The Katy Sensory Blanket: The Story Behind the Design

The Katy Sensory Blanket: The Story Behind the Design

I am, and always have been, a huge fan of making blankets. 

I started off making baby blankets when I first got going with crochet and so it's probably why I love them so much. There's a serenity that comes with a blanket once you have the rhythm of the pattern memorised. The repetition means that they are usually relatively quick to make up and easy, once you're confident enough with the stitches, to watch something alongside it!

But this blanket design holds a special place in my heart. The inspiration for the pattern came after a lovely class with our local Baby Sensory leader that involved Sammy, the sensory snake. This massive stuffed snake was made of varying materials of with a diverse range of textures. It captivated my son so much, that he was constantly trying to find Sammy again once the activity was over. And so, it got me thinking...

Could I emulate this in crochet form? I certainly had enough varying types of yarn and plenty of random scraps from previous projects (which crafter doesn't?) and this might be just the project for it. 

Once I started to play with different ideas, swatching yarns, creating samples, I suddenly remembered a conversation I had with my friend before I started Wee B and I was considering different products and directions for the business. She discussed the concept of crochet kits for parents who are sat in hospital with poorly babies, preemies, and older children.

She recalled a friend of hers whose baby was born premature loving a small craft kit that she gifted as it gave her something to do with her hands when she couldn't yet hold her baby. 

In a strange aligning of stories, this then tied in with our class leader's own personal journey as her son was born 10 weeks premature. I asked her whether she thought the idea of a craft kit like this would be helpful for some families and she thought I may be onto something.

And so, I got to pattern drafting...

I wanted something easy enough that an absolute beginner could give it a go, but a pattern that teaches the fundamentals of crochet stitches that would allow them to go on and make whatever they wanted after, if they became hooked (pun well and truly intended).

What I have come up with mixes traditional acrylic yarn that we will all recognise from cardigans knitted by grannies up and down the UK, cotton yarn that provides a bit more texture and strength, and chenille yarn which is my favourite for newborn babies. 

The beauty of the pattern is that it is completely customisable. If you don't happen to like the pattern of a certain section, you could repeat a previous section. If you learn the first stitch and find the next one too tricky, you can change your yarn type but keep the stitch consistent. Whilst I will show you how to create multiple textures, you are in control of the final look.

In honour of the incredible support I received at Baby Sensory from this gorgeous lady and her own personal journey, I asked for her blessing to name the design after her. She agreed, and so welcome everyone to the Katy Sensory Blanket!

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