Trying to find or have made a replica of a family member's blankie
April 20, 2014 10:12 AM   Subscribe

A family member is expecting her first kid and I was thinking about trying to either buy or have made a replica of her precious childhood blankie. Help me find it or figure out how to get a replica made.

I don't know how to describe the blankie, so I'm linking to a trio of pictures (one has a hand included for scale). The blanket dates from the late 1970s.

Is this knit, crocheted, or other?
If it can be reproduced, what is a reasonable price?
Is this a total wild goose chase?
posted by sciencegeek to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It looks woven to me.

It wouldn't be too hard to knit a blanket in a similar style - alternating solid smooth columns and more open lacy columns. A quick example (scroll down) of the kind of thing I mean.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:18 AM on April 20, 2014

I would call that an open weave style. Here are some search results. Also check Etsy.
posted by raisingsand at 10:27 AM on April 20, 2014

That is the sweetest idea ever! I may steal that plan from you later on this year! Seconding raisingsand - check Etsy. A lot of the merchants on Etsy will do custom orders. If you find a merchant that has similar-looking blankets, how about sending them the photos and asking them to pick colors accordingly!
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:30 AM on April 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Definitely check Etsy (and look at people doing shawls as well as blankets). For example, here's an open weave shoulder wrap/scarf on Etsy that reminds me a bit of your blanket. Maybe this woman could do a blanket for you, or recommend someone who could.
posted by gudrun at 10:38 AM on April 20, 2014

Response by poster: Any directed suggestions of people/shops to contact on Etsy? Especially if you have personal experience with the person/shop.

I did think of trying Etsy, but was a bit intimidated by the number of possible people to ask.
posted by sciencegeek at 10:54 AM on April 20, 2014

I don't know if this is the sort of thing crochetgal could make, but she might be able to direct you to the next-best people to ask. She has a stellar reputation, is super nice, and makes her living from crocheting, so at the very least I'm sure she'd get back to you.

If that doesn't lead you to someone who can make this blanket, I would suggest doing a search on etsy for "open weave," or similar, and looking for sellers with high feedback who accept custom orders (not all do - the ones who do, will have a big blue "request custom order" button on the main page of their storefront, as crochetgal's does at the link above).
posted by jessicapierce at 11:00 AM on April 20, 2014

It's a crammed and spaced weave structure, and an unusually open one. If you wanted a professional weaver to do this, that's the term they'd use. People upthread are correct that you could also get a similar effect in a knit or crocheted blanket; if I were going to knit it, I'd be using drop stitches. I would guess that having it crocheted would be cheapest, woven most expensive, and knit somewhere in between, but it will also depend on the size and the yarn you want used.
posted by clavicle at 11:14 AM on April 20, 2014

Best answer: It's woven. I think the technical term for this weaving structure is "huck lace." If you want to be assured of getting something that matches as closely as possible, I'd contact your local weaver's guild (if the folks in the link are the wrong people, they will happily send you to the right people) and arrange a meeting so the weaver can see the piece in person. This can absolutely be duplicated, though it might cost you a detectable chunk of change; looking around, it seems the going rate for handwoven baby blankets is between $50 and $100.
posted by KathrynT at 11:16 AM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh snap yes it is huck lace.
posted by clavicle at 11:19 AM on April 20, 2014

Best answer: I don't think it is huck lace. All the "spots" are the same, and all-over lace in huck has to alternate warp spots with weft spots (or else plainweave sections) or else it collapses into giant floats and never makes a web. In a couple of places there are what look like single wefts (I'm assuming the weft is running horizontally in the photos based on what looks like fringe at the bottom) that look like the stabilizing picks in Bronson lace, but they aren't everywhere and they might just be from the way the obviously much-loved blankie is falling apart.

I think it was woven with vertical stripes of plain weave alternating with a basket weave over the thicker warps. I'm basing that on the observation that the lacy areas appear to have two thick warps weaving together, and the wefts (where I can resolve them) also look like they are running in pairs. It looks like there are 6 picks in each simple repeat that form the ovals of plain weave (ababab) and the threads have deflected where they are woven AABBAA to form the lace. I agree with clavicle that there's also some cramming & spacing happening with the sett of the thicker warps. You could do it on four shafts, and weaving it in this orientation (with all the stripes and spacing in the warp) seems like it would be the easier approach. I am a weaver, but I am not a fabric analysis expert, so this could be hogwash.

In any case, it is for sure woven, and KathrynT's advice about contacting your local guild is good.
posted by janell at 8:50 PM on April 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for the knowledgeable answers. I knew nothing about any of this when I asked the question and I've learned a couple of things through your responses. Of course one of those things is that weaving is a whole world of techniques that I know absolutely nothing about.

I will contact the NY Guild of Handweavers as soon as I get out from under this ominous cloud of work.

I will try to update with my progress if possible.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:06 PM on April 21, 2014

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