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WWYD with this damaged vintage afghan?

Damaged vintage crochet blanket, WWYD?

My mother recently came across this blanket that her grandmother made for her. It’s spent many years in an attic and is somewhat worse for wear.

We were looking at it last night and trying to figure out what could be done to either restore it or repurpose it, and it occurred to me that my online community might have some experience with this, or at least some great ideas!

So, here are the details as far as I can tell:
Damaged vintage crochet blanket, WWYD?

  • My mother says her grandmother only used wool, and the amount of felting in this blanket seems to bear that up.
  • On the other hand, some colors have survived largely intact, while others are nearly entirely eaten through. That suggests to me that some of the colors might have had synthetic content?
  • The squares appear to have been crocheted together at the end with a slip stitch (I think? I’ve never done that myself, so I can’t be sure) rather than sewn together or done join-as-you-go style.

I could probably make some new squares and insert them where the old, damaged squares were. Or we could cut it up and use the pieces for different things (I thought of a scarf, or a pillow).

What do you think? Any creative ideas?

7 thoughts on “WWYD with this damaged vintage afghan?

  1. Although you could crochet in the holes but I’d likely either: 1) tidy up the edge stitches of each hole and replace the hole with scraps of some fabric that once belonged to grandma or other family member, or 2) tidy up the edge stitches of each hole and purposely knit (not crochet) new squares so it’s back in one piece though evident it’s not trying to replicate it. I think the transition from generations to the current would be a treasure.

  2. I like the idea of using other materials to patchwork in the holes.
    If you can separate squares I would take the two mostly intact corners by rainbow squares and combine as the base of a smaller blanket. The rest of the intact squares used and then sew together new with some additional squares on the edges to even out as needed.

  3. I think I would cut it apart and save all the good pieces maybe in big long pieces and then crochet them back together

  4. Some colors degrade the fabric faster than others. If you want to tell if a piece is wool or not, wool will zing when you stretch it rapidly between your fingers, while acrylic will not.

    I’m all in favor of replicating the pieces that are gone, but I wonder whether it wouldn’t be better to just take out the bad areas and see if you can fit the pieces that are left back together in (possibly) a different design.

  5. I just recently did something similar…my cousin had a fire that burned random holes in an antique afghan that our great grandma made. I washed (and washed) it and then trimmed the bad spots and used fray check. Then I sewed around the rough edges. One thing I learned is that it is important to make sure the matching yarn is the same thickness so it stays nice and even. I don’t know…it was a huge undertaking, not sure you’d want to. I just took it at a slow pace and I was very happy with it in the end. Anyways… good luck, whatever you decide! 🙂

  6. If the squares are just joined with a stitch at the end (which is what I do, I never join-as-you-go), you might still be able to undo that without any cutting. Then you’d have a pile of squares, and I suspect you’d figure out what to do from there…

  7. Thanks, everybody, for your suggestions! I need to share them with my Mom and see what she thinks 🙂

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