattern for this little blanket.
The following links are for your use:
• Central Valley, CA Threads of Love Ministry information (where I am a member): http://www.collegecofc.com/ministries/threadsoflove.htm
• You can find other local Threads of Love Chapters at the Threads of Love National Ministry Website: http://www.threadsoflove.org/
• You can also find us listed under the Lion Brand Charitable Donation website, where all yarn donated is tax deductible. We can send a receipt if needed.
Lion Brand Charity Connection
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Step 1: Know the Guidelines
(1) Keep the blanket you work on free of:
• Pet dander & pet (or human) hair
• Mold, mildew and/or fungi
• Germs, viruses and/or bacteria
• Foul and/or sweet-smelling odors, perfumes and/or sprays/hand lotions
• Body fluids
• Food or drink spills and/or stains
- You will be reminded in the materials Step and in the pattern notes to use a sealed bag to keep your work clean and free from the things listed above.
(2) Wash your hands before working on items.
(3) Use only new yarn on items that will be given to the charity.
(4) Do not use solid yellow-color yarn. The charity guidelines suggest distinct boy colors or girl colors as that seems to be a parental preference after the baby is born.
Just so YOU know: Even though yellow is considered gender-neutral, many premature infants have jaundice, which causes a yellowing skin color. Yellow blankets make jaundice children look even more yellow, and our group will not use a yellow blanket.
(5) Things the members of the charity will look for as far as quality control when the item is given to us:
*I’ve gotten questioned on what this means. I think the best way to tell you what this means is to ask yourself if the blanket looks like it was made by a machine or does it look like it could have been purchased at a store. If the answer is “yes” it probably DOES NOT look handmade.*
• Ask yourself – “Would I want this item for my baby?”
• The miniature blanket must be a minimum of 20-inches square, or maximum of 24-inches square.
• The item is soft and made out of 3-ply yarn.
Step 2: Materials for This Project
• MC - One Skein 3-Ply Baby Yarn, approximately 350-yds (I used Bernat Baby Jacquards, color “I’m A Big Boy”) – You can purchase it from Amazon here: Bernat Baby Jacquards - I'm a big boy
• CC – Small amount coordinating 3-ply Baby Yarn (I used White Bernat Baby Yarn) – You can purchase it on Amazon here: Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn - White
• Size G crochet hook
• 1-gallon sealable plastic bag
• Yarn needle & scissors
• Optional: I also keep a small bottle of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with me that I put on before I work on this project.
Step 3: Crochet the Project
Skill level: Easy
Gauge: First 6-rounds of granny square = 5.5-inches; gauge is not really necessary for this project except for completed project must be min. of 20-inches square, or max. of 24-inches square.
All rounds are worked on the right side.
Place the blanket and yarn in a sealed bag while not being worked on.
Project time: Seven (7) to ten (10) hours, depending on skill level.
With MC, chain 3, join with a sl st to form a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3, 2 dc in ring; *ch 1, 3 dc in ring; rep from * twice more; ch 1, join with a sl st in top of beg ch-3.
Rnd 2: Sl st in each of next 2 dc and then into ch-1 sp; ch 3, work (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, corner made; *work (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-1 sp; rep from * twice more, join with a sl st in top of beg ch-3.
Rnd 3: Sl st in each of next 2 dc and then into ch-2 sp; ch 3, work (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, corner made; *work 3 dc in sp between next two 3-dc groups, work (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-2 sp; rep from *twice more; work 3 dc in sp between next two 3-dc groups, join with a sl st in top of beg ch-3.
Rnd 4: Sl st in each of next 2 dc and then into ch-2 sp; ch 3, work (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, *work 3 dc in each sp along side (between each pair of 3-dc groups) , work (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next corner sp; rep from * twice more; work 3 dc in each sp along last side, join with a sl st in top of beg ch-3.
Rnd 5 through 21: Rep Rnd 4.
Check the size! If the blanket is less than 19” after round 21 (not stretched out) then you will have to add more rounds. This may require additional yarn, or be creative in adding a different edging that the simple one below.
(Edging)Rnd 22: With right side facing you, join CC with a sc in any corner sp; work 4 sc in same sp as joining; * work one sc in each st across to next corner ch-2 sp, work 5 sc in next corner sp; rep from * twice more; work one sc in each st across to first sc, join to beg sc with sl st. Finish off.
Weave in all ends using yarn needle.
Step 4: Package Work and Send Off
I hope you were blessed to make this little blanket!
After the blanket is complete, if you would like to send it to the Central Valley Chapter of Threads of Love, leave the blanket in the sealed bag, removing as much air as possible, and mail it to the following address:
Threads of Love
Central Valley Chapter
1284 E. Bullard Avenue
Fresno, CA 93710
Because the blankets are so small and light, the cost of first class shipping should be less than $5. As you can see from the photo, the blankets usually fit inside an 8-1/2” x 11” envelope.
Thanks again for reading this and I hope you can find a charity you can become involved in too!