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Crochet Club Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

Published on October 1st, 2016 | by Kate Eastwood

12 comments

Crochet Club: Jenny’s blanket of hugs

Crochet unites people all over the world – and there’s nothing crocheters like better than to contribute to a project that will make someone feel better. Our lovely Kate Eastwood never imagined that one request for blanket squares would result in over a thousand squares from all over the world…

The Tale of the Blanket of Hugs and the Amazing Crochet Community

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood the LoveCrochet blog

Without a doubt, the crochet world is one that stretches far and wide to all corners of the globe, and nothing has demonstrated this more than a project that I have recently had the honour and privilege to be a part of.

Being a total crochet lover I take a huge amount of pleasure from the crochet community that exists in the world of social media, and my journey through this fabulous world over the past two or three years has been nothing short of wonderful. Not only is it a place of great inspiration and sharing, it has also allowed me to make many like-minded friends, one of whom is Amanda Bloom from the Little Box of Crochet. I first worked with Amanda when I put together a design for her January Little Box of Crochet. Amanda began her business, not only from her love of crochet and creativity but also from personal need, as her beautiful daughter Jenny had recently been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour. By running a business from home Amanda was able to continue to work whilst at the same time being there to care for Jenny.

When Jenny’s cancer returned for a third time, and with so many friends following their story I felt we, as a community, needed to get together and show our support in some small way.

The beginnings of an idea was growing in the back of my mind and in no time the seed was sewn … Jenny needed a blanket, a blanket of hugs, that she could wrap herself in to feel all the positivity and love that everyone was sending from all corners of the world.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

I tentatively put my idea out on my Instagram page, and was instantly inundated with people wanting to take part.

Within a couple of days, and following ‘secret’ chats with Amanda we decided on the colours and a suitable yarn was chosen. No sooner had I let everyone know what they were, the Australian and American crochet contingents had come up with similar yarns that could be sourced in their part of the world and then it was full speed ahead for me to design the squares.

Jenny's Blanket of Hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

The squares were designed so that everyone, whatever level of crocheter they were, could take part if they wanted to.

Jenny's blanket of hugs on the LoveCrochet blog

I put the patterns and all the details up on my blog on a Friday evening and by the following Tuesday the first packages were arriving!

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

I think the poor postman couldn’t believe his eyes! For three weeks, the highlight of my day was seeing the postman’s van arrive. Out he would get with crates of parcels and packages. Each and every one contained the most beautiful squares, all made with so much love and care, and every parcel contained cards for Amanda and Jenny and myself.

Parcels came from Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, France, Germany, America and so many more countries  – literally all the corners of the globe!

Every day my desk was full of the brightest coloured squares you’ve ever seen. I could literally feel the positivity and hugs bursting out of each parcel. There were parcels from individuals, friends sharing postage costs from the other side of the world, mothers and daughters and crochet clubs, and when some had trouble trying to source yarn, people from all over the world started sending their left over yarn to others so they too could take part. I was literally left speechless and very teary on a daily basis.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

In no time at all there were bags, boxes and piles of squares everywhere I looked and just when I was beginning to have the teeniest of panics about joining all the squares by myself, the very next day I had four messgaes from people offering to drive from their part of the UK to come and help me join them. That number grew and plans were put in place for a joining day to take place at my local village hall.

By the closing date I had received just over 1050 squares!!!

TOTALLY AMAZINGLY FABULOUS!

The one blanket had suddenly become seven blankets and two cushions … and the yarn for joining? All donated by LoveCrochet.com.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

After a weekend of sorting squares into yarn types and sizes, with help from daughters, daughters’ boyfriends and anyone else who happened to pop by, all the squares were laid out and seven blankets were pinned together with just under 3,000 safety pins!

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

Once pinned and labelled the blankets were folded and packed into bags all ready and waiting for the 20 fabulous joining ladies who were travelling from all over the south east and south west of England with their crochet hooks at the ready.

On the morning of Joining Day tables and chairs were laid out in the hall, kettles were filled, and sandwiches and cake were piled high on plates.

One of our lovely ladies, who sadly wasn’t able to join us for the day, had even made the most beautifully intricate name badges for everyone, as for many of us it was our first time of meeting.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

At 10am everyone arrived and in no time at all the tables had been pushed together and the chat and crochet had begun!

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

It was the most fabulous day, packed full to bursting with happiness, laughter, endless chatter and tea and the most overwhelming feeling of togetherness. It will stay with me for a very, very long time to come.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

And what of the blankets ?

Well, it was only right that Jenny had hers to take away with her at the end of the day so I had joined that one the week before, and it was all ready and waiting for her, along with a cushion and two boxes full of cards and gifts enclosed in all the parcels.

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood the LoveCrochet blog

Jenny's blanket of hugs by Kate Eastwood on the LoveCrochet blog

Left, Jenny opening her blanket; and right, Kate, Jenny and Amanda Bloom

The six others were all taken away at the end of Joining Day and are now being worked on in various different locations. Once finished, one will be for Amanda, and following Jenny and Amanda’s request, the others will be auctioned for the following charities:

The Little Princess Trust

The Brain Tumour Society/Michael Barry Fund

The Teenage Cancer Trust

The Rainbow Trust

Once Upon a Smile

To end this wonderful tale all I can say is the hugest of thank yous to everyone who took part and helped in this amazing experience – and one thing I know for SURE is that …

♥ … Crochet definitely, definitely makes the world go round. ♥

Would you like to make a Blanket of Hugs?

Don’t miss next week’s Crochet Club tutorial – Kate will be showing you how to do it!

 

community lovecrochet


About the Author

Living just outside Bath, Kate is fortunate enough to be able to indulge two of her biggest loves -- living right in the middle of the countryside but within easy distance of retail therapy. When not working at her nursery school she loves nothing more than a day of pootling around, with crochet, sofa and tea being right at the top of the list.




12 Responses to Crochet Club: Jenny’s blanket of hugs

  1. Vivienne says:

    It was an amazing project….well done Kate and best wishes to Jenny and Amanda!

  2. So pleased to be part of such a special project. x

  3. Sarah says:

    Fair play Kate for coming up with the idea and to all the joining ladies and those who helped. It was great to be a tiny part of something so uplifting ♡

  4. j9shappiness says:

    Fabulously written Kate. I feel so privileged to have been part of it xx

  5. Sue says:

    The blanket looks fabulous. What a brilliant idea. Blankets definitely help people feel a little better..

    I make crochet blankets for Sent with Love

    https://www.facebook.com/blanketssentwithlove/?fref=ts

    The Sent with Love team send free blankets to anybody who has cancer, to show that people are thinking of them. You can read more about Sent with Love on their Facebook page.

    I have also nominated people to receive blankets and they have been thrilled to receive them.

  6. Carol says:

    Thank you for this post Kate and congratulations to everyone who took part in this amazing project. It just shows how much love and caring is out there in our crafting world.
    It really was a privilege to take part.
    Much love, as always, to Jenny and Amanda.
    Carol xx

  7. Lily Ann Dawes says:

    Fantastic work from all involved.
    I’m doing the great Mandala Swap and Sixtymilliontrebles,(look it up on Facebook or Google) along with several ladies in our area.

  8. What a beautiful blanket of hugs! I just love the colours and the different patterns on each of the squares. Having only recently joined the crochet community (per say) I missed out on this entirely but huge congratulations to all of you who took part and I wish alll the very best to Jenny and her mom.

  9. alyssa says:

    is there a pattern for the awesome globe that is also pictured?

    • sian says:

      Hi Alyssa,

      Unfortunately we don’t have a pattern but we will try to contact Kate and find out if she has one!

  10. Laurie says:

    Love this. See that, there is still a lot of love and caring in the world, isn’t there?

  11. Lisa Boyes says:

    Hi and congratulations to you all for such a wonderful project. It must be very healing to be wrap yourself up in so much love when you are at your lowest. I would really love to crochet this blanket and was just wanting a rough idea of how much yarn was needed- either per square or for the entire blanket? Thanks and congrats again.

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