For Valentine's Day, girls are easy! We've been so blessed with lots of hats knitted by folks who just hand them to us: other RT's at work, Lisa Ellison's gals out at One City Market, Lisa Wilburn from Fayetteville, and our own leftovers from other holidays... this was the perfect time to dress those little noggin numbers up for Valentine's.
Niece Jordan and I recently took an overnighter to The Landing in Branson to celebrate my birthday and her high school graduation. While shopping, we found some great deals at Claire's for ourselves, of course, and some cute add-ons for the babies. Claire's had all of their flowers on alligator clips on sale so we immediately thought they would make really cute additions to the baby hats AND perfect for laundering since we could pull the clips off to launder and not worry about the flowers holding up in the wash! It was a NICU hat "AHA!" moment.
We also had a lot of little hats that my friend/and fellow Knitting for the NICU group member, Yung, knitted with adorable crocheted and knitted flowers as decorations. For these, I sewed little cutesy heart buttons to the flower centers--voila!
Girls are easy; boys are hard--at least at Valentine's Day! (and yes, I'm ignoring the double entendre from that sentence).
A word about the buttons. You have to be very careful or extremely confident in your cement-like sewing abilities (I use yarn whenever the button holes are big enough) to put buttons on anything for an older baby or toddler since they chew on everything, but for preemies it's not a problem. They can hardly coordinate breathing and peeing at the same time yet, although I'm often amazed at their ability to zoom in on the nurses' feeding tubes or my breathing tube with super strength and inhuman canniness, the little thumb-munchers.
Next year for the boys I might go with more boy hats like these:
The hearts were completely made up on the spot as I knitted my normal basic hat pattern. The one of the left was a two-needle free-form heart that I then sewed onto the cap and stufedf with a tiny amount of fiberfill to make it poof out a bit, and the one on the right was a simple row of hearts 5 stitches wide that I simply divided the number of total stitches by 7 (2 stitches between each) and cast on 42 stitches on size 8 needles for about a 3lb-er. Loved the blue bamboo camo yarn--handsome AND soft.
Next up: St. Pat's Day. Jordan and I found lots of cute add-ons for St. Pat's and thanks to all the great people I listed before, we have tons of different green colored or green variegated colored hats!