After months, no, make that years of knitting beautiful lace I have been putting my needles to work in a different way lately. I've been making preemie hats. Lots of preemie hats. Pretty preemie hats. Hats I know stressed Mommies will love to see on their precious little bundle of joy. It's hard to believe it's been 10+ years since I last worked in the NICU. It doesn't seem that long ago to me. Back in the day I used to crochet custom-sized booties by the dozens to outfit the kids in the unit. You can't buy booties to fit, and most kids can wear them no matter how sick or small they are. But I was a much better crocheter than knitter in those days and I never cared for crocheted preemie hats so I didn't make them. Now that I'm a vastly improved knitter preemie hats are quite fun to create.
The sudden need to knit preemie hats comes at the challenge of the LYS in Tuscaloosa, AL to my LYS here in Knoxville, TN, The Yarn Haven. It's the Crimson Tide vs. the Vols and the big football game is in 2 weeks. Which shop will create the most preemie hats???? All I can say is that I've seen the masses of hats at TYH and I know that between the 2 major NICUs here in Knoxville (East TN Children's Hosp. and UT Med Ctr.), no tiny head will go bare for at least a couple of years. Yikes!!!
I confess I haven't taken the time to photograph most of the hats I've made over the past 2 weeks. Most of the ones I did were for little girls as they fulfilled my need to knit lacy edgings or concoct I-cord flowers. I've been practicing my meager colorwork techniques by knitting stranded hearts into the hats. A pastel pink and mint green version turned out esp. cute. I'm kind of sorry I didn't take a picture of that one. One of my knitty friends gave me a partial ball of lt. blue/white Dreambaby DK yarn, my newfound favorite baby acrylic (not iccky-crylic). Thus I felt encouraged to knit a few darling things for boys too. In reflecting back on my nursing days, I think I was a primary nurse for more boys than girls so it is only fair that the little guys get some Kristina-knit loving too. I'm playing around with some red, white and blue yarn and try to knit a baseball cap. So far so good, but I don't know if it will work or not. Playing with yarn for preemies is fun :-)