When I heard that DIY SOS were after someone to crochet a blanket I have to confess to feeling rather nervous. Anyone that has ever made anything handmade will know how time consuming it can be. Crocheted blankets are no exception. However, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to get involved and make a difference.
As I waited for an email to arrive containing details of both the build and the sort of blanket that the designer wanted I took a moment to look at what I had going on over the next four weeks. It was time to call support to make sure I had as much time as possible to pull off this challenge.
When everything arrived the mood board was amazing. It was full of colour and just the sort of thing that I would love myself. It was going to be a real pleasure to bring this blanket to life.
My first task was to pull together yarn colours that fitted with the scheme and get these signed off by the very talented designer, Sophie Robinson. I played for ages and even dashed in to a workshop that was running at our Studio to gather opinion before putting my final thoughts forward. I was ecstatic when they were all signed off and then it was time to grab the yarn and get started. By this point there was just three weeks to go.
Reading Amanda's story was very inspiring and, given that my hubby is a keen cyclist, it definitely felt like something that could happen to any of us. The blanket wasn't just something to make a room look pretty but something that Amanda really needed. With the type of injury that she has sustained she can need help to regulate her body temperature and the blanket was an integral part of this.
Fitting in around my work schedule I crocheted like mad for three weeks. During this time the DIY SOS film crew also visited our studio with Sophie and Amanda's two daughters. The professionals are all such lovely people and really put us at ease but it was still a little 'weird'!
All my hard work had been done away from the actual build so this was my chance to hear first hand about how hard life has been for the family. It was easy to understand how much of a difference the build was going to make. If I had needed a little bit of motivation, as I was starting to flag and my wrist beginning to ache, this was it. Amanda just wanted to be a 'mum' again.
After three weeks of crocheting, managing some 60 hours of hook time around home and work, the blanket was finished and only just in time. It was required on site the day before the big reveal. It was absolutely pouring with rain when I arrived so it looked a little deserted but then this tall chap appeared out of nowhere.
I went back the following morning to meet some of the other people who had volunteered and I was overwhelmed by it all. Whilst her new home was being shown to Amanda and her family we gathered and chatted. I spoke to so many people who had spent days on site helping. Some knew the family but many were absolute strangers like myself. The single common theme was that people just wanted to help. Every day we all do things that help others and taking part in this process has meant so much to me. I've since read Amanda's book, the sky is not the limit. She is a very positive and inspiring lady and if you get chance to watch on Thursday 4th Jan at 8pm on BBC1 you'll see this for yourself.