Hidden Healing Power

Holy cow, what a craptastic weekend. Friday afternoon I came down with a terrible infection.   I felt so awful that evening that when Joe suggested going to urgent care, all I could honestly think was that a) I was too sick to go to the doctor (bad sign) and that b) The hospital is for people who want to live, and at that particular moment I couldn’t see the point of prolonging my agony.  Saturday I got some antibiotics and painkillers and started thinking that maybe I might make it, and I spent the rest of the weekend flat on the chesterfield, snuggled with blankies and fluids and once my will to live returned, I knit.  I knit a secret stealth thing I can’t show you, I knit on  a pair of socks that have been trudging along, I started a sweater- but mostly I soothed how horrible I felt by knitting on a tiny, perfect baby bonnet.

The yarn is- well, not yarn, technically, but unspun mawata (silk hankies).  I love this bonnet. I love how soft it is – 100% silk is hard to beat in the softness department, and how light it is – a remarkable 4 grams, or (according to my conversion stuff .14 of an ounce.  (That doesn’t seem right – what’s the US equivalent of a gram? Isn’t there anything smaller than an ounce?) 

I love the way that the minute this brand new bonnet was finished it looked like it was a hundred years old and had been taken out of your great grandmothers hope chest – when really it’s on its way into mine.  (I’m a long way from grandchildren – I hope.)

I love the ribbon, and I love my first bungling attempts at ribbon roses.  

I love this bonnet so much that I instantly cast on for bootees. 

Naturally.  You’d be surprised how much better this all made me feel.  Joe’s suggested it’s the antibiotics starting to work, I say it’s the power of the baby  bonnet – or maybe silk.  One of the two.

239 thoughts on “Hidden Healing Power

  1. scrumptious all the way around. I firmly believe in the healing power of yarn and needles, and something delicate to knit. Glad you are on the mend !!

  2. I’m glad you’re feeling better! Knitting will do that, but antibiotics certainly help.
    There’s no US unit smaller than an ounce (outside of a laboratory, and I think all of those use metric these days). But to help your American readers get an idea of how light the bonnet is, it weighs about as much as 4 raisins. So not much at all!

  3. The US equivalent of a gram is a gram. We are allowed (often even encouraged) to use The Metric System here too.
    What a lucky baby…..when the day should come.

  4. I am impressed! One of the ways I know I’m really ill is, I lose any desire to knit at all. I couldn’t knit anything that lovely in the best of health, though!

  5. Beautiful bonnet. Where do you get that fiber?
    I LOVE the idea of knitting for future grandchildren, but I don’t think I’d get away with it. I’d probably weaken and give away my best stuff to people I hardly know. Also knitting for grandkids would make my boys WAY nervous!

  6. Absolutely divinely charming! Pattern?
    An aside….two weeks ago I gave away much of my baby yarn from the stash and was beginning to separate the patterns as well. DGGD is almost two but we won’t be seeing her any more, I understand. Anyway – two days after giving the yarn to a wheelchair-bound lady, of course I got the news that another great is on the way. Doesn’t that always happen?
    Don’t you have to make 3 of everything for your hope chest? I mean……3 daughters!
    Glad you are feeling better.

  7. So sorry you were sick and happy you’re mending well!
    Is there a pattern for the hat that can be shared? I have grandbabies due very soon…

  8. The bonnet is absolutely breathtaking! You’re spot-on regarding it looking like an heirloom. It’s just so delicate. Beautiful work. I hope the meds get you back to 100% quickly.

  9. Those are absolutely beautiful; so very delicate; and look exactly what you would expect to have been handed down through generations…

  10. Next time I feel ill, I will certainly try that medicinal therapy. “Silk! I need Silk!”
    Truly glad you are recovering and what lovely gifts for a future grandchild the result of it all.

  11. Wow, I love that delicate, soft little thing. In regards to grandchildren, it creeps up on you fast. It seems like yesterday that my kids were babies and now there are 11 grandkids. Aargh! 7 of them are granddaughters, so even if I only knit for them, it would take all year to keep up.
    Sorry you’ve been sick and hope you feel better soon. Blessings, hugs, and chicken soup…..

  12. Love, love, love the bonnet and the booties. It makes me want another kid even though mine was a screamy, whiny, snotty mess all night and could have been used as an advert for birth control…

  13. I had me some new project therapy in a cashmere/silk when I was pmsing. Definitely felt better ;o)

  14. LOVE the bonnet! Glad you are on the mend! 🙂 What pattern did you use for the bonnet? I feel the twitching in my fingers that indicated that I MUST cast one on!

  15. You’re amazing. You knit when that ill?!? I can tell I’m sick when I grouse out — get that stuff (needles and yarn) away from me. . .

  16. Isn’t knitting with silk hankies fun?!? The bonnet and booties are wonderful – hope you’re fully recovered soon!

  17. These are so delicate and adorable. Just like the little ones they are made for. I have grandkids on the way so do you have a pattern for these? Or are they and original?

  18. I do hope you weren’t teasing us about knitting with mawatas at Port Ludlow. After seeing the cap and booties, I must do it!

  19. It’s the silk. Even when I am so sick that I can not stand to spin, I can still knit a little silk something.
    Now I know what kind of little silk something to do next time.
    I like to spin mawata and know how to knit with them, but this is the first completed project that I’ve seen knitted with only unspun mawata.
    I have 9 grandchildren and the youngest is already 6 – but luckily my niece has a 6 month old little boy. No silk for him, but little jackets and hats for this coming winter are in my future.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  20. Beautiful, and I mean you…even not feeling well you fing wonderful things to make the world look better.. I would love to know those patterns. I’m not a grannie yet, but with kids older than 23 it won’t be long.. If you can share we would all enjoy them.. Glad your on the mend…

  21. The bonnet is lovely and I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better.
    I am curious about mawata – I’ve read about it several times but never seen/handled it in person. It is super scrumptious looking either way! I haven’t got any kids and, shy of adoption, will never be a grandmother but maybe as an auntie or great auntie I’ll one day have a excuse (urge?) to make baby items.
    I can sympathize with using knitting as a “feel better” tactic but sometimes even knitting is too much work. I’m fighting off a bout of food poisoning right now and trying to do lace at work to keep my mind off of it… it’s only about 10% effective. 🙁

  22. Amazingly beautiful! Glad you are feeling better. And the pattern for this absolutely darling hat and booties would be where???? My 4th little granddaughter is but 6 weeks old, and I would love to add this to what I have made for them all.

  23. Beautiful – the bonnet, the power of your healing, your creativity & satisfaction with it!

  24. Hope you feel better soon, my dear. When you’re too sick to knit you’re SICK, so I’m glad to see you’ve recovered at least that much. Where on earth did you get that scrumptious pattern??!! I have a three-month-old granddaughter who is destined to wear that. Please share!!

  25. I think it’s probably a combination of the drugs AND the super awesome cuteness of the baby things. And finishing 3 projects in a couple of days is good for the confidence as well.

  26. What a lovely, sweet bonnet!
    So sorry to hear you’ve been ill– so glad to hear you’re getting better. Take it easy, until you’re all the way healthy.

  27. May I add my voice to the others asking for the pattern? Or at least the location of the pattern?
    No kids here, but the nieces and nephews are grown up (well, one’s still in college) and we hope that there will be great nieces and nephews in the future. It would be wonderful to have something as pretty as that waiting for the next announcement.

  28. I have to admit, I love knittingy baby things. It’s absolutly therapeutic. It’s an instant gratification b/c you can finish the same day- and have an awesome gift at the ready. I still have the things I made my litte Clara (she’s still little but out of “baby” stuff now) and totaly expect to have them when she needs them for her litte ones.

  29. Yes, pattern please! Those are the most darling bonnet and booties I ever saw.
    And I knitted a duck bonnet once, so I know of what I speak.

  30. Absolutely beautiful cap and booties – any baby would be very lucky to get these!

  31. You’re trying to make the avoirdupois system make sense…it’s a fool’s errand. Masses smaller than an ounce can be measured by the “dram” (1/256 of a pound) and “grain” (1/7000 of a pound). These units are what many Americans like to call “antiquated”.

  32. When I’m really sick, I don’t have the energy to knit. Just holding knitting is comforting though. Like a teddy bear, but better.

  33. You have my greatest sympathies on the infection. I had one last week and totally understand where you are coming from. Three solid days without the will to knit. It was awful.

  34. Yep, a gram is a gram. There are 28 of them in an ounce, so if you want smaller than an ounce, grams are what you’ve got. I think there are some other obscure sub-ounce measurements that are mostly used in bartending, and since I don’t drink, much less bartend, I know nothing about them, and may even be making them up. (Actually, since I don’t drink for medical reasons not related to alcoholism I’d probably make a respectable bartender. I wouldn’t be tempted, nor would I mess up the proportions. Yet another career opportunity to explore.)
    I recall being told in sixth grade that by the time we finished high school the whole US would be on metric. If I were queen we would be, only I’d hold off on making the proclamation until I could reliably picture a given measurement without mentally converting it.
    In any event, in your case at any rate knitting is manifestly better than drinking. You’ve got that healing mojo going, and you’ve got some gobsmackingly wonderful FOs, and I can’t even feel how soft they are.

  35. Best wishes for a quick recovery ! And I am amazed at what you are able to tweak, even in a near comatose state.
    Hint : don’t let the other people in the house know you are feeling better ! Let them pamper you a little bit longer ;0)

  36. You can knit with unspun mawata? How would you do that? Do you just draft it out like you’re about to spin it, similar to pencil roving?
    An ounce is about 28.35 grams. If you want to get smaller (most people don’t, but if you ever feel so inclined), each ounce is divided into 16 drams. Smaller than drams are grains (there are 7000 to a pound, so approximately 437.5 to each ounce).
    But really, I’m just impressed that your kitchen scale measures 4 grams. Mine doesn’t go any lower than 5…

  37. I totally get this. I lost a good friend a week ago, and immediately cast on 2 projects. They are my “grief” projects. Don’t feel better yet, but my hands have something to do and so does my mind.

  38. I really must get my eyes checked. I misread JRtheKnitters comment, “Beautiful bonnet and beautiful booties,” as “beautiful boobies.” Surprised me because I hadn’t noticed any mention of the “n” word in this post.
    I’ll have to give the hankie knitting technique a try. Looks absolutely lovely.

  39. loveLoveLOVE the bonnet and booties! (BTW – you clearly DO have a bootie problem) So, did you process your own mawatas? Did you simply draft from the hankie and knit them directly or did you give them just a tiny bit of twist? I fell rather hard for these pretties I may now have been re-inspired to get them out.
    Get better, ma’am. We need you hale and hearty for the retreat in July!

  40. The perfect trifecta of silk/knitting/antibiotics – in whichever order. You do such beautiful work.
    I hurt my back a couple weeks back & have been having a hard time finding a comfortable position for sitting. (And haven’t yet managed to knit while lying down.) But when I WAS able to prop myself up & knit — amazingly my muscles started to relax & my breathing eased. The healing powers of knit!
    Keep healing!

  41. I’m joining the gang ahead of me with a request for where I can buy the pattern. There is a baby due in October for whom I have to knit and that hat and booties would be a lovely gift along with a sweater and shawl. I’m glad you are feeling better.

  42. I have no idea why this wee bonnet and booties made me teary eyed, but it did. It’s not for lack of grandbabies as I have 3 1/2 so far.

  43. Lovely wee bonnet! I have a few to knit for a niece soon. Hope mine come out as sweet as yours did.

  44. Oh gosh, that’s so lovely! Pattern?
    Also: how do you knit with unspun hankies? Do share this secret, because the effect is amazing.

  45. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Another request for the pattern, please, if there is one.
    And, completely off the topic, I think I need blocking wires – where can I get info on various kinds and which are best and where one can get them? Thanks for any help.

  46. Sweet! Hope you are feeling better too (-:

  47. Ooh, look at those! Absolutely delightful and so, so beautiful. There’s nothing like the spark of creating something new in the world to lift one’s spirits. Knit lots. Get totally better, and thank you Joe for taking good care of Stephanie!

  48. That bonnet is gorgeous. It’s an instant heirloom. It totally looks just like it came out of an old chest wrapped in tissue paper.
    I have never heard of mawata – where do you get it? Did it come ready to knit? Show us what it looks like wound or whatever happened before you knit it. And hurry up about it.
    I mean, hope you feel better! A Bones marathon is the perfect thing whilst recovering on a chesterfield. Whatever that is…

  49. I can see how that would make you feel better! So cute. I’m glad you’re walking among the living once again.

  50. Urgent care. Whetever happened to just plain emerg? I bet you got sucked into saying “employment” insurance too. (I’m sure you can see how well I adapt to change.)
    Delighted you’re feeling better. The bonnet is adorable in the extreme.

  51. Can I suggest a small scale that will measure in grams? Worth every penny for weighing yarn, and they’re not all that expensive. I used an ounce-based postal scale in the past, but realized that tenths of an ounce aren’t fine-grained enough for yarn.

  52. I’m glad you’re starting to feel better! What a lovely little cap you’ve knit, and you’re right, it looks as if it was found in my grandma’s cedar chest. The booties are adorable too! Some lucky baby someday will be cosy. Get all the way well soon!

  53. p.s. Could you explain about the fibre please? I’m not sure what it is and what it looks like. 🙂 I’d love to know more about it.

  54. Beautiful! I feel better just looking at the lovely knitties, and I’m not even sick!
    In my professional opinion as a Registered Nurse, the knitting was at least as important as the antibiotic in the healing process. Medical interventions can only go so far in a body that is stressed.
    I’d like to replace the pop/chip vending machines in hospital waiting rooms with knitting project vending machines. Nothing terribly complicated – just complete kits for simple cotton dishcloths, baby hats, BOOTIES of course, or Project Linus squares. Can you imagine the knitterly goodness that could come out of such a venture?
    Hope you continue to feel better, and that you’re feeling awesome by tomorrow morning!

  55. Exquisite little things! Futuristic knitting is interesting and I think what made you feel so much better is imagining the little person that will one day (years and years from now) fill up the bonnet and booties. Squishy babies are wonderful little things.

  56. Oh my goodness, those are adorable and so beautiful. I can’t believe you can produce such marvellous little baby things when you’re feeling so lousy. It’s all I can do to even read when I’m sick.

  57. Gorgeous baby bonnet & booties! And they do so look like heirlooms (or future heirlooms). I will definitely have to try knitting from silk hankies. Very cool!

  58. Beautiful bonnet and booties.
    Aaaaand…it’s a boy !
    Be well eh ?

  59. Hugs (which sometimes work nearly as well as antibiotics) and love; hope you bounce back really quickly

  60. Glad to hear that you are on the mend. I hate those germies that make you feel like “why bother with recuperating?”

  61. I haven’t read every comment so maybe someone already said this but a dram is 1/16 of an ounce. Not usually used. I think at one time it was used to measure silver for coinage or something like that.
    I’m so glad you are on the mend. I saw your tweets yesterday and willed you over some healing energy…i figger every little bit helps. The baby things are incredible. You truly inspire me with your knitting talents.

  62. Your kids are about the same ages as mine. I had my first at 28, and that is not a crazy time…that is fully adult!
    So, 8-10 years. Reasonable time to wait for babies…But not less.
    Oh, and my daughter, Wendy, is always quoting you. When she turned 18, she pointed out that she could never be a juvenile delinquent 😉

  63. That is absolutely beautiful! I can’t even begin to describe the beauteousness of that bonnet! You are amazing. (But I’m sure you already knew that.) Feel better soon! Keep knitting!

  64. If no one has already told you, your conversion is perfect. 29 grams to an ounce, 4 divided by 29 = .1379blahblahblah.
    That is THE most perfect baby bonnet EVER! Lovely.

  65. Thanks, Lucia, for the info about grams. I didn’t know that. I thought, well, duh, yes there is a smaller measure than on ounce. It’s half and ounce. I’d forgotten about drams and grains. You dont’ hear much about those anymore except in medicine.
    Stephanie, thanks for this educational moment, and I’m glad you feel better. Let us know the next time you get deathly ill.

  66. Very lovely. Please reference the pattern (or if it is your own creation please try to write her down).

  67. Oh, such a beautiful old/new thing. It will look lovely passing the time in your hope chest until it greets a wee grandchild. Glad you’re on the mend.

  68. Glad to hear that you are on the mend–Joe was wise to push you to see the doctor so you can recover at home instead of getting worse and ending up in the hospital. The hat and booties look like excellent therapy. I am thoroughly impressed that you can turn out something so dainty and lovely while feeling so awful.

  69. a) Glad you’re feeling better!
    b) is there a pattern you used for those adorable things? they are precious, and I want one!

  70. Glad you’re feeling better! You are such an amazing knitter – well or sick!! Would you please share the patterns – would make perfect gifts for future babies!!

  71. Very pretty.
    I have some silk hankies around here somewhere… hummm… I could do something soft and pretty and SMALL.
    I’m working to get a shawl done for a friend who has had a bad year and while it’s soft and pretty, it seems to be going on FOREVER.

  72. “.14 of an ounce” is smaller than an ounce, does that help?
    I LOVE ounces because they relate to absolutely nothing and because ounce is such a dumb word. So, ounce THAT all you metric folks. 🙂

  73. “(That doesn’t seem right – what’s the US equivalent of a gram? Isn’t there anything smaller than an ounce?)”
    I just laughed when I realized how overly complex we make it here in the US. We use grams. For liquid we have fluid ounces (8 fl oz = 1 cup, 12 fl oz = 355mL, but 16 oz = 1 lb) so the term ounce (oz) gets weird. We’ll say “That 12-oz soda has 40 grams of sugar” (yummy). But we’ll say “The baby is 7 lbs, 6 oz.”
    The US knitters I know (which are 95% of the knitters I know) tend to stick to grams for the most part. We often talk about the number of yards (or occassionally meters) in a 50g skein.
    I own a alot of yarn with the English and Metric weights on them, and I’d have to look up how many ounces is in 50g. (1.75oz sounds vaugely familiar…)

  74. How incredibly beautiful! I’d keep that out of sight of the girls, because I’d be half tempted to get pregnant if I knew my little baby would be wearing that. Just sayin’…

  75. My dearest Harlotta – the US equivalent of a gram is a gram. Despite the inches, feet, ounces and miles we have here, we do still recognize litres, meters, drams and grams. This would probably explain why we are such a confused nation as a whole. BEAUTIFUL piece of gossamer babyness, that bonnet.

  76. Yessiree, better living through chemicals! Of course I mean silk fumes, but the antibiotics probably didn’t hurt either…
    Glad you’re on the mend, and in case I forget, Congratulations on the (future) grandchild 🙂

  77. Those are BEAUTIFUL!!! Did you use a pattern? If so, will you share?
    Glad you are feeling better!
    Oh and the other posters are correct. We are allowed to use grams here too!! You’d think we’d also use other VERY useful and very easy units of measure. HaHa!

  78. Gorgeous bonnet and booties, absolutely gorgeous. It must be the powerful healing properties of such dainty knitting that has eased your suffering, antibiotics might’ve helped a litte. But surely the bulk of the healing was done by silk and lace. I’m beginning to knit for my own future children, though both of my sisters in law getting pregnant at the same time has eaten into the time spent knitting on my future babies items.

  79. I hate being that sick. First you’re worried you’re going to die. Then you start to worry that you’re NOT going to die.
    Next time I feel like that I’ll have to hunt up some silk…
    Hope you’re feeling better.

  80. Ooooh!!! I squeals over so much tiny adorableness. My daughter is a doula and a surrogate with twins on the way so I have many widdle teensy baby things to knit. I love the bonnet so much I want to take it home and line my nest with it.

  81. I join in the voices above. 1)get well 2)pattern? I recently learned I’m to become a great grandmother in November – already knitting a striped sweater with sock yarn but that hat is the best! and 3)you inspired me to start a blog. It’s called: The Knitorialist. Pls check it out.

  82. You know you are sick when you are afraid you are NOT going to die…

  83. You are amazing! Love love love it. Did you make the pattern up? If not, please, will you share where you got it?

  84. You made an instant heirloom! Of course: silk!
    I noticed no links to a pattern or silk handkerchiefs. I’m going to attribute that to your recovery process.
    Glad that antibiotics were so well selected and that you are recovering fast. Take care of yourself with appropriate rest and fluids.
    I’m going to interpret that your selection of silk for a baby is a good omen for my project for my soon-to-be grand niece. Doesn’t a silk/merino blend sound perfect for a baby blanket?

  85. How in the world can you knit when sick? Lordy I can’t, I just curl up like a cat and sleep. Needless to say you turn out masterpieces even when sick.

  86. Positively GORGEOUS! 🙂 I’m very much into heirloom knitting at the moment – my husband and I are getting ready to have kids – and this bonnet and booties are a wonderful example of something that will be cherished for as long as it lasts, which should be more than a hundred years!
    I knit when I’m sick, too, mostly because I have a chronic illness and I’m often too sick to get off the couch. Knitting certainly has healing powers!

  87. I love the bonnet, wondering which pattern you used. Also my favorite booties were the varigated that you finished earlier, are those an available pattern. Expecting first grandchild in Sept. Thanks!

  88. Can you please help make “raisin” a unit of measurement? If kinnear is now a verb, surely you can help little raisin along to worddom. Think of the opportunities for international harmony and joy in measurement.
    Steph, I hope you feel all better soon.

  89. Craptastic weekends must have been going around. One of the worst I remember and we only had one mildly sick family member. But when having first the freezer and then the main fridge section on your refrigerator die be only a sideshow in the land of bad things that happened, well, you get the idea.
    That bonnet even cheers me up from the pictures. The only thing is that I want to TOUCH it!

  90. Your comments about how bad you felt reminded me of what my dad used to say. When he was in the Coast Guard, he was one of those who got seasick on every trip. His saying was: the first couple of days, you’re afraid you’re going to day. And then you start to be afraid that you’re not.
    Amazing how demolishing an infection can be. Glad you are convalescing nicely with silk and baby things.

  91. Your comments about how bad you felt reminded me of what my dad used to say. When he was in the Coast Guard, he was one of those who got seasick on every trip. His saying was: the first couple of days, you’re afraid you’re going to die. And then you start to be afraid that you’re not.
    Amazing how demolishing an infection can be. Glad you are convalescing nicely with silk and baby things.

  92. PS I’ve found that when I’m really sick my husband’s judgment is better than mine. Very annoying to have that fact added on to all the agony of being sick, eh?
    But glad you listened and got cured!

  93. First the Widdle Biddie Baby Booties (for elves, actually, I think) in the woodlands and now, this. I have eight grandchildren and never knitted any of them something like this amazing confection. What a lovely piece of work! And while you were sick? That’s beyond me but I love to see Masters like you pull it off!

  94. I was laid low with a stomach virus this past weekend and wisely used my time learning how to cast on for 2-at-a-time toe-up socks. When I wasn’t sleeping, that is…

  95. Stephanie,
    That is simply darling! Can we have the pattern for the bonnet, please?
    I’ve been in the market for a bonnet pattern for my own hope chest. On my honeymoon 3 years ago, we found a yarn shop, and I bought a little skein of creamy soft wool with whitch to make a bonnet to save for the day when we had a baby. After 3 years, we still aren’t at a point that we can try for for a child, and lately I’ve been thinking about the bonnet yarn. A lot of good old friends are starting to have babies and I’m not and I’m itching to make the “future” bonnet. I guess part of me feels like making the bonnet now will be a tangible reminder that my time WILL come one day, even though right now it feels like it never will.
    Thank you for inspiring me to knit heirloom quality and to knit for the future. I hope you are feeling better!

  96. Stephanie,
    That is simply darling! Can we have the pattern for the bonnet, please?
    I’ve been in the market for a bonnet pattern for my own hope chest. On my honeymoon 3 years ago, we found a yarn shop, and I bought a little skein of creamy soft wool with whitch to make a bonnet to save for the day when we had a baby. After 3 years, we still aren’t at a point that we can try for for a child, and lately I’ve been thinking about the bonnet yarn. A lot of good old friends are starting to have babies and I’m not and I’m itching to make the “future” bonnet. I guess part of me feels like making the bonnet now will be a tangible reminder that my time WILL come one day, even though right now it feels like it never will.
    Thank you for inspiring me to knit heirloom quality and to knit for the future. I hope you are feeling better!

  97. It’s definitely the cap and silk. I think they help curb the nausea induced by the antibiotics. That and yogurt.

  98. The silk. And lacy edgings on baby things. Anti-biotics simply enhance the effects. Good to know I can show my hubby your example next time I’m sick and prove the healing power of knitting on the lounge all weekend – and glad you’re feeling better.

  99. Spider webs made by human hands. I wanted to hold those weightless objects and see if they would fly away in the wind like dandelion seed puffs!
    Feel better soon.
    Eve Linn
    From Carlisle

  100. So sorry you’ve been under the weather (wonder about the origin of that term). When I am feeling really ill, I can’t knit either. I had severe pancreatitis followed by a cholescystectomy at Christmas time. My partner was very worried about me until the day (about 2 weeks post surgery) he came into the living room & I was sitting in the recliner watching TV & knitting a sock. He let out a sigh of relief & said he knew I was back to normal then. That bonnet & the booties are really things of beauty!!! No there isn’t a measurement smaller than an ounce in the US which is why all scientists use the metric system (I have a daughter who has a degree in Chemical Engineering & she said she’s just about forgotten how to think in terms of ounces, inches, etc.) The metric system is so much more precise – that is why I greatly prefer my needles to be marked with the metric size.

  101. oh, and I forgot to mention – there are 16 drams in an ounce. So, your lovely bonnet is just over 2.25 drams. 🙂

  102. Quick! Before you feel really better, write the patterns if it’s an original. Also, is there a brand, etc for the fiber? Remember, illness is the body’s way of telling you it needs to rest…thanks for blogging today. Steven A, maybe a knit tie would be manly enough.

  103. Really, it’s the power of the baby thing, no matter what the baby thing is. Think about the wee shoosies.
    I was in such a total knitting funk last week that I was literally hating it…hating the patterns, hating the yarn, hating the technique, hating it all. I decided I needed to find a way to get my knitting mojo back and “poof” came a baby project. I knitted baby slippers from Saartje’s brilliant pattern on Ravelry. They made me oh-so-happy and sure of being a Knitter again. Love! It’s the power of the wee thing. Must be strong healing in that power, too!
    Feel better soon!!!

  104. Compared to an ounce, the next smaller unit of weight is a smidge. As in, “If I only had a smidge more yarn, this sleeve wouldn’t end an inch short.”

  105. Is this a pattern you created yourself? I feel the urge to knit one myself….if only I had a pattern.

  106. That is such a gorgeous bonnet! It looks so fantastically antique, like a labor of love from a 1900s grandmother 🙂 Do you have the pattern? It looks like something I’d like to knit when my sister has babies (she’s getting married this June). Glad you’re feeling better, and my sympathies on the cat barf and the roving.

  107. Totally charming! Happy to hear that you’re on the mend, both a totally satisfying project and antibiotics can go a long ways.
    I have a “grand-horse” who really has no need of such pretty things, but she is rough on her jammies, so I get to mend those.

  108. Wow, am I ever impressed, absolutely gorgeous. I love th ribbon roses. Being able to knit at all is a good sign – when you feel too yucky to knit, that’s really bad. Hope you feel much better soon.

  109. Scrolling down the first pictures I said it looks like the most carefully-preserved great-great-grandma’s knit-on-the-prairie-in-a-wagon bonnet, then in the next sentence, you agree! How beyond-words gorgeous. Hope you are all better soonest!

  110. Those are the sweetest little bonnet and booties! Well done you, especially since you weren’t at 100%. This is why you are so amazing – even when feeling crappy you make beautiful things!
    (Others have told you, I’m sure, but an ounce is 27 grams, so your conversion is right!)

  111. When teaching metric to US children I used the example of 1 gram = rhe weight of one regular size paper clip. It was something they could hold in their hands to get an idea. So that had is 4 clips of weight. Not very much

  112. I know I am on my death bed when I don’t feel like knitting. Glad it didn’t get that far with you.
    And WOW! I love that bonnet. It is so beautiful!
    Lastly, no. There is nothing commonly used that is smaller than an ounce. Dumb, I know. One year in Austria using metric and I am converted. Now we are back in America and I am on a campaign to change the fabric of our society… um, er, something like that…. 🙂

  113. Ooooh, that really makes me want to learn how to knit with those luscious hankies…have been eyeing them up at my LYS.

  114. You officially suck. Whatever happened to milking the illness and making everybody wait on you hand and foot because, as they note, you’re too frickin’ sick to knit? You’re on your deathbed, and the minute you start to feel human, rather than continuing to whine and sniffle, disingenuously but with gusto, you instead knit some insanely gorgeous heirlooms. Way to set the bar for the rest of us, Stephanie!

  115. Just wanted to chime in and say I’d love to hear more about the pattern, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. I don’t know why, as my younger baby is almost a year (choke!) and I cannot really call her a baby any more. But I love these things so much I just want to knit them anyway.
    I’d also love to hear more about the silk material you used.
    But please get well first and foremost.

  116. Oh, how beautiful! You’re right–they’re instant antiques. I’m so glad that they helped you to feel better!

  117. I’m glad that you are feeling better. I’ve gone the antibiotic route and the knitting route. It is definitely better emotionally to say it is the knitting!

  118. Glad to hear you are feeling better. That is one way my family will gauge if I am ill or not. If I’m not knitting its time to get to ER.

  119. Hope you continue to recover quickly and uneventfully! The bonnet is beautiful.

  120. Ok, once again you reassure me that I am normal. Or, at least that I am not the only weird one. 🙂 I thought I was the only person who wanted to make things for a grandbaby hope chest. (And my daughter is younger than any of yours.)

  121. Yep, Mary at 8:04 said it properly. You split ounces into drams, for fluids, or grains (for asprin and such). Glad you are feeling better. I love the bonnet and booties! Can we have the bootie pattern yet? If you’re feeling better?

  122. Wow! You really make me want to dive into my stash,, where I’ve had 4 oz of hankies living for almost 5 years!
    They are truly beautiful!

  123. This post has very uncanny timing Steph – over the last week and a half, I’ve had a sinus infection that has been niggling away, but not enought to stop me from knitting and finally finishing my Ariannn I started over 3 years ago. At one point I thought ‘I can’t be too sick, because I can still knit, and I want to be like Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, when gauging how sick I am depends on whether I can knit or not’, and I was thinking about some posts of yours that have recounted being so sick you couldn’t knit. Well, yesterday and the day before I knew the infection has *really* kicked in not just because I felt like my head was going to explode, but because the thought of picking up sticks and string made me nauseous and my head then want to implode and the same time as explode, and I really didn’t care if I was ever able to knit a stitch ever again. Just when I really felt like my passion for knitting has returned after wandering in the wilderness for a while, lol!!! And like you, I knew how much better I felt when my need to knit returned (along with my will to live), and whilst I haven’t started a baby bonnet out of silk for future grandchildren, I have started a punky hot pink newsboy cap out of lambswool/angora for a very special little girl currently undergoing chemo for leukaemia. Nothing like knitting for someone else to put your troubles into perspective 🙂
    Oh, and you have totally inspired me to go and find the silk hankies I have currently residing in my stash – somewhere!!

  124. Wow! You really make me want to dive into my stash,, where I’ve had 4 oz of hankies living for almost 5 years!
    They are truly beautiful!

  125. Finally my experience as a type 1 diabetic comes in handy. 1 ounce is 28.1 grams is 125ml. hope this helps.
    Feel better and keep up the beautiful knitting.

  126. Just had to let you know, when I did a search for “unspun mawata silk hankies” this post was the third listing that came up!!

  127. Hope you are feeling better now – I’d recommend going to see the new “Babies” movie. I’d made me laugh out loud and often and we know that’s a good thing!

  128. LOVE IT! I’m just sad that your gorgeous pictures left out what the unknit hankies look like. I’ve heard of this technique but never seen it in action or the raw materials.

  129. I am home knitting waiting for my baby to arrive – he’s due today but no sign he will emerge. maybe if I look at this adorable bonnet and bootie set long enough and really focus on it, he will get the telepathic message and decide it’s time to come out?

  130. I’m glad your on the mend and feeling better. The bonnet and booties are so sweet and lovely. I’m loving them!

  131. I’m impressed that you can knit something that beautiful when you are feeling so ill. I am concerned though at how often you get sick and how quickly it wipes you out. I hope you get better soon!

  132. This is a ‘me too’ comment, but I’m glad you’re on the mend (amazing what drugs can occasionally do to help us, particularly when combined with fluids and knitting) and as a mother-to-be would loves the pattern(s).
    What size was that on?! You’re a brave woman, handling needles that were probably the diameter of spaghetti while feeling like the (un)dead!

  133. So glad you are feeling better. The bonnet is so delicate- I can smell the sweet baby smell just looking at it..14 oz is correct and teensy weensy to think about.

  134. That’s precious! I just knit a pair of Ysolda’s Tiny Shoes, and even the young guys around the office were impressed with how cute they are. Baby items just seem to do that, I guess.
    Oh, this American thinks the US equivalent of a gram is a gram. I guess you could say it weighs about as much as 9 yards of worsted-weight wool. Knitters should understand that, right?

  135. Those are so precious! What was it you said in an old post? “They make my ovaries ache!” Something like that.
    Googling mawata right now.
    Get well soon!

  136. Sorry you don’t feel well and that the world seems to be conspiring against you. Lovely little bonnet, glad its giving you some comfort.

  137. As they say good yarn (be it silk, cashmeere, or other) does have ealing quailty… Silk is my favourite though…
    And good to hear you feel better…

  138. Lovely little bonnet and booties. You should bottle up knitting’s healing properties and sell it.

  139. Ooooh silk! I love silk! I love everything about it! I like spinning it, knitting it, weaving with it, and most of all dyeing it! The way silk takes dye makes me just about swoon. I just love the way silk flows through my fingers when I’m spinning it on my drop spindle. It’s so lovely, and so very addictive! You should absolutely warn everyone about just how addictive silk truly is. Once you start playing with it you can’t stop. It’s like wool fumes, or maybe more like eating potato chips. It’s really hard to stop yourself after having just one potato chip and silk is the same way. I do have to say that I’ve never knit with an unspun silk hankie, but that baby bonnet is so adorable that I’d be willing to try it. (I have spun with them though. It was really fun and very interesting.) Your bonnet is really, really cute, but since my niece is having a little boy, I guess I’ll just have to wait and make it for someone else. I’m so glad you are feeling better. I’ve had lots of times were I was too sick to knit or spin and it just drove me crazy that all of that potential knitting or spinning time was being wasted! Happy knitting and recovery!!!

  140. I certainly hope you feel all better soon. It seems so wrong to be ill in the spring, what with all the happy birds, flowers, etc.
    The bonnet is precious. My husband and I are also looking forward to being grandparents but with our oldest 23, not just yet please. You’ve got me thinking about making some pre-emptive baby clothes and baby afghans. I imagine while knitting those items I’ll have a dreamy smile on my face.

  141. Sorry to hear you were so ill, glad to hear you are well on the mend, and very much would love to hear more about the process of knitting straight from hanky and any details on pattern you’d like to share.

  142. What does a mawata look like? I’m having a hard time envisioning how one knits with a flat hankie. I’m guessing it pulls apart? But then… would the resultant threads be even? Must go bing this…

  143. Glad you are feeling better! I know I’m really, seriously sick when I have no interest to knit or read. Romeo knows it, too. If I’m in bed feeling awful and he says, “Can I bring you a book or your knitting basket?” and I shoot him the evil eye, he knows I need major care and pampering, and homemade chicken soup. 🙂 Love the baby bonnet!

  144. I’m in love with that bonnet. If I’d bought the undyed hankies this weekend in Lexington like I knew I should have, I would be knitting that right this very second.
    And they say laughter is the best medicine. If they only knew it was knitting that was really the best medicine.

  145. Beautiful, cheering, hopeful! What more could you ask from a recovery project–instant gratification? Check!

  146. Wow – I never have anything that beautiful come out of a craptastic weekend or illness. You ARE on the mend. It’s lovely, darling, perfect and I hope whatever baby gets it is not the kind who takes off hats and kicks off booties. They are much too beautiful for such casual treatment. Works of art.

  147. Pattern? Fiber details? You had to be very sick – you usually include those! But even so, you are amazing that you can something that delicate while sick. And yes, yarn and knitting are that powerful! 🙂

  148. I thought readers from the southern ontario region might be interested in the following event (apologies if previously posted)
    In brief, Sue Sturdy is inviting regional knitters to break the current world record of 937 simultaneous knitting participants. The event goes down:
    Sat June 19th 10:30am, Cambridge Civic Square for the record (event runs 8:00 am – 12 noon)

  149. Glad you’re feeling somewhat better. Is this practice for the upcoming gathering?

  150. Enchanting! Did you make the mawata yourself? I’ve done so in the past (rolled it on my thigh) but it sure didn’t look as delicate as your sweet baby bonnet does.

  151. Thanks for sharing the baby set. It is lovely. Hope your health returns with gusto!

  152. I’m going to join in the chorus for the pattern for this one! I’ve got 28 friends all expecting babies before the year’s out, and I would LOVE to knit this set!
    Hope you feel better soon!

  153. Boy,,,you are a true knitter to knit while you are sick. Hope you feel better know and the baby things are truly awesome. Something to be put up and used generations down the line. Awesome!!!

  154. Glad to read that you are feeling better and on the mend. Beautiful knitting! Peace!

  155. Glad to see you are on the mend. Knitting is powerful stuff!!! Beautiful, absolutely beautiful bonnet and booties! Any chance a pattern for these simply breathtaking items coming out ??
    I wish I could get over my cold. Oh you will be glad to know that I have started my first ever sweater! *gasp* I have a total of 162 sts on a 24 inch circular, need to finish the body and make the sleeves and add them but the sts are already so crammed on the needle i wonder if anyone has any advice. I know I will pop on over to ravelry and ask! Again glad to hear that you are feeling better!!!

  156. It sure is scarey to be that sick, especially as we get older. When you’re a kid if you’re that sick you get your meds, sleep it off, and when you wake up you’re totally better. So glad you’re on the mend (selfishly glad, because now you can write to us again).
    When I opened the screen, that bonnet appeared, and my hand actually reached out to touch. I’m sure I have severe sensory deprivation syndrome. I really need to put my fist into that bonnet and see it in the round. The ribbon roses are just the thing.
    Welcome back to the land of the living!

  157. Glad to read you got better drugs. Hope they are miracle ones. The bonnet and booties are so sweet.

  158. In repetition, I would like to know the pattern for the hat and booties as well as the fiber. Glad you are on the mend.

  159. Hi! Uhm, I’ve never met you so this is kind of weird, but if you have a UTI, 100% pure cranberry juice really can help. It, at the very least, isn’t going to hurt. Good luck, and beautiful cap!
    Cranberry juice also has been shown to have positive effects on UTIs. Make sure the cranberry juice is 100% juice. Quality cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine which acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. If pure cranberry juice is not available, cranberry capsules can be substituted. They can be found in most health food stores. Always take these with a large glass of water. Vitamin C may also be recommended.

  160. A gram is the weight of a paper clip. If you say that bonnet weighs the same as 4 paper clips, we all understand on this side of the border, and we goggle with amazement with no mental arithmetic standing in the way.

  161. There is no better place when you are so sick that you know you are dying-but not doing it fast enough-than Urgent Care. Somehow they work their magic with breathing treatments, antibiotics(given 1st before you leave in a butt shot ) and wonder pain meds. Glad a trip there helped you feel better and get better.
    Having been to 4 baby showers in 2 weekends and more to come I hope the pattern is forthcoming-and an tutorial about silk hankie knitting. Sounds fascinating.
    For those of you in the same “baby shower” mode-try the baby sweater from Lettuce Knit along with their new Georgia Sweet(I think that’s the name , but Meghan at LK will know) yarn. I ordered 3 different skeins(the sweater takes only 1 skein) and knit 3 sweaters in no time. Great pattern-easy to memorize and the yarn is to die for(or go to Urgent Care for). LOL Thank God that Meghan understands the need for speed when a shower is looming and hits the Post Office ASAP. Haven’t met her but love her anyways.

  162. I am very glad you are feeling better – that sounds quite nasty. The bonnet is magical, that silk just gleams.

  163. And now for something completely different (drumroll please): Thank you for the link to the Needle Arts Bookstore, where there was a very useful (and free!) PDF on using Japanese patterns. Now I will at least be able to attempt the Tata & Tatao herringbone gloves.

  164. Last night I dreamt you’d decided not to keep blogging.
    Imagine the response to a post like that!

  165. So prescious! You will posting a pattern once you have fully recovered, right?

  166. Hope you are feeling better soon. The miracle of drugs . . . depending on the drugs. I tried knitting a wee baby bonnet when I was in the hospital on morphine. It would have worked too if the baby’s head was the size of a bowling ball . . . and pity the poor mother.
    I too would like the pattern. When you are fully recovered, of course.

  167. The baby hat is absolutely beautiful and looks so vintage! I have a very old friend whose daughter is expecting a baby in June – where can I find the pattern? I would love to make it for her. Hope you are feeling better!

  168. The bonnet and booties are scrumptious. I can’t believe that you started a new project when you were so sick. I get vastly uncreative when I’m sick, and generally end up ripping out whatever I knit during that period! You amaze me.

  169. I just love these old-fashioned booties and bonnet. They’re sweet–no other word for them. Are you able to post the patterns? Looks as if they’re old ones!

  170. I like the baby hat and booties. can you please tell me where to get the pattern

  171. I love,love,love that little bonnet. Does it have a name so we can get the pattern?

  172. Dear YH,
    We must be on a similar knitting wavelength or something. First, I was fondling the Origami at my LYS and then you knit something with it.
    Then, I was thinking that the bonnet would be a perfect alternative to plain baby ski hats for the summer babies, so I was searching Rav for patterns and you knit this little beauty.

  173. Gorgeous! I will add to the list of those who’d like the pattern…or if you prefer to just send me the one you’ve knit, I will gladly conceive another child and name her after you, either Stephanie or Harlot, your choice.

  174. I judge the severity on an illness on a knit-o-meter. Knits fine=perfectly well, thank you. Knits okay with lots of mistakes=a bit under the weather. Knits like crap=best to take the day off. This plain vanilla sock is too hard=call the doctor. I don’t want to knit ever again=emergency room, now.

  175. Very impressive, and hope you are feeling somewhat better. Your twitter says you are still struggling with something, found a turtle to make you smile (symbol of fertility, you know), and I wanted to share this turtle I know about with you. I don’t know where the plug is on this thing, but I have thought it would be a cool planetarium-in-training.
    P.S. hoping you will call with spot when you feel better, but if I lost it by not reading my email, I understand.

  176. 27 years ago in “Nursing 101” we were forced to memorize the apothecary system (including archaic symbols). Drams, grains, minims, and so on. Think I’ve seen ONE order for grains (of aspirin) since then. Best quote (from a Kiwi) on the metric system in the U.S.: “Isn’t it interesting how you Americans fought to overthrow the tyranny of British rule, yet still cling to the Imperial system of weights and measures?!” Yet I have found if you just USE it, your brain begins to identify the significant parameters; e.g., in the NICU, 4000 gms=big newborn; 2500 gms=small newborn; and 1500 gms=REALLY small newborn. Simple!
    And glad you’re feeling somewhat better.

  177. Silk! I just succumbed to some silk yarn, and my old happiness with knitting has returned a thousand fold.

  178. Love the bonnet pattern, what one did you use? Makes me smile, glad it does that for you too. Get well soon.

  179. Adorable! Fabulous! Can you tell us a little more about mawata? I couldn’t find anything helpful on the internet. I can’t figure out how you would go from a hankie to yarn.

  180. I spent several days in the hospital not so long ago and knit (or ripped out) most of the time. For once I really didn’t mind ripping out since I was on a fair amount of Atavan. My net accomplishment was next to zero but knitting still was a big help. With knitting it’s most definitely the process as well as the final product.
    PS I found your site thanks to your book, At Knit’s End, a gem indeed. “Only Allah is perfect” has been my mantra since, long ago, I learned about the error that always appears in an Oriental rug to indicate the weaver’s humility.

  181. I will add my name to the list of those begging for the pattern to the baby hat and booties….I have a friend due in June with a little girl…this would be the perfect gift….so please ….give us more info!!

  182. Count me as one of a thousand who would love the pattern for the silk baby hat. It is gorgeous!

  183. I, too, would love that pattern – please let us know if it is available.
    I hope you are feeling better real soon.

  184. Hope you are feeling better.
    You can get cranberry pills from the herbal/vitamin section of your health food store. They have the same effect as drinking cranberry juice, but without all the sugar. They are also much stronger, so you can swallow a couple of capsules, instead of drinking quarts of juice. (A little is fine, but not vats of the stuff!)
    On another note, unlike you, I cannot knit when I am sick because I usually have a fever. That means I am sweaty, sticky and oozing germs. I don’t want to get that on my work.
    Sorry my reply was so late, but I have been gone, and without internet access for a week-sheer heaven.
    Please put me on the list for the baby bonnet and booties patterns-my niece is having her first baby in August. Your timing could not have been better!

  185. Me again. I have never heard of mawata. Did you use it as a single strand, or did you put strands together for knitting? Mawata I found on the internet looks VERY thin, like a hair. The stitches in your knitting look much thicker than that. I am confused and uneducated about this. Could you give all of us more information about what you did with the matawa, or a source for more info?
    Thanks again.

  186. Glad you are better – and I must congratulate you on the correct use of it’s and its. I had to check to see whose blog I was reading (true!!!).

  187. Ha in the US we use eighth, quarter, and half ounces, but I doubt many will admit to buying things sold by weight.

  188. I looked at your shawl pattern on the link and it is absolutely beautiful. It entirely took my breath away. If I have a chance I will use the pattern to make one myself. Thank you so much, it is exactly what I was looking for!

  189. I looked at your shawl pattern on the link, and it is absolutely beautiful. It entirely took my breath away. If I have a chance I will use the pattern to make one myself. Thank you so much, it is exactly what I was looking for!

  190. I am so sorry for posting that more than once! My computer was acting up. Hope you get well soon. Love your bonnet and bootees.

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