Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just a few more days...

Until the deadline for the preemie hats in the 2009 Yarn Bowl Challenge between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the University of Tennessee Volunteers. I have set aside my usual lace knitting for baby DK yarn and small circular knitting all to benefit the preemies I love so much. Each participating knitter or crocheter has their own purpose for knitting in addition to supporting our local LYS and NICUs. Some are knitting nice, functional hats. Others are knitting lots of hats to support of LYSO and increase our chances of winning the competition. some what to see if they can knit (or crochet) more hats than anyone else in the shop. Me? I want to create really cute little hats like the ones I would want my baby to wear if I were the parent of a preemie. I'm going for looks. And while I'm at it I'm learning a lot about colorwork knitting techniques, something I've been wanting to do. I'm also improving my design skills.

I lost count of how many hats I've knit. I did not count them, nor did I photograph them all. I did, however, try my best to capture decent photos of the hats I like the most. So far, so good. I started things out by trying to incorporate lace knitting into my hats, usually through knitting lacy edgings. These were sweet, but all that plain stockinette on top is mighty boring to knit so I moved on to color. At first I started knitting the brims in one color and the tops in another, then embellishing the girls hats with flowers and such. They were cute, very cute and my knitty friends at The Yarn Haven all liked them very much. I was happy.

After knitting a few more two-color hats with ties or flowers I was bored again. Time to try something else. I thought about hearts. What about knitting a row of hearts into the hat using a stranded technique? I broke out my graph paper and started sketching. Before long I had the cutest little pastel pink beanie with mint green hearts all around. Oh my!!! My lace knitting friend Paula was smitten. It looked like an ice cream parlor all that pink and green!

One success at colorwork led to another and I was hooked. I needed to do something equally wonderful for the little guys in the unit. Baseball caps came to mind. I had white and red yarn but no dark blue. Paula provided the blue and I figure out how to knit a 6-gore cap with contrasting brim. WooHoo!!! Next up was something Christmassy. Kori gave me the last of her Kelly green yarn. I found a bear motif in a stitch dictionary I had and the Christmas Bear Hat was created. This was my most complex colorwork to date as some rows used 3 colors of yarn. Thrilled by the bears I needed something in Christmas colors for the girls. I thought back to the hearts and decided to turn them into flowers by adding a green stem. I think this is my most favorite hat of all.

Last Saturday while watching the TN vs. GA football game I decided to succumb and knit an orange and white hat. Others had already done the checkerboards look...I wanted to be different. Then I changed the channel and saw Tiger Woods in a gorgeous argyle sweater--team apparel for the US PGA team at the President's Cup Golf Tournament. ARGYLE! That's it. More sketching and I had something figured out that would fit on a preemie hat. The orange diamonds were knit into the white hat and I embroidered the black lines using Cebelia crochet cotton. Fantastic!!!

I am having more fun coming up with these preemie hats. As I knit I reflect back upon my many years of experience nursing in the NICU. All the babies, the families, the blood, sweat, and tears. I miss it though I don't want to go back to the bedside any more. Maybe my knitting is a way of carrying on my legacy of love to the littlest of babies that have brought so much meaning and joy to my life. Knit on!


drlaura said...

these hats are soooooooooooooo adorable!! congrats for all your talent!

i see you have some more pretty CPY socks too - may i aks for pics to blog on our Crystal Palace blog?

thanks, L

Terry Sailingknitter said...

OMG! All of these hats are so precious! How about writing up some of these as patterns?