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About

Receiving an "ugly blanket" from me has become a thing in my circle of friends and family. It all started years ago when my Grandpa came to me with an unusual request. He said he had a solution for using up my yarn stash and he wanted me to make something in particular. He asked me to crochet him a blanket. But this blanket had to have some very specific features -

 

1. It had to be large enough to cover his entire body, including his feet which were always cold.
2. It had to be stitched with a closed stitch so there wouldn't be any holes or gaps.
3. I could use all my leftover yarn without any regard to coordinating the colors or making it into a pleasing pattern. "Make it as ugly as you want."

 

It took me almost 2 months to complete the project. It was the largest blanket I had ever crocheted. I'm partial to using larger hooks with thicker yarn when I crochet large projects so that I can complete them faster, but this time I had used a small hook and stuck with medium worsted weight yarn, stitching the blanket as tightly as I could with a stitch that was already a tight stitch (I hadn't yet learned about slip stitching fabric or that would've been even better).

It was truly ugly. I would use a ball of yarn until it ran out, then close my eyes to pick the next ball without caring what color was going to be used next. That meant that the ugly dark gold yarn I couldn't seem to find a suitable pattern for (if you're a stitcher, you know how hard it is to part with any yarn - even the ugly ones) was paired with neon green, which was stitched next to royal purple, which found itself next to fire engine red, and so on. I didn't even change the colors at the end of rows to attempt striping. The colors where changed in the middle of rows. And some colors didn't even stitch a complete row. I used up large balls and small balls so that the blanket has some large chunks of the same color, followed by only a few stitches of the next color in some cases.

My Grandpa was ecstatic upon receiving his blanket! He immediately tested it out in his recliner that always sat in front of the sliding glass door, and proclaimed that it was exactly what he was hoping for. I tried to defend the blanket by remind him that he had requested an ugly one, and he said it was perfect. And he wasn't kidding. The word spread through my family that my usually generous Grandpa refused to let anyone else even touch his blanket, even when he wasn't using it. The blanket stayed folded on the back of his recliner when not in use, and some reported being slightly nervous at even sitting in the recliner for fear that they might inadvertently be caught touching Grandpa's Ugly Blanket.

My Grandpa died at home surrounded by loved ones. My Grandma sent the blanket back to me with a note explaining that when he died, my Grandpa had insisted on using his "ugly blanket" to keep warm in his final moments. It now stays safe in my closet on a shelf above my current yarn stash, yarn that will soon be made into another "ugly blanket" to give to someone in need. It's about keeping them warm and comfortable, but it's also about giving them that sense of home, care, and comfort that my Grandpa felt for his blanket. And it's about showing them that I'm just as privileged to make them their very own "ugly blanket" as I was to make my "Grandpa's Ugly Blanket".

At Grandpa's Ugly Blanket, we buy and make blankets of all kinds to give to charities, and anyone in need. It's our way of reaching out and giving a hug to anyone who needs one.  A portion of every purchase goes to buying as many blankets as possible in addition to those we make and give away.

Thank you for your generosity! And Happy Creating!

Heather