Friends from my Brown dinner group just delivered a baby eight and a half weeks early. I’d been plannning a sweater, but when she arrived so early, the need became a bit more pressing. The baby seems to be doing incredibly well (even if all of my news is filtered through a pair of very proud parents), but at 2 lbs, 12.5 ounces, she’s tiny. The parents are also amazingly positive — I’ve been so impressed. I want Kathy and James to have some sort of girly, cute baby clothes to put on her (regardless of whether they’re really useful in NICU — I called the hospital to ensure that they’d at least be allowed), so I’ve been researching and designing. The internet resources are sparse — I’ve never encountered that before for knitting patterns. So many of the patterns and clothes available online for premies are burial gowns, which made most of the research phase sad and depressing.
Given how lively she is, and the lack of great patterns online, I decided to design Claire her own sweater. Lots of research on premie sizes and NICU recommendations for clothing, and I’m still not sure I have the perfect mix. She seems very tall for her height at almost 15 inches.
My plan is a wrap cardigan that will be fastened by a cute plastic button and have a fancy edge. I find it’s hard not to put a million details into everything when I make my own version, so I’m trying to exercise restraint. I designed it on graph paper (4 squares = 1 inch), and have been knitting off of that. I underestimated the complexity of the knitting. It’s the Lacy Shells pattern from Knitting on the Edge, modified to have only one row of eyelets. I was planning for it to take about 45 minutes, but it took nearly 3 hours. Oops. Here’s a picture of the progress before I head off to bed.