Sunday, September 30, 2012

buttoned baby wrap {knit}

I knitted this baby wrap for Timmy before he was born.  I love it.  It seems so warm and I knew I would love holding him in it.  I was waiting to post this until I got a photo of him in it because I just couldn't do the project justice without a real baby inside.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance to see him in it. 

I wish I would have thought to bring it with us to the hospital when he was born, but of all the helpful information provided by the nurses, something personal to wrap him in wasn't mentioned.  When we held him, he was dressed in really cute zipper jammies and wrapped in a blanket, but it would have been nice to have him wrapped in something personal.  It just didn't cross my mind.  And now that I think about it, my other two boys were clothed in a generic white shirt and a diaper after they were born.  So the clothes that Timmy wore must have been something special just for him provided by the hospital for special circumstances.  That was really sweet.

Since I made this just for Timmy, I wanted him to have it.  We decided to bury him in it.  This way, his body would be wrapped in something highly personal, made especially for him by his loving mom.  I hope it made him smile.  In the casket, we also included a small quilt that his brothers and I had just finished the day we found out that our angel had passed.  I was never able to get a photo of that project, but I will always remember Logan helping with the ironing, Trent's sewing assistance, and that they both helped organize the quilt pattern.  We also included two small stuffed animals that the boys picked out to give their special baby brother.  We all felt a little better knowing that Timmy had so many personal items in his tiny casket.

In case anyone is interested in making one of these baby wraps, here are my notes.  This wrap turned out a little big for newborn, but I wanted something that would still fit a 3-month-old.

Cast on 62 stitches.
Work rows 1-34 flat.  Knit in the round beginning with row 35.
Rows 1-6: knit in garter stitch
Rows 7-10: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch
Row 11: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch; button hole at end of row 11, 21, 31
Rows 12-20: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch
Row 21: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch; button hole at end of row
Rows 22-30: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch
Row 31: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch; button hole at end of row
Rows 32-34: work stockinette stitch with first and last 6 stitches of each row worked in garter stitch
Row 35: knit garter bands together to knit in the round
Knit in the round until the entire length from top garter band is approximately 16 inches
Begin decreasing by 8’s with 1 knit row between each decrease row

Total length is around 18 inches.

yarn name: Yarn Bee Melody Bulky Wool from Hobby Lobby
yarn type: 70% wool, 30% acrylic
colorway: Vitner
yardage: ~160 yards
needle size: US 15 (10.0mm)

Friday, September 21, 2012

our third son

Exactly two weeks ago on Friday September 7, 2012, I gave birth to my third son, Timothy Grayson. We already knew at that time that we had lost him just a few days earlier.

On Tuesday of that week, just one day prior to my 36 week appointment, I grew concerned as the evening progressed and I didn't feel any movement.  Convinced I was being paranoid, I waited until after my other two sons were in bed.  I drank some juice, lay on the bed, crouched on all fours, and finally shoved my belly around trying to get him to wake up, but nothing worked.  I soon called the doctor and we arrived at the hospital around 10:30pm.

And then the unspeakable words were spoken after about 20 minutes of both listening and visually searching: "I'm so sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat."  What?  How could that be possible?  This baby was the most active baby I've had the opportunity to create and he had the most strength.  How could it all just stop?  What did I do?  What should I have done?  Too many questions and zero answers.

Instead of inducing immediately like my doctor suggested, my husband and I decided to go home that night.  It was after 11pm and we had no way to contact the neighbor who had nicely agreed to stay with the boys while we went to the hospital.  It was Logan's first day of first grade on Wednesday and Trent's preschool orientation was scheduled for Thursday.  But the real reason we didn't induce that night was because I couldn't do it.  I couldn't process what had happened.  How could anyone?  I was already nervous about labor and now I was expected to go through that pain knowing what was waiting on the other end?  I wouldn't hear my baby cry or see him look at me or feel him squeeze my finger.  I wouldn't be able to take him home to his brothers where they were anxiously waiting for their new sibling, and they would be such amazing big brothers.  I just couldn't face all that reality.

So on Friday, my husband, mother, and I returned to the hospital at 6am to start the induction of our angel.  At 7:49pm, Timmy arrived, a beautifully perfect angel.  The doctor told us that his umbilical cord had gotten tied in a knot and that it was wrapped around his neck; I don't believe either of these is always a concern, but the two together and position of the knot can make a difference.

After the doctors cleaned and dressed him, we spent several hours with our angel baby, holding him, kissing him, and telling him how much we loved him.  Many people cried.  I vomited.  I was overwhelmed with so many emotions including anger at myself that I wasn't crying.  I was devastated, but I just couldn't make the tears flow.  I was worried about my 6-year-old who was disturbed by the red color around Timmy's closed eyes.  I wasn't prepared for Timmy's look either, so I understood Logan's emotions.  But Trent seemed okay and kept trying to steal looks at his new baby brother.

When others had gone home that evening, my husband and I kept Timmy a little longer.  We took more pictures, talked to him, and just loved him for as long as we were physically able.  I dreaded goodbye but I was so tired both from physical and emotional exhaustion.  We said goodbye to Timmy around 10:30pm.  That was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to say.  My husband took my mom back to our house.  They moved me to a new room away from the maternity ward.  Then I cried.  My husband returned shortly after to stay the night with me and I continued to cry in his arms.  I cried for Timmy.  I knew he was safe in Heaven, but I mourned the loss of not only an innocent life but the loss of all my hopes and dreams for that life.  There would forever be an emptiness in my life and in my heart, and I cried knowing that I would never be able to fill it.

I gave the eulogy at my son's funeral, and I only cried at the very end.  We have received so much support from family, hospital staff, and friends that I met through both church and work.  I am convinced that if God knew this was going to happen that he has been preparing us for the last year by putting these people in our lives.  God blessed us with the strength and courage to make the decisions no parent should ever have to make, and He did this because so many people have praised Him by praying for us.

Thank you, God, for these people and their support and thank you for answering their prayers.  Thank you for Timmy, a gift and a blessing, however short we were able to touch him.  He will be forever in our hearts and on our minds.  We will love him forever and miss him always, until we get to meet him again when we join him in your Kingdom.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

newborn mossy {knit} sweater

Lots and lots of knitting these days.  We'll call it nesting since the baby is due in 5 weeks.  Really, though, I enjoy the portability of knitting and it seems there is always somewhere to go these days so I can just bring the knitting with me.

So here is my latest baby sweater.  I used the Mossy Sweater pattern from  The creator offers the pattern for free on Ravelry and it's a really great top down, one-piece raglan pattern.  I followed the pattern exactly, except that I made a short-sleeved version.  Although I used the 3-month pattern, I think this turned out to be more of a newborn size.  My gauge was slightly smaller than hers, I think because the yarn doesn't have uniform thickness.  I love this trait in yarn.  So mine turned out a little smaller but I think the baby should be able to wear it for at least a month.

This is called a Mossy Sweater because it makes use of the moss stitch, a stitch highly underrated in my opinion.  The moss stitch creates not only added interest but also more stability than garter stitch so it's a fun choice for button bands.  Although the colored stripes don't accentuate the moss stitch zig zag pattern on the lower half, you can still see the interesting pattern if you get close enough.

I absolutely love the idea of varigated yarns, but I certainly don't always love the look of them once knitted.  So I am very skeptical while I'm still learning the ropes to use a varigated yarn.  But I couldn't be happier with the striping on this yarn!  With the small size of this sweater, the colors make thick stripes and blend together effortlessly.

Buttons were the biggest challenge for me.  I decided to use up some of my shank buttons that I bought in bulk to cover with fabric because it's so fun and addicting.  I auditioned all kinds of colored and patterned fabric until I found these green plaid buttons.  I'm not sure if they are too clown-like but I needed something gender-neutral and these green ones seem to fit the bill.  I spent an hour covering buttons one night . . . and it was some of the best fun I've had lately!  You can call me a loser if you want, but I know you fellow fabric freaks out there know what I'm talking about.

yarn name: Yarn Bee Rainbow Wool from Hobby Lobby
yarn type: 86% wool, 8% acrylic, 5% mohair
colorway: Sunset
yardage: ~150 yards
needle size: US 8 (5.0mm)