I decided to do a new thing recently… knit a Hudson’s Bay Blanket. The challenge of taking on a big project of knitting an adult sized blanket which I haven’t ever done before. I’d knit blankets for my friends’ baby showers but nothing so big as a Queen sized one!
The blankets we have right now at home are a just a wee bit small and this had my other half and I resorting to bringing out comforters to use instead.. which wasn’t working for me since they just didn’t look too great out there.
So it was decided that I was going to knit a blanket. But what colours? What pattern? I sat on the idea for a little while and it finally hit me that I’d always had my eye on the iconic blankets from The Bay but didn’t want to actually buy one.. so the natural thing to do at that point was to spend twice the price of the blanket on yarn and knit my own! It’s much more satisfying this way, I swear.
I started knitting this about mid-April and I just finished the first green stripe. It’ll likely take me a total of 3 months to knit if I keep up this pace.
When I was choosing the yarn in store at Michael’s Craft Store, a lady asked me if I needed any help- but she didn’t work at the store! Just a nice lady asking what I was up to. So I told her what I was planning to make and she gave me a little history on this blanket.
History of the Hudson’s Bay Blanket
It was originally called the Hudson’s Bay point blanket- referring to the little black stripes in the middle of the blanket in the photo above. In the 1700s and 1800s during the fur trade, it was commonly traded to the Natives for beaver pelts. The black stripes were sewed into the edge of the blanket to mark its size- the most common sizes in those times were 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4 point – 3.5 point being a twin bed size and 4 points a double. Today’s sizes are more commonly made at 4, 6( Queen) and 8 (King).
The blankets were often folded and made into coats to keep their owners warm during the brutal Canadian winters. It has become a Canadian icon today and most people can recognize the striped pattern and where it comes from. It’s pretty amazing that Hudson’s Bay has been able to keep it’s doors open after all these years having been the first company to operate in Canada nearly 350 years ago.
I can’t wait to curl up under this super cozy blanket and knit some more!