Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Knitting For A Premie

I know first hand how wonderful it is to walk into the nursery to check on your premie baby and see them laying in an incubator with a hand knitted cap.  Not some prefab hospital cap.  So, when a girl scout came to our machine knitting group to ask for our help in knitting premie blankets I was excited to help.  She wanted by the beginning of school in August to have made and collected 50 premie blankets.  The goal of my machine knitting group was to have any donations done by our next meeting.  One month no problem right?

Well, as usual life gets in the way.  My teens came home from 3 weeks in Scotland.  Before I could really enjoy having them home 5 days later my daughter has pneumonia.  Off to the doctor for x-rays and an expert opinion, but it was as I thought pneumonia.

As I'm nursing her back to health I'm schedule during that time to have my gallbladder out.  Fortunately, by the time I'm home from the surgery, she's well enough I don't have to worry about her.

On the third day of my recovery my son says I really feel terrible.  I put my hand on his forehead and he's really hot.  "Surgery" mom goes to the background and "my son is really sick" mom comes to the forefront.  I take his temp and it's 103.6F.  Fortunately, my DH had taken an extra day off to take care of me.  Since I couldn't drive I put him on a new case... get our son to the doctor pronto.  I promised to not do anything wild while they were gone and to keep the cell phone close.  2 hours later I get the call that he indeed has pneumonia.

DH comes home and tucks us both into bed with our meds.  Now it's Saturday and it occurs to me that if I'm going to make a premie blanket I need to get it done by Monday night.  Fortunately, Saturday I start feeling considerably better, but don't want to over do it.  Sunday I continued to rest, because come Monday I want to try machine knitting.

I got my Studio 700 Standard machine set up with my yarn and the punch card I wanted to use. After reading through my manual regarding doing tuck I proceed. I decided to do a few rows stop and see how I feel. I felt fine. I went on to knit about 100 rows. At this time I started to feel kind of hot. So, I stopped for a few hours. I was fine. I then knitted about 50 rows at a time until I had 300 done. The tuck stitch looked wonderful. I used punch card 12A as the picture in my manual had used that one and I like the look of it.

I used lots of weight all the way across to keep the tuck stitch working properly.  I did have to keep an eye on the end stitches.  The manual even warned about it saying to pull the 2 end needles out each row.  2 times the end stitches dropped off and I was able to fix them.  Then I started pulling the end needles out each row.  That stopped the dropped end stitches.

I made this using needles 65-0-65.  I did it at T7.  I knitted 300 rows.  Measured 20"wX22"l.  After washing it came out to 19"wX19 1/2"l.

Really looks nice.  Was proud to donate it.  I wish the pictures captured the beautiful yellow color.  It's like fresh butter. 
This is the back of the knitting with tuck though this is considered the front.

This is really the front of the knitting, but being tuck it's considered the back.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Knitting For A Dog

My brother and his wife have a pup that rides around in his kennel every where they go.  Not to say he spends his whole day in the kennel, but when it's not appropriate for him to be out like at restaurant he's in.  Yes, my brother and his wife are those people.  I guess I'm one of those people too in that I don't mind a bit if they bring him.  I don't bring my dog hardly any where, but I'm a homebody.  We're usually home together.  My brother when questioned at a restaurant says it's his gym bag.  Amazingly, he's very quiet and hasn't got us kicked out of a restaurant yet.

My brother and his wife work.  So, Winston goes to work with my brother.  He's not welcome at my SILs work.  He's really not welcome at my brother's either.  His bosses really like him and know he's responsible, so they don't say anything.

Anyhow the comfort of Winston the dog came into question when my SIL would come to my brother's work to pick up Winston at the end of the day.  She would find Winston laying in his kennel with his comfy towel balled up at the back of his kennel.  SIL would get agitated that my brother wasn't smoothing out his towel when he messed it up.  Despite my brother reminding her “he’s a dog I’m sure he’s fine the short amount of time he spends in the kennel.” (Winston has a pacemaker, so naturally she worries.)

To ease his wife's mind and to get him out of the dog house :) my brother asked me if I could make sort of a knitted fitted sheet like piece to go over the bottom plastic insert of the kennel.  He gave me the dimensions.  I picked an acrylic yarn which could be washed if need be. I knitted a swatch washed and dried it to get an idea of what size I needed to make.

I knitted a rectangle that was slightly longer and wider than the plastic insert.  It was then sewn to resemble a fitted sheet.  It slips over the plastic insert and Winston can't scratch it up and kick it to the back of the kennel.

As you can see Winston and my SIL are very happy with the results.

Winston is a Poodle/Pomeranian mix.