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:
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