Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Still too many PhDs!

Naturally I would jump right back into this on WIPs and FOs Wednesday. There's no way I'm going to try to fill in everything that I've done since my last knitting post. The only knitting that matters is the project in my bag right now. So here's what I'm carrying around today:

Preemie Baby Blanket - I don't have a written pattern for this. I'm using an ordinary acrylic baby yarn in a basket weave stitch until it's big enough. And big enough isn't very big, although the project is starting to feel like it is "lasting forever."

One of the girls in my Saturday knitting group is a neonatal nurse, and part of her job is to facilitate a a final visit by the parents with their baby when a preemie hasn't survived. She's talked about how difficult it is to find a blanket to wrap a preemie that doesn't overwhelm the baby. As she put it, image a one pound bag of sugar wrapped in a regular baby blanket. A hand knit blanket actually sized for the tiny preemies help to "normalize" the visit (if normal can in any way be used in this situation). Plus, if she has a few of the tiny blankets she can offer the parents the opportunity to keep the one their baby was wrapped in. Another knitting friend recently had preemie twins, and she kept the blanket her child was wrapped in. While one of the girls survived, the blanket is special to her for the memory of holding the daughter they lost.

I cry every time I think about this. There are so many tears knit into the blanket I'm working on. And even though I'm finding it tedious to knit a blanket (even a small one), I know that there will be others to follow.

This baby sweater is much more fun to knit. It's the Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater pattern by Carole Barenys. I had been knitting by myself in Starbucks when I was approached by a woman wanting to know if I knew anyone who teaches knitting. We struck up an arrangement, and I've been helping her knit this pattern for her new granddaughter. I try to stay one lesson ahead so that I can show her what she needs to do and how it will look. (I'm hoping she doesn't catch onto the mistakes I made in my button band, after all the emphasis I put on making sure she got it right.)

I guess I'm doing all right with the teaching, because she asked me to work with her 5 year old grandson. He's such a joy! I actually feel guilty getting paid to teach this boy how to knit because I have as much, if not more fun, than either of them. Our first project is a knitted ball. He's making one of the the six garter stitch panels for the ball. I'll make three, and his grandmother has offered to make the last 2. We knit at Starbucks (of course!), and there are quite a number of baristas and regulars there that are anxious to see this project finished. Yes, it's really going to be a ball when he's done knitting.

I'm almost finished with the Crochet Alone. If you follow me on Instagram  you can catch all the whining I've done about this project. Basically, even though it's almost finished, I am still not happy with the group that convinced me to start a project I didn't want to do so that we could have a CAL (Crochet Along) and then left me as the only one actually doing it. And I know that I could have given up once I found out they all had, but I got stubborn enough to eat worms. I've complained every stitch along the way, though. I will admit, if you promise not tell the Wednesday girls, that now that the squares are seamed and the border is almost finished -- it a really nice project.

And those are my four "Carry With Me" projects at the moment. Recently my knitting gals convinced me that three projects was more than enough to tote around. The discussion had been prompted by my question of how they managed to come to knit night with only one project, when I had six projects plus another three in the car "just in case." As you can see, I'm still above my "reasonable" number, but I'm going to claim that it's because two of those projects are teaching examples and should be counted as one.

This week I also crossed three projects off my PhD list. I was able to add the last three rows to my front door mat, crocheted out of plarn (plastic yarn - made from recycling grocery bags).

I finally blocked the pinwheel purse I knit back in 2012. It took me a whole four minutes to pin it out, so why did I wait so long?

I also blocked one of the shawls while I was at it. This is Pettine, knitted back in 2011 out of Malibrigo sock. I loved this shawlette before, when it was more of a scarf. But blocked out -- wow!

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