Sunday, February 10, 2013

What to knit while stuck in a hospital

I have often thought about writing a book of community crafting projects but lately I think there is a different craft book in my future: projects for sickbed visits.  
There is an art to the perfect hospital bedside project.
 1) Your project should always be washable. Between the stuff in the air and on the floor and the many things that we shall not name that seem to fly from human bodies at time of illness washable fibers are a must.
2) Your project shouldn’t be too complicated. This is not the time to try to count multiple repeat rounds with complicated yarnovers.
3) You need to be able to put the project down at a moment’s notice. This goes with step 2 nothing to complicated, this happen fast when they happen and you need to be able to shove your project in a bag without the whole thing being ruined because you didn’t make it to the end of the row.
4) Bedside projects are completely about the process not necessarily about the product. The goal of bedside knitting is to keep you hands busy and try to quite the mind. Hospitals are all about hurry up and wait projects can help.
5) Always bring more yarn (or material) than you think you could need. There is nothing worse than finishing a ball of yarn and have nothing else to do for hours. I once unraveled most of a project just to be able to keep knitting.
6) I almost always try to give these projects away. There is something too close and intimate for me about them, they almost hold too much of my emotion to have them around.
7) Your project should be manageable. I once crocheted most of a twin size blanket in the hospital. It was an awful project to lug around.
 The projects I have made over the last few years that have worked well: socks, shawls, fingerless gloves and hats. I have also embroidered some but that always feels like it need too much attention.
I made this hat recently for my husband. He was complaining that he needed something made by me to show off all the time. Unfortunately I suffered  stressed out exhausted brain and couldn’t make heads or tails of how to finish the darn thing. I guess point 8 should be that you should always have a friend close by to translate your pattern into sleep deprived brain language. And with that I must say a very big thank you to Molly for helping me to finish this thing up. The pattern is Windschief by Stephen West and it is on ravelry. 


Kathryn said...

This sounds like the beginnings of a book proposal to me. :)

Sara said...

Milo says: "Uncle M. looks so funny in that hat!" And I said, "but Auntie A. made it for him!" Milo was not appropriately impressed.