Blanket Statement

At first glance, wool blankets seem like they'd be such a drag. They're itchy. They're as stiff as a starched shirt. They're itchy. They're not easy to clean. Oh, and did we mention that they're itchy?

But like all things practical, they've grown on us. Big time. Frankly, we think there is no better foil for spring's chilly nights. A down comforter is too heavy — even a lightweight one — and synthetic blankets just don't cut it. But those sheep are on to something.

So are the editors of Martha Stewart Living, who gave a shout-out to Maine's own Swans Island Blankets in the May 2009 issue. These blankets are exquisite — who knew you could have them monogrammed? — and they're decidedly less itchy than most we've felt. In other words, they've earned all the national press they've received. However, unless you're Martha Stewart, chances are a $1,025 blanket isn't in your future.

Not to worry, because there are plenty of other, more moderately priced options from Maine. We like the hardy-yet-pretty version that Meadowsweet Farm sells from time to time at the Orono Farmers Market. The rich hues of Casco Bay Wool Works' merino wool throws are to dye for — they're as posh as the company's capes. On the other end of the spectrum, the soft hues of The Maine Blanket, crafted by Nanney Kennedy of Washington, are like a lullaby. And the natural luster of Brahms Mount Textiles' alpaca/merino wool/cotton blankets, made in Hallowell, is absolutely luxurious. And most of these blankets incorporate wool from Maine, making them an environmentally friendly choice, as well.

With all of these warm woolens, you may just be craving spring's cool nights. And even if you're not, who doesn't want an excuse to snuggle?

Ordering and pricing information for all products listed is available by clicking the links. The herringbone blanket from Brahms Mount Textiles is pictured above.


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