February 6, 2017

Crazy Knittin' Grandma!

What do you do when you have your first grandchild? You knit loads of stuff, of course. I admit, I did not take as many photos as I should have of the little guy Ethan in all his new duds, but I have some samplings!

First up: In the birthing "suite," my daughter Jolene, my son-in-law Andrew and I snuggled in for a very long time together, waiting for the arrival of baby Ethan. Jo in the bed eating ice chips, and Andrew and I ordering occasional room service from the hospital kitchen and eating it in front of Jolene. For 20 hours. (Eating in front of the laboring mom may be considered rude, but I figured it was my turn; this was my first experience not being the mom in the bed. And wow it was awesome!)

Between the eating and non-eating of food, Jo and I knitted the hours away, while my son-in-law
fidgeted and paced the room, periodically asking if Jo was okay. (This amusingly reminded me a bit of Colonel Brandon, in Sense & Sensibility. Without the danger part, of course. )

The knitting was productive as we had such a long time to produce. I made the baby a new little to-go hat and started some tube-sock style knee highs for his little legs; in the event that he may want to play some basketball later. Babies are, after all, cooped up for some time in utero and you never know. ;)

Second order(s) of business for the knitting grandma: I had left behind a blanket at home that I had started a couple months before. The baby was coming about 4 weeks early and the blanket wasn't ready. It was a pattern I had been saving for 8 years -- since about the first month or two I began knitting. Jolene was still in college back then, no babies on the horizon, but I came across the pattern at the Knitting Bee Yarn Shop in Beaverton, Oregon and I just had to have it. The pattern was too complicated for me at the time, of course, but it embodied the spirit of my home state of Oregon; and more importantly, it embodied the spirit of my hippy dippy daughter.

Delivery room hat! Matching socks not pictured!
The blanket pattern was knit in one piece but looked quilt-square style, with alternating evergreen trees and raised peace signs. These were celtic knots, but I didn't know that at the time. Looking back, this made the pattern even more meaningful, given my Scottish, MacLean heritage. The name of the pattern is Peace, Love and PDX and it is actually free!

I purchased some Cascade 220 in a color called "Shire," making the whole thing even more charming to all of us. Once I knitted the main part of the blanket, I added the called-for i-cord in a contrasting orange color, as Halloween is Jolene's favorite holiday. Then, I felt it needed a backing. Like flannel. But how? TECHknitter to the rescue! This woman's website is so chock full of good information -- it truly is astonishing. Her help in adding a flannel backing was key to my final success!

The flannel took about 3 hours to whipstitch on with a tiny sewing needle, using orange thread on orange fabric, but it was so worth it. I think I may want to line a hat next! I was able to give it to baby Ethan pretty quickly after he got home, which was great!

I knitted the baby a lamb hat by Gabrielle Danskknit and then a jolly roger-motif hat with some mittens.
On the blocks, drying and stretching out.

The flannel backing made the piece feel much more substantial. 

There be pirates here!

No comments: