The Irish Trio

Irish Trio

In time for St. Patrick’s day: The Irish Trio.


These three blankets belong to The Green Sheep Legacy Collection, as they commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed away. They are made in warmhearted memory of Mariclare  — with her great love of Ireland in mind — and will go to her two daughters and granddaughter, as a gift from her son John and his wife Maureen.

Irish Blue

Mariclare was actually a step-mom to the four children she raised, but I only bring up that small detail in order to tell you her story. Mariclare gamely married Jack, a widower with four children — two boys, two girls — between the ages of 7 and nearly 1. Jack had tragically lost his first wife to brain cancer on the very day she gave birth to their youngest, a baby girl. This was the needy young family that welcomed Mariclare. To these four children, all grown up now, she has simply been Mom. Her daughter-in-law calls Mariclare a saint. She may not have been as well-known as Saint Patrick, but she may have been just as crucial to one small family in God’s great kingdom!


Mariclare’s family contributed a lovely cream-colored Irish afghan of hers for the blankets. That beautiful afghan shrunk to a very small size, causing me to cut its knitted cable and basket-weave stitches into long strips rather than the rectangles I usually employ for blankets. I added in a Celtic-design sweater I’ve been saving, with chains of Celtic knots, to tie the trio together as well.


Here is “Irish Blue.” The cream pieces from Mariclare’s afghan are a geometric echo of the Irish knotwork against a rich deep blue background. Blue was St. Patrick’s color! —

Irish Blue

Irish Blue

Irish Trio

Irish Blue

Irish Blue


Here is “Irish Cream.” In this, the afghan pieces– they are the ones that are contiguous from one edge of the blanket to the other — are part and parcel of the cream body of the blanket. —

Irish Trio

Irish Trio

Irish Trio

Irish Trio

Irish Trio

Irish Trio

And finally, this is “Irish Grey.” The creamy afghan stripes and the shamrock complement the subtle greys really beautifully. Very restful. —

Irish Grey

Irish Grey

Irish Grey

Irish Grey

Irish Grey

Irish Grey

For daughters Ann and Kathi and granddaughter Maggie, may these blankets be loving reminders of  your precious mom and grandmother. Your family is grateful to you for all the care you gave her.

The Irish Trio (each approx. 52″ x 68″):

“Irish Blue”

“Irish Cream”

“Irish Grey” 

The blankets have already gone to good homes

“Fullness of Peonies”

It’s been my delight in recent weeks to create another “legacy blanket” from, as it happens, another beautiful Irish sweater.


The pieces with the diamonds (above) and the chevron (below) — that’s the Irish one.


Each time I work on one of these blankets (like hereherehere, and here) I am moved by the complexity, wonder, and organic force of legacy within a family.  I hear about these things when an individual brings a sweater and says, “My dad passed away, but I’d love to have his wool sweater put into a blanket for my mom. Will you do that?”


Mary, one of six kids in her big, lively family, found my work online while exploring what to do with her late dad’s sweater. She emailed, asking if I could make a blanket for her mom, Barbara. I replied (“Of course!”) and asked, as I always do, if I could briefly interview her by phone about her parents.

This is one of my favorite parts of the process. It’s where ideas begin to germinate.


Mary not only talked with me, she sent a couple photos of her parents’ den, a long-time favorite hang-out of the entire family. WOW. A picture and its thousand words cannot be beat. I particularly fell in love with a sepia-toned vintage map of Europe above the red couch, hung next to a classic print of a horse and rider.


The blanket took its shape around what I learned of Mary’s family, her mom, her dad, and that welcoming den.


Mary’s dad, a college professor, became a US Congressman in the ’60s and moved his family near Washington D.C. He and his wife not only raised their family and served their state and country together, they co-authored books! There’s a lot to admire there.


Barbara is a capital-G Gardener, with related offshoot activities: she has led garden tours as a docent and helped launch (I believe — my notes grew sketchy here) a neighborhood garden club. I got the feeling she loves to be around both gardens and people.


Confirming my suspicions, her daughter reported that Barbara adores having a house full of people :)


And so it came together: the neutrals to match the masculine sensibilities in the den, the flowers to match the warm red furniture, the fullness of peonies to match this mom and her family full of generations, interests, activities, loves,…legacy. To Barbara, Mary, and the family: I hope this blanket represents your family well :)


“Fullness of Peonies” (55″ x 70″)

This is a custom-order blanket.

“Love in Your Heart”

I met Molly a few weeks ago through Kathy, owner of some Green Sheep blankets (see here). While we were talking, it came up that Molly’s mom’s 80th birthday is around the corner.  What a milestone!  Molly put on her thinking cap and recalled a sweater of her late dad’s, and….ahhh!….another blanket started brewing.

Molly’s mom is Irish through and through. She has devoted her life to her family and still loves taking care of them.  She also loves to read, and has a comfy brown chair in which to do exactly that. Molly wondered if I could make a throw to keep her warm in that comfy brown chair.

I hope I have. As usual, it was a delight to see what sweaters and colors would come together with the “seed” of the first one.  (In the photo below, the ribbed piece over the arm of the rocker is from Molly’s dad’s sweater.)

As Molly talked about her, it wasn’t hard to see how much her family loves her. So, for Molly’s mom on a very special birthday, here is “Love in Your Heart.” The name comes from this simple and lovely Irish blessing:

“May you be blessed with warmth in your home,

love in your heart, peace in your soul,

and joy in your life.”

It sounds as if those blessings have already been bestowed :) .

“Love in Your Heart” (Size: 50″ x 60″)

This throw was a custom order.

“Papa’s Pockets”

A sweet friend from work, a fellow therapist (she’s speech, I’m occupational), along with her husband recently finished their basement and turned it into a really welcoming living area.  She came to me and said, “Now that the basement’s done, I’m ready for a blanket for it!”  And then she handed me a beautiful wool sweater that had been her dad’s. Wow. My first chance to make a keepsake blanket with an honest-to-goodness keepsake!

This wasn’t just any sweater, but a gorgeous Irish-made one (Irish like the whole family) of thick, cream-colored wool.  That’s it in the foreground, the creamy cabled piece with the pocket near the edge.  It felted beautifully.  My friend’s dad is gone now, but I know having something of his means a lot.  And when the kids and grandkids are over, hanging out downstairs, they can cuddle up with a keepsake from grandpa as well.

Thanks, Maureen, for trusting me with your dad’s sweater :)

“Papa’s Pockets” (Size: 65″ x 83″)

This blanket has already gone to a good home.