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Yellowknifers crochet cozy quilts for kids at the library

Children and parents visiting the library now have a cozy crochet quilt to snuggle under thanks to members of the community.

Members from the community, and even 1 visitor from Japan, donated granny squares to make the blankets

Owen Dow and his mom, Savanna McKay-Larocque, play with one of the blankets during baby time at the library. The blankets aren’t currently part of the library’s programs, but staff said they may be incorporated in the future. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

What started out as a crocheting contest at the Yellowknife Public Library has turned into a new addition to the children's section.

Children and parents visiting the library now have a cozy, crocheted quilt to snuggle under thanks to members of the community.

About 30 people, many of them crocheting for the first time, made granny squares — patches for a quilt — as part of the library's contest to make the squares; a winner was chosen at random. 

Staff didn't expect so many people to participate.

The contest became so popular that the library was able to make four new blankets for the children's section.

Library technician Kris Solowy came up with the contest after seeing a similar initiative at other libraries.

She said the granny squares didn't just come from locals.

"A lovely young Japanese lady" learned how to crochet at the library, and two weeks after learning she brought six squares to the library before flying back to Japan, said Solowy.  

Kris Solowy came up with the idea for the crocheting contest. She says 20 to 30 people donated handmade granny squares for the blankets. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi/CBC)

Now, the granny squares have been stitched together into four community blankets for children and their parents to cuddle with during their visits.

"Some of [the squares] are ... like the basic granny square," Solowy said.

"Then some [people] … even put like flowers on the top of them or owls on the top of them. So there are lots of wonderful squares and lots of different pieces for the children to look at and admire."

Solowy said for now the library will leave one blanket out at a time for families to use to make sure they stay clean.

She said the library may use the new blankets during some of its other programs in the future, like baby time.

Kris Solowy shows some of the 'wonderful' squares crocheted by the community for the blankets. (Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi)

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