Monday, July 02, 2007

A Hat A Day

The Knitting 4 Children group is doing a ‘shower’ this month for a NICU in Texas – this is preemie knitting, for the wee-little-tiny-ones. The average weight is between 3 and 5 pounds, which makes for a baby about the size of a large doll.

Make a fist.

That’s how big their little heads usually are.

Yeah. Whoa. One of the big challenges these little guys face is keeping tiny bodies warm in a one-size-fits-most-unless-you-are-the-size-of-a-kid’s-doll world – enter the hand knitters of America, who recoil in horror at the thought of anyone ESPECIALLY BABIES being {gasp!} cold (oh, the horror!), fire up their needles and get busy!!

I’ve decided that for the month of July, I’m going to start my knitting day with a hat, every day. Preemie hats are quick and easy to make, and ironically the hospital requirement of soft baby acrylic makes them relatively cheap to boot – ordinarily I like to go for the superwash wool for babies, but for these little guys the hospitals request hypoallergenic, can-be-thrown-in-the-wash-with-jeans acrylic. Their wish is my command, so Baby Soft it is!

Here are the first two, one for yesterday and one for today:

Two Hats!

By the end of July, I should have 31 hats ready to send off for the ‘shower’. These are knit in the round on two circulars, which makes them ultra-fast – no seaming, and minimal end-running-in. The pattern is also ultra simple, and lends well to playing with color (stripes, boxes, smiley faces, whatever) if you feel like it while turning out a perfectly serviceable hat if you don’t.

Which sometimes, I don’t. (Yellow hat.) But often, I do. (Blue checkers.)

While I’m on the subject of hats, here’s a picture of the three hats I finished and mailed off before I took pictures. The owner of said hats happened to come over to the house and brought them back so I could take pictures. See?

Three Amigos

The top two are Noro Kureyon. I have real mixed feelings about the Noro. On the one hand, the colors are absolutely to die for. Gorgeous! Sexy! Faboo!! But it isn’t the softest, most gentle wool around, I think it was trying to felt right on my needles ($DEITY help us if those hats somehow end up in the washing machine!) and I swear it actually rubbed my knitting callus a little raw – like old-style acrylic used to do. (Actually, that’s where my knitting callus originated – while making a big old afghan out of Ye Olde Red Hearte about twenty years ago.)

I wouldn’t make something that goes right against the skin in Noro Kureyon, is what I’m trying to get at – the colors are enough to make me forgive it being rough around the edges, but it would be really awful if you, say, tried to make a bra out of it. Just sayin’.

The bottom one is Trendsetter Tonalita, a 52% wool, 48% acrylic blend – ultra soft and very, very nice! The colors are rather manly, think you not? And this is the kind of yarn I think is ideal for hats – soft but reasonably sturdy.

In other knitting news, look! It’s a crap-tastic picture of Siv!

Siv, sorta

Yeah, I know, I know. My camera bites. I tried really hard to get a decent shot of the cable, because it is ultra-cool. But no. My cheap camera is struggling enough just to grok that this is purple, not black or blue or orange. It doesn’t help that cables always vanish a bit in dark yarns – it won’t ever be a “!POP!” kind of cable, and then you take a cheesy camera and try to take a picture of already shy cables and well.

You get a big blob of something that looks like a black stain on your white carpet.

My carpet isn’t white, it’s beige. Just for the record. I mean, I think it was white once, but that was when the Den was owned by a pair of DINKs who took their shoes off before trouncing through the joint and who also by the way kept the bathrooms extremely clean. They also had the carpet re-stretched every year, which I priced out shortly after moving in and, when I got up off the floor and caught my breath, decided really we could go ahead and not do and instead maybe get it shampooed annually.

ANYWAY. Now that I’ve gotten the @*^&@-up bugs out of my system, it’s starting to move along pretty quickly. I’m about halfway to the armhole decreases already. Once you get yourself together (which is apparently harder for some of us than others, ahem), it’s a simple pattern that is easy to memorize and keep on doing. The Silky Wool is a joy to knit with, too. It feels like chenille, but without the ‘worm’ factor.

And that is the knitting news in brief. Stay tuned for the drunken rant about how I thought I finally had Siv straightened out but was OH SO VERY WRONG…


Anonymous said...

The hats are adorable. Do you use a specific pattern, or do they develop as you knit? Going to have to look into giving some time this way myself. If you can do it with four little kids, surely I can do it with three bigger ones!

Yarnhog said...

A hat a DAY? I am so impressed! My first baby was a little over five pounds at birth, and he was so tiny. It's hard to believe anything that little can grow up to be a big, noisy, strapping kid.

As for the Kureyon, it's great for scrubbing the oven.

wrnglrjan said...

Hey would these hats be good beginner projects?

I want to learn to knit and I'm so not about doing something completely lame like a gigantic rectangle and then calling it a 'scarf'.

Pattern, please!

Caitlan said...

I'm pretty sure that, in addition to the cost, carpet restretching inhabits the "life's too short" list.

Amy Lane said...

Okay...when you go on a blogging tear, you go on a TEAR....and you are too fun to read for me to just skip some... anyway... that's a lovely goal...I'm jealous. I usually do Project Linus blankets--that's my charity...and this year I had to completely depend on my students to do it for me...we managed about 18, but since none of them were mine (I did donate the yarn) I felt like a total go, darling--you give us all a good name...

ellipsisknits said...

Wait, what the heck is this 'carpet restretching' it doesn't shrink and not cover the floor anymore...

I guess I'm not a very good DINK

(though we do take our shoes off - hard to break habit from rooming with asians through much of school)