Greta’s Blanket: A Girl and a Pearl

Our second granddaughter turned 1 last month. In the weeks leading up to her birthday—and with (coincidentally!) a visit cross-country to her family for that very date—I knew what time it was.

Time to make Greta her very own blanket.

As was true for our first granddaughter, I had to wait to know this little one awhile before attempting to create a blanket for her. (Her sister Miriam’s blanket is here.) Blankets always begin with mulling over ideas, images, sensations. And so it was with Greta’s.

My inspiration for Greta’s blanket began first of all with her smile. It is big, bold, ebullent and endearing. Most stunning of all, it appears immediately when a loved one enters her line of sight.

Next was her name: Greta, a short form of Margarethe or Margaret. It means “pearl.” The Bible talks about the pearl of great price, and I knew this was one reason her parents had chosen the name.

Next: what colors look good on her. This girl has her dad’s features and her mom’s coloring—blue eyes and light hair that’s already showing the red glints of her mama’s copper-colored hair. I automatically started turning over in my mind the greens and goldens that her mom looks great in. But when I pulled up the family photo stream just to check, I was surprised to find Greta is in her niche in bright pink and navy. Apparently her skin tone is cooler than her mom’s!

Once supplied with several thoughts to get the project rolling, I found the right colors in my stash and got started.

The color arrangement came together easily. And I knew I wanted to put a pearl in the center somewhere, but where and how? As I played with different ideas, and especially with oyster sketches, I discovered something very close to a “G” for Greta in the upside-down opened oyster. What better than a sweet cipher right there in the middle of her blanket?

And so it all came together. I finished in time for our trip, and Grandpa and I were able celebrate  that amazing first birthday in person. (And eat scrumptious homemade birthday cake!)

The following note accompanied the blanket. It’s for later, when Greta’s language skills are a little stronger and this precious girl begins to mull over the things of life herself:

Sweet Greta,

You are a little small for some of the symbolism in this blanket, but your name is so wonderful it couldn’t help but show up here. Your name, Greta, means pearl. Your dada and mama told us when you were born that their prayer is you would come upon the MOST precious, valuable pearl—that’s Jesus!—and want to know him more than anything else.

So there, in the middle of your blanket, is a pearl in an oyster. And if you turn that oyster upside down, there’s a secret “G” for Greta.

We love you more than words can say, Greta, and pray this same prayer for you. Happy first birthday!

© Joan Olson
“Greta’s Blanket” (35″x36″) 
Felted Wool Sweaters

9 thoughts on “Greta’s Blanket: A Girl and a Pearl

  1. Greta says: I love my blanket, Grandma! Thank you for the treasure. (But seriously, it’s absolutely gorgeous, Mom. You nailed her colors.)

  2. Dear Joan,
    I’ve been feeling the same way about winter, time to move into Spring. Palm Sunday service this morning was a great way to begin! I do love Greta’s baby blanket. And I love that you share your thoughtfulness and symbols to inspire others (like me!).
    A quick question, have you ever shared how you store your stash of sweaters? My piles are growing too high, and for once, PInterest is not providing any useful ideas! I would love to know how you store what must be an immense collection of old sweaters!

    • It helps simply to know I’m not alone. Thanks, Kathleen. Yes to Palm Sunday and most especially to Easter!

      Thanks too for commenting on little G’s blanket. The process is always so internal that it’s helpful for me to put it into words afterwards.

      I think I’ve talked about sweater storage only over in my Felted Wool Blanket Master Class. I’m sure my way would be a little crazy for many households! I think I ought to plan a blog post for this, as several people have asked recently. I keep my stacks out and visible for the most part, on shelves or lined up in a row on the floor. I believe many women use large plastic bins, and I think that could be a great way too, especially if the bins are translucent. For me, I just enjoy and am inspired by being near each beautiful, organic piece.

  3. Dear Joan,
    What a wonderful gift! She will cherish it, and you will be close to her everyday.
    I am starting a new baby blanket, the parents are a small animal vet and a policeman, so it will be easy to customize it!
    Thank you again for sharing your craft via the online class.

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