Happy Friday, y’all! I am seriously dumbfounded at how fast August is zipping by. I know, I said the same thing last week, but I really mean it! The crazy thing is that even though this month is zipping along, I have been super productive over here. I released the Friendship Prayer Shawl pattern 2 weeks ago, and I already have another fabulous pattern published (and maybe, if you’re super lucky, yet another coming this month!)
My friends at Sunflower Cottage Crochet are hosting the Preemie Crochet Challenge, and I designed this baby blanket special for the event. The Kenzie blanket was inspired by and named after my niece who was a micro-preemie, born at just 24 weeks gestation. (For those of you not in the know, full term babies are born at 38-40 weeks, so she was only a little over halfway baked before she made her grand entrance).
The odds were stacked against Kenzie. The doctors gave her a 20% chance to survive and told her parents not to expect her to make it more than 24 hours. But Kenzie was a fighter, as many preemies are, and with the help of a ventilator that helped her breathe while her lungs got stronger she fought through infections in her lungs, a collapsed lung, and many episodes where she coded, but medical staff were able to save her life. After spending nearly four months in the NICU, Kenzie came home weighing exactly four pounds and although she was still medically fragile and came home on oxygen, she was worlds away from her time in the NICU.
It brings tears to my eyes seeing these old photos of Kenzie. She was so itty bitty, and I didn’t get to meet her until she was over 8 months old. If my poor memory is accurate, when I held her at my wedding which was a couple of weeks after her first birthday, she was about the size of a 6 month old.
Today Kenzie is a tall, athletic, and creative 12 year old with a huge smile that lights up a room! Her parents still have the many items that were hand crafted and donated to the NICU for preemie babies like her. Although remembering those tough times when life was touch and go is extremely difficult, her parents credit those gifts as helping to brighten what was a hard time and are grateful for the time and generosity of those who took time to make such special treasures.
When I finished designing the original Kenzie Blanket (the preemie size), I was astounded at how tiny it is. And this little blanket would have been more than large enough for her mom to swaddle her in. The blanket itself is 22″x24″, which is just a little bit bigger than lovey-sized. Kenzie’s story is nothing short of a miracle, and there are so many more wonderful stories of preemie babies. This one just happens to be the closest to my heart.
I also made a second Kenzie Blanket in standard baby size, because I really loved making this blanket and I just don’t think it would be fair to deprive full-term babies of the gift of a handmade Kenzie Blanket.
Now, are you ready to see something crazy? The purple blanket measures just 24″ x32″- the perfect size for a baby blanket. But look at the difference in size-
Every baby is a miracle, but those teeny tiny preemie babies are Bonus Miracles! I hope you will join us in making gifts to donate to your local NICU for the miracle babies who are yet to enter this crazy world!
The Kenzie Blanket is featured in the Hey Baby blog hop and bundle sale, hosted by Regina P Designs! Today only, (4/16/23) you can get the Kenzie Blanket pattern for free with the discount code you will find on the main blog hop page.
Or, you can grab the Hey Baby Bundle and receive all 30 fabulous baby crochet patterns in one PDF for just $9.99!
Snag your copy of the Kenzie Blanket pattern below:
Well, that’s my news for the week. Be sure you are subscribed to the Straight Awesome newsletter so you can stay in the know and receive free patterns and exclusive discounts!
Until next time,