I'm writing this post because the Preemie Project is hosting their Craft-a-Thon and I designed a little preemie receiving blanket for their cause. You can find the pdf under "Free Patterns" on the sidebar to the left.
Some of you already know about Girlfriend and how things went with her. My uterus ruptured at 29 weeks or so and we almost bit the burrito as my OB said to me about a week later when I was recovering. He delivered my twins a year or so earlier, one stillborn boy (Luke) and Eden, my girl, who passed away only 2 weeks into her young life from an infection. When people say, "Oh, I had a premature baby who was three weeks early!" I bite my tongue and show compassion and understanding because what some of us go through is really transforming, and not always in a good way, and there is never any room for shaking a finger at someone who hasn't experienced the same thing.
Just about every day, I still wait for that third or fourth shoe to drop, nearly six years after Girlfriend was born and who was finally brought home after two months in the NICU, a week before Thanksgiving. I always laugh a lot and I joke and find a lot of light in this world but I tell you what, I understand the darkness other mothers and fathers feel when faced with a tragedy or a sick baby. I know this and I lived this and if there is anything at all I can do to bring comfort to others, I may as well knit. I have tons of yarn and just thinking about that little blanket someone gave to Girlfriend when she was in the NICU still brings me joy. Others, a year earlier, gave Eden a quilted blanket and a little dress that she was eventually cremated in, but I'll be honest and say that today, I can't wrap my mind around these gifts, nor do I want to because it is so, so hard (but I do still appreciate and can't believe how kind others can be and feel touched whenever I think of these items).
Some days, I want to shut the bad things away and if it is okay with you, it is okay with me. I have never subscribed to the idea that you have to live with sad or bad things and face them immediately. Sometimes a little Thing here or there shut in a closet is a good thing. I mean, you can always take them out a few days/weeks/years later, you know?
Anyway, I know this is a knitting blog and I will go back to the knitting tomorrow--there will be another stash sale starting early Saturday--but for now, I want to say to those who are knitting for the preemies or those little ones who don't make it, the Tender Blankie pattern is an easy one. Not to mention, it is reasonably quick and portable. If you can knit one for a local charity or NICU (call them and see what fibers they'll accept if you want it to be used in the hospital), you'll make a huge impact on a couple's life. Trust me: You will.
The yarn I used in this pattern is available at Elann.com for practically nothing, like three or so bucks a pop.