littlerest, a pattern

Perhaps you remember my 30 for 30 project?

In knitting all the hats, I realized that in doing it my way there was a pattern I could write up and release to you.

While the pattern has been in the wild for a while, I am pleased to introduce to readers at PenguinGirl, littlerest. It is free and may be knitted for donation to charity events.

Please do not sell this pattern in any form or sell items knitted from this pattern.

The etymology of the pattern name is a very personal one and as I explained it to a friend, I discovered a pun that no one in my family had recognized before. It set my mother to giggling for a good 15 minutes since it’s quite true.

My father was the skinny little brother. He was known as little to my Uncle Big.

When my mom and dad got together, it was quite obvious my mother was littler.

During one memorable magic summer of my childhood–somewhere on the road between Iowa and the land of ten thousand lakes, I decided that I had to be little-er-est as I was definitely the smallest. I don’t think any of us wrote it down at the time. Upon naming this pattern, I simplified and came up with littlerest.

Now something you should know about me… after my 98 days in NICU, my parents brought me home, and I was the most delightful infant. I slept through that whole first night. However, someone scheduled a 9am Growth Clinic visit for me the very next morning. In order to get to the appointment on time, my mother had to wake me up. I was very unhappy about that and from then on perfected my habit of cat napping around the clock.

The crochet sweater featured in the photos is a sweater I wore. There weren’t many preemie patterns available in the late 70s, so it is my understanding a close family friend crocheted a doll sweater for me.

two books, two talks, two hats

one very happy penguin. The penguins got together the other night and wondered why I was still going around calling myself Penguin Girl if I didn’t give them any blog time anymore. Did I still like penguins? In my defense, I showed them my Pinterest Penguin Board and promised that when possible I’d do my best to include them in my posts. Today’s post is for Ping.

I was recently able to attend two book talks and finish two hats. It all goes together, trust me.

First up, the day after Rhinebeck, when this knitter was still in a sheep and wool induced coma (3647.5 yards of wool (aka about 2 miles worth), sport weight or finer came home with me. Oops?), I went to Park Slope’s Barnes & Noble for the first stop of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book tour. We were a slightly difficult bunch, still recovering from our weekend of all things wooly. Stephanie didn’t let us tease her too much (watch out for the spindlers) and Ping is still talking about how happy he was to meet Stephanie. He’s also still yelling at me for not creating and gifting a coffee emergency kit for her tour. I deserve the rebuke. Many thanks to Limonene for taking our photo. I wonder how they plan the floor layout of of a book store.

All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a SpinHer newest book, All Wound Up: The Yarn Harlot Writes for a Spin is pure Stephanie with a slight twist. They aren’t so deeply knitting related. I think muggles will relate well to many of the stories and I plan to read a few to E when the timing is right.

During her talk I pulled out my Porom Hat to figure out where I was going wrong in the crown decreases. Discovering my error while in a book store was a bit amusing. Apparently I misread the chart. They’re still slightly off, but it’s consistently wrong so I now believe I just rewrote the chart to fit my reality. This hat is knitted from about 150 yards of my never-ending skein of Lion Brand Fishmen’s Wool and is super warm. I wasn’t planning on wearing it any time soon but I received a very unpleasant semi-surprise birthday present in the snow storm that blew through here on Saturday. The hat fits well and is warm.

Craft Activism: Ideas and Projects Powered by the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Do It YourselfLast Monday, Ping and I went to the Craft Activism book talk and signing at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I think Beverly’s book review is perfect. During the talk, I worked on my own little bit of crafty activism and almost finished another baby hat. Remember my 30for30 project? Thought so. Well, I have an extra hat to knit now that I’m yet another year older and I have a few new places to donate them to. I learned about PatPat’s Hats through Stephanie and have now set myself a quota of five hats by the end of the year. That’s completely possible right? I think so. I’ve finally gotten around to standardizing how I knit the hats so they are easier for how I knit. I hope to write up the pattern in the coming week and release it soon. Sorry about the fuzzy photo. My phone takes wonderful pictures if I allow it to focus.


I’ve been having a rough week. I don’t know if it’s because of the “big day” at the end of the week/month and my feeling lacking in most things, or what. However, it’s not all as gray and gloomy as today’s weather: I’ve been reminded of how wonderful friends are.. and how they can surprise you when you least expect it, and need it the most.

This morning craving new yarn desperately I emailed my LYS, aka Melanie, and proposed we do a swap similar to one we did two years ago. She could send me some yarn from her stash and tell me what that yarn wanted to be, and I knit it. Thus yarn wouldn’t even enter my stash as it is hers and from her and it would to return to her. The benefit is that I get to play with something different and give a gift to a wonderful friend. She’s admired my Wrap for years and bought yarn for it. I’ve been wanting to reknit this pattern as I’m a much better knitter now. Win Win!

Then today’s post came. First there was a gift from my friend LC. A mezuzah case cushioned in a ball of yarn. Thanks dear. :)

Then a large envelope from Beverly entered the house. A large envelope that has tears streaming down my face even now, over an hour later. (so typos/grammatical issues are account of the tears, m’kay?)

Remember the 30 for 30 project? (or read about it here) Well that 30 is rushing upon me. I was frustrated because I’ve found excuse after excuse not to knit or crochet lots of hats. That hasn’t helped my week.

Oh I have a few but no where near the 30 I thought I’d have. My biggest excuse? I’m using dpns and don’t want to drop one in the car or on the train. Silly I know.

365.251 ... 20091028W-b

Anyway. This is the part of the envelope that caused the most tears:

365.251 ... 20091028W-a

These are knitted or crocheted by Beverly and her SnB. Thank you!!!

Oh what, you wanted Rhinebeck writings? Maybe tomorrow I’ll write it up. Maybe. If you look through my flickr for last week, you can see all that I brought back. It was modest and each item carefully considered, as all purchases should be.

30 for 30

In just over 98 days I turn 30. Yup. That’s significant. It means I only have about 14 weeks to pull off something I’ve been thinking of for quite some time, which in a way is fitting. This project has been percolating since around 1994.

As most of you know, I’m a preemie. A one pound fourteen and a half ounce preemie. A preemie who has consistently disproven everything the doctors said about what her parents should expect from their only child.

As a preemie, my parents used to make a big deal of my birthday. While I once wanted my name in the card catalogue, I have never really liked being the centre of attention. I have memories of disastrous birthday parties where I cried. Let’s just say that if a group of individuals were to attempt to surprise me with something like that this year (or any year) I’ll kick their arse. Ok. That’s out of the way.

Anyway, while I don’t like a big deal being made that I’ve consistently broken expectations I do want to do something for others. There were lots of people rooting for me beyond my parents. Within the hospital, nurse L is credited with assisting my escape from the NICU after 98 days (I told you it’d come up again) because her thumb tipped the scale (and put my massive weight at just over 4lbs). For that, I am forever thankful. I believe that I am who am I today because of that amazing group of people. Many of whom I will never know nor will I know what they did to help me and my parents.

In 30 for 30 I plan to knit or crochet 30 items to be donated to those in need. I’m not going to commit to any one item because I learned enough from the cupcakes to know that it’s probably not possible. That’s ok. I’m going to try to focus on baby items; more specifically on preemie needs. In 1979 preemie clothing didn’t exist. I wore doll clothing for quite some time until I grew enough to fit into newborn stuff. For that matter, I still wear children’s clothing and shoes.

In an ideal world I’ll donate to the NICU of the hospital where I was born, but I’m too scared to go and talk to them and find out if they’ll accept donations (which is where the percolating since 1994 comes back in). So I’m going to just work on knitting and crocheting all my items and then will research where they’ll do best.

Do you want to help? Great. There are many ways you can help. Here are two:
1) You can donate to the non-profit organisation of your choice.
2) You can make something and donate it to an organization. Need help finding someplace? Try either Warm Up America or Charity Connection from Lion Brand. Do you want to learn to knit or crochet? Start looking here and if you’re in NYC I do recommend you try a class at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. If you are serious about learning (and are someone I know or know someone who will vouch for you), I will send you some yarn and needles or a hook and work to find you someone to teach you.

My real goal is to get E and my mom to knit or crochet at least PART of one item. We’ll see how I do.