The Preemie Stocking Cap

Hi, friends! As I embark on my adventures in knitting blogging, I’m glad that you’re along for the ride. I’m not entirely sure what direction this adventure will go in, and I’m always open to your feedback and suggestions. For now, I hope to use this blog to talk about the knitting I’ve been doing on a weekly basis, and also to go back into the archives of my project history and look at some of the projects I’ve knitted in depth. If this is your first time at Knitting Daddy, you might want to check out my knitting origin story to learn a little about where I’m coming from and how I started knitting.

This Week In Podcasts

I think my biggest knitting-related accomplishment this week is catching up on the knitting podcasts that I listen to. One of my favorite knitting podcasts, Knitting Pipeline, released a new episode Friday. I listened to it almost immediately after it was published. One of the highlights of that episode was listening to Paula talk about constructing her first reversible toy, the Cat and Mouse by Susan B. Anderson. I’m a big fan of Susan’s patterns and am looking forward to casting on a reversible toy for Blueberry as soon as I work through a few other projects that have definite deadlines. Another highlight of this episode is summed up in two words: squirrel bidet.

In addition to Knitting Pipeline, I caught up on the one episode of Knit Circus that had been sitting in my podcast queue for a few days. Amy and Jaala keep mentioning The Fiber Factor, which I still haven’t checked out for myself yet. It sounds like an interesting “reality” show about knitting. I also listened to the most recent episode of Knit 1 Geek 2, which is always an interesting podcast. I love all the talk about knitting, but what I really love is how Karen and Maggie tie in so much of their knitting to things happening in the pop culture/geek world. Lots of talk about “Harry Potter,” “The Hobbit,” and “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” in this episode.

Finally, I completely caught up on Fiber Hooligan, which I started listening to about a month ago, when Susan B. Anderson was the guest. I still had about a half-dozen episodes in my queue, but I powered through them by putting my iPhone on 1.5x or 2x speed and listening to them during my commute to/from work. This is another great podcast, where Benjamin talks with people in the fiber industry for an hour (or so) every Monday. When I listen, I really feel like I’m getting a “behind-the-scenes” look into the people who make our industry work. Of the episodes I listened to this week, I especially enjoyed the episode with Meg Swanson, the daughter of Elizabeth Zimmerman. Again, it very much provided a peek into what makes knitting work.

I definitely recommend all of the knitting podcasts I listen to. Are there any good ones you’re listening to that I need to have on my radar? Leave a note in the comments section of this entry and let me know.

This Week In Ravelry

This week, I’ve kinda stepped up my use of Ravelry. Specifically, I really dove into the discussion forums a bit deeper than I have in the past. One of the groups in which I participate, Itty Bitty Knits, is centered around the projects designed by Susan B. Anderson. I’ve been lurking in that group for a while, and have recently started posting in the forums and getting to know the other people in the group. The group is hosting an ornament swap, where participants get a Secret Pal and create an ornament (it doesn’t have to be knit or crochet) inspired by a Susan B. Anderson design. Knitting an ornament isn’t a huge commitment, so I thought this would be a wonderful low-pressure way of getting more involved in the social aspects of the group and I signed up. Secret Pals were assigned last week, and I’ve got an idea for what I’m going to knit for my SP. If it doesn’t work out, I’ve got a back-up plan that I know will work. I’ll write more about it once the surprise factor isn’t an issue anymore.

This Week On My Needles: Gift Knitting

A Dapper Dishcloth

A Dapper Dishcloth

All of my knitting this week has been gift-oriented, so I’m not going to say much about my projects until their gift-giving occasions have come. I did complete my back-up plan for the ornament swap mentioned above. (I knitted it before I knew who my SP was, so it’s pretty generic.) I have another gift on a set of DPNs right now that I’m having a really good time working on. I can’t wait to talk about it more on the blog. Finally, I have a dishcloth on the needles that I plan to give to a comic book artist when I see her at a convention in a few weeks. Since I seriously doubt she’ll stumble across this blog, I’m not at all worried about mentioning a few specifics here. The design in the dishcloth is one I came up with myself, and I think it’s going to come out pretty well. I’m about halfway through, and I should have it finished in a couple of days. Look for more about this dishcloth in the next week or two.

From The Project Archives: The Preemie Stocking Cap

Blueberry In Preemie Hat

Blueberry In Preemie Hat

For our first trip in the archives, I’m going to take us to the very first knitting project I ever completed: The Preemie Stocking Cap. I knitted The Preemie Stocking Cap in June 2012, and was inspired to learn how to knit with this project in response to my daughter receiving some hand knit and crochet hats while she was in the NICU following her premature birth. When I decided to learn how to knit, I knew very little about knitting. I didn’t even know of the existence of Ravelry, e.g.! All I knew is that I figured that I could learn how to make those stitches I saw in the preemie hats that were given to us, and that I wanted to learn.

One day I was hanging out in the parent resource room in the NICU, browsing through some of the materials in the many binders they keep there, and ran across some information about knitting hats for preemies. It specifically talked about a free knitting pattern from Lion Brand Yarns: Preemie Stocking Cap. I went home and did some web searching about it and found the pattern online. I looked up some tutorials about how to cast on and create knit and purl stitches, but it just wasn’t quite “clicking” for me very easily.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law happened to be visiting and I was able to convince her to show me how to correctly read the pattern and begin knitting. After a few attempts at getting started, I was off to the races. I don’t remember exactly how long it took me to complete the project, but I’m pretty sure I worked through it over the course of just a handful of knitting sessions. My mother-in-law taught me how to turn my work when I got to the end of a row and start on the next row. When it got time to do the decreases, she taught me how to knit two together. The most difficult part for me was when I got to the end, and I needed to sew the seam up. It ended up working out just fine, and I got my ends woven in without a problem. I decided against adding a pom-pom.

In the end, I am really happy with the hat. It definitely shows the signs of a very novice knitter in its construction. When you compare it to the projects I knit now, it’s nice to see that I’ve come a long way and continue to improve. The hat was tiny — Blueberry’s head was only about the size of a large orange — but it fit my daughter for about a week before it just got too tight. The yarn I used for it was some Bernat Denimstyle that I found in my wife’s stash, from when she used to knit scarves and the like. And learning how to actually create something from yarn was exciting. I went on to knit several other hats based on this pattern — for my daughter, my wife, and a friend’s baby. It also opened the door to all sorts of knitting, and I jumped in and started running.

Blueberry At One Year

Yeah, Blueberry can’t wear her first Daddy-knit hat anymore.

Join The Conversation

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I love to knit, and I love to write. Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore more projects from my archive. Along the way, I’ll reflect on the things I learned while learning how to knit. I hope you find it enjoyable and educational.

I absolutely love making new knitting friends. On Ravelry, I’m drmellow and would be happy to connect with you there. Please feel free to send me a message and/or add me as a friend. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on my blog here — leave a comment with feedback, suggestions, questions, or anything you have on your mind.

5 thoughts on “The Preemie Stocking Cap

  1. I had read your “Knitting Origin” story when you first mentioned it on IBK and found it so touching that a daddy would want to knit for his little girl. I also got a kick out of your comment that your wife keeps your queue full. 🙂 You have accomplished a lot since you started knitting and I love the picture of you and your little doll wearing the Baby Surprise Jacket you knit, and you’re already designing!! I know from experience that you will love being a part of the IBK group. They are the most caring, supportive, chatty, helpful and fun groups you will ever be involved in. Welcome to the group and to the blog world. Your first rates 4 star **** with me (the best you can get) and I look forward to reading more.

    • Thanks! I definitely feel right at home in the IBK group, and it’s a great way to connect with other knitters when I don’t have a lot of opportunity to go out and connect with local people in real life.

  2. Love the photo of your precious Blueberry with her not too tiny hat! so sweet! What a lucky girl to have a knitting daddy! Welcome to IBK on RAV. It’s a great group, very supportive and encouraging.

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