Dec 11, 2023

Local woman completes knitted baby blanket following death

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PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Karrie Warsaw and Claudia Staschiak didn't know one another just a few weeks ago. But now, they have a special connection.

"That's so beautiful. I can't tell where hers ended," Warsaw said, referring to a pink baby blanket on the table in front of her.

"That's hers and that is the one I finished," Staschiak said.

She's talking about the pink baby blanket, too.

It was started by Warsaw's mother, Bonnie Bland.

"My mother made complete layettes (baby clothes) for every grandchild. We're talking the hat, the booties, the little jackets and the blankets," Warsaw said. "Everyone knew when they had a baby, grandma was going to make them one."

Warsaw's granddaughter, Alexa, was married in the fall and Bland just had a feeling Alexa would start a family soon. Not only that, but Bland knew she'd have a little girl.

"She had a sixth sense and she started a blanket for her, unbeknownst to me," Warsaw said. "She never finished it."

Bland passed away in January and Warsaw found the unfinished blanket with only 18 rows left to complete.

Lo and behold, Alexa is expecting a baby girl in September.

"I just knew I had to get it done for her," Warsaw said.

Warsaw is actually a knitter herself. In fact, she taught her mother how to knit, but Bland would take the skill to a new level; one that Warsaw says she couldn't match.

So Warsaw reached out to WTOL 11's Amanda Fay for help.

"I said to my husband, 'you know, they have a knit-a-long. I'm going to call or text her and see if she has anyone who could handle this for me,'" Warsaw said.

Fay and GOOD DAY colleague Diane Phillips host a knit-a-long each Wednesday morning, showcasing all things fiber arts.

Fay suggested that Warsaw contact Chickadee Knit Studio, a local yarn store in Perrysburg. That's where magic happened through the hands of Staschiak, an instructor at the shop.

Thankfully, Bland kept good notes so Staschiak was easily able to pickup where Bland left off, but she wanted it to be perfect.

"I had to start several times because my tension was different, but after I got the tension right it worked out perfectly," Staschiak said.

This isn't the first time Staschiak has finished a project or restored one. She says she particularly loves to work on heirlooms.

"Mostly the sentimental value for the person. I know this means a lot and so I like to make it the best I can," Staschiak said.

Once again, the knitting/crocheting community not only picks up their needles, but perfectly binds off.

"It couldn't have turned out nicer and I truly appreciate it," Warsaw said. "All of you. It takes a village."