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New Pattern Journal: Shira Loves to Knit the Octavia Blanket for New Babies!

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New Pattern Journal: Shira Loves to Knit the Octavia Blanket for New Babies!

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Patterns We Keep Coming Back To: Shira Loves to Knit the Octavia Blanket for New Babies!

Shira Blumenthal is Brand Ambassador for Lion Brand Yarn Company, a family-owned and operated business for 137 years. A fifth-generation member of the family, Shira shares a personal story about one of her favorite Lion Brand patterns, the Octavia Blanket.

I learned to knit when I was nine years old and while I often knit special things for myself, there’s nothing better than making something special for someone and seeing them wear it or use it.

About two years ago my "big sister” Jasmine (our moms grew up together) told me she was expecting. As unofficial auntie, I decided to up my game from the usual hat or scarf. I searched the Lion Brand PatternFinder to see what I could comfortably knit in a month or two.

I found the Octavia Blanket which uses Baby’s First®. The pattern is super-easy to knit – just garter stitch with some yarn overs and knit-two togethers … "I can handle this," I reassured myself and I did!

I really love Baby’s First®. It’s so soft and it comes in a great selection of beautiful pastels! I love it for babies too because it’s an easy care yarn – machine washable and dryable!

Octavia Blanket

Did I mention it’s a fast knit? I added cute labels that say, "Made with love by Shira”, giving it an extra touch of love.

I visited the week before the baby was due to hand deliver the blanket. As luck would have it, he was born while I was there! In fact, I was one of the first people to meet Zen and witness the blanket I made for him in action.

Then about a year ago my brother and sister-in-law told me that they were expecting. I had my usual cry-fest for joy when someone tells me they’re expecting. They decided that they were not going to find out if they were having a boy or girl beforehand. So besides being super-excited, I also had to figure out what I was going to make. Of course, I chose the Octavia Blanket, but this time instead of just one color, I decided to get fancy and use two gender-neutral colors, Honey Bee and Beanstalk.

On June 30th she was born. At the time of her birth, I was on a business trip with my dad – she was probably delivered while we were mid-air, between NYC and Germany. Girls do not happen often in my family so this was a big deal. Alas, like most knitters and crocheters, I suffer from a mild case of procrastination … the blanket wasn’t even started and here she was.

Octavia Blanket

No problem, it’s such a quick knit I knew if I started it on my way back from the trip, it would get done in good time.

My life took an unexpected turn when I returned but looking back a year later, I realize that everything happens for a reason. Knitting this blanket became about healing for me. I could not wait to see my niece use it, but also the amount of love, tears and strength that went into knitting it meant a lot to me. This blanket marked a point when my life changed and just knowing that it would keep her warm and protect her and it could one day turn into her "blankie” eased my heart.

I think of that blanket as strength, I hope to share with my niece one day what that blanket means to me. It kept me focused and allowed me to say "onward and upward.”

After that, the Octavia Blanket has just been my go to for both beginners and experts. It’s one of those blankets that you really can make your own because the pattern is that simple it allows for simple modifications.

Thanks for reading my story.

A true story by Shira Blumenthal.

Enjoy 20% off the Octavia Blanket kit for a limited time!

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1 Comment

  • I know people knit at different rates, but approximately how long does this pattern take to complete? Thanks!

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