My continuing adventures in knitting for our local NICU, creating special holiday hats (and more!) for our little Littles in celebration of the major holidays and for their parents to take home as souvenirs.
The number one search term on this blog for the last three weeks running has been "nipple hat". You people are pervs! (It's what I like most about y'all!)
This is the Facebook pic that started it all, at least in my group of friends. At least four people posted this to my FB wall as a "suggested" NICU hat. Are you trying to get me fired? Kidding. It is really cute and very funny.
You can even purchase this particular hat at Nursing Bra Express in three different skin tones: ivory, tan, or chocolate and two sizes: newborn and 6+ months for $19.50.
K2tog around to last stitch. K1 (except <1yr). Remaining sts: 3 (3, 4, 5)
Place all sts on one dbl ptd needle and work as I-cord for 1/2 - 3/4"
***Pattern Note: As written, pattern creates a 2" diameter areola on baby/child sizes and a 3" diameter areola on the adult size. This size can be made larger by changing to CC however many rows desired prior to beginning decrease. Keep gauge and finished length in mind: 8 rows equals 1 inch. Finished lenghths: 5" (6", 7", 8")
I know it's only mid-May but Christmas is only 6 1/2 months away! Must. Start. Knitting. NOW. Every year I make each of my three nieces a pair of girly house-shoes based on this slipper pattern from the 40's called Aunt Maggie's Slippers. Bev Qualheim, owner of Bev's Country Cottage web site has updated the pattern and Knitting Paradise has turned it into a sweet little pdf that prints off in a nice format.
On Sydney's this year, I added a knitted bow by casting on 12 stitches of 1 strand of worsted weight pink (the shoes were knitted with a double strand of pink and brown) and knitting in the round for 3". Then I sewed on an aqua button and gathered the middle of the bow as I sewed it onto the slippers. I also sewed the ends shut.
I have two reasons for making these each Christmas:
1) Because the girls love them, ask for them, and let me know what colors they want each year, and
2) I first knitted this slipper pattern in the 4th grade during my 4-H knitting class that my Mom taught. She also made these for me and my sister (Jordan and Sydney's Mom) each year. Mom passed away in the late 80's but I like to imagine how excited for my work in the NICU she would be (and how much knitting help!) and what a wonderful Grandmother she would have been to "our" kids. I know she would have made these slippers for Kaylee, Jordan, and Sydney every year. I may only be an Auntie but I like to think that I'm a decent surrogate Granny too to make up a little bit for the Grandmotherly Karen love our kids will unfortunately never get to experience.
Someday they'll understand how much their requests and excitement over these simple Christmas gifts means to me, and Mom who is watching down over us all.
Here's another great Teddy Bear knitting pattern in three sizes from Miracle Babies Foundation in Australia. In this case the pattern has notes about including these in memory boxes but they would also be great to give to siblings of preemies in the NICU, as a go home gift to NICU babies, or as a comfort to pediatric patients on the floor or in the ER or urgent care.
Gene aka The Hubby Who makes suggestions, appreciates my efforts, and who said when seeing the turkey butt hat for the first time "You are so perverse. Those poor babies don't know what they've gotten in to." But he laughed while he said it so I think it was a compliment.