Holiday Make-Along: Preemie And Baby Hats

Most of us can agree that babies are all precious and amazing, and come into the world with no baggage but that which we place on them.

So let's love on some babies this holiday season! There's a lot of charities that accept baby hats - you can donate to most local hospitals, so long as your yarn is acrylic. You can also donate to Salaam Cultural Museum, which will take the hats to the hundreds of babies being born in refugee camps every month.

Before I start bombarding you with charity options over the next few weeks, let's talk patterns, though!

Pictured above are some free knit favorites ... plus one sewing pattern!

TOP ROW:
Quick Knit Chevron Baby Hat, by Kayla Pins
Hello Preemie! Hat, by Heather Walpole
Rainbow Baby Hat, from Little Red Window

BOTTOM ROW:
DIY Baby Hat Sewing Pattern, from Coral & Co.
Simple Newborn Beanie, by Casey Braden
Tegan Baby Hat, from Love Knitting

What other patterns do you love using when you knit for babies? Share hat patterns for sure, but I'd love to hear about other patterns you love to use!

April: The Preemie Project

Hello! I'm Kayla Pins of Pins's Needles and this month I'm here to guest post about one of my favorite charities, The Preemie Project.

WHY THE PREEMIE PROJECT?

The Preemie Project seeks to provide comfort and support to critically ill infants and their families in Newborn Intensive Care Units in Iowa. They are well known for their adorable hats they donate to NICUs. I love contributing to their annual events from the CyHawk challenge (outfitting Iowa babies for our big college rivalry football game) to Boo in the NICU (sweet little Halloween-themed hats).

Another important but harder to talk about program of TPP is to bring solace to families who are grieving a loss. Through their bereavement program they provide gowns, sleepers, blankets, hats, booties, miscarriage blankets, and memento bracelets to Iowa hospitals.

WHY BEREAVEMENT LAYETTES?

I had the good fortune to meet Linda, leader of The Preemie Project, last fall at a knit in for Click for Babies. While we clicked away on our purple hats I shared with Linda about my charity marathon project and asked how I could best support her organization. My heart ached as she told me about their bereavement program.

I kept busy through the winter with various woolly cold-weather projects, but April is the perfect month to turn my attention to ongoing bereavement needs of TPP.  Linda says she can never have enough sleepers and loves this pattern by Marcia Williams. The pattern is very simple and includes the wide variety of sizes needed as well as hats and booties. The fine gauge and soft yarn used makes it the perfect project as the weather warms up.

THE KNIT-ALONG DETAILS

For this month's knit along we'll be focusing on the Bereavement Program of The Preemie Project. You may choose to make sets of sleepers, hats, and booties, or just focus on one item. You'll be surprised how many tiny booties can come from your scrap yarn!

Sleepers are needed in all sizes and can be in very pale colors including pink, blue, and green. Yellow can be tricky, so be sure to make it very pale. It is important to knit these in solid colors with no stripes or loud colors, as they will be given to families on a very somber occasion. You may make hats and booties to match the sleepers, but white is best when making hats and booties alone because it matches so well.

The yarn must be a fine sport or DK gauge and very soft acrylic because of the baby's very delicate skin. The pattern suggests Bernat Softee Baby. I like to use I Love This Yarn Sport. The Preemie Project has an excellent yarn guide for more suggestions.

Finished donations can be sent to:
The Preemie Project
2607 Flagstone Court
Coralville, IA 52241

There will be knit-along progress all month on Instagram (@makegiverepeat)! Tag your finished projects #makegiverepeat and you may be featured on the feed!

You can also follow The Preemie Project on Ravelry!


This is a guest post, brought to you by a valued member of our MGR community. If you have an idea for one of our monthly craft-alongs, please e-mail us and let us know! We wouldn't be able to keep this whole project up without you, and we want to be sure we're crafting for the charities you're passionate about!

Emily's Hats For Hope Initiative

Emily Kubin has been making a difference in the world, one hat at a time.

In December 2011, Emily, who was just 17, realized she could help the homeless & working poor in her community of Morristown, NJ, by knitting winter hats for them. On December 27, 2011, Emily’s Hats For Hope Initiative (EHFHI) was born.

Please join Emily as she continues to make a difference in the world.

Guidelines For Making Items To Donate

Please review the following guidelines before making and sending your donations to Emily's Hats for Hope Initiative or any of our global spinoffs.

Our general guidelines are as follows: We would prefer that you use washable yarn when making items to donate to us. We would also like to ask that you please finish off the ends of all the hats, afghans, scarves, etc by tying or weaving in all of the ends so that they cannot be seen. 

If you are using a loom to make hats please be sure to ALWAYS double strand the yarn so that it is not too thin. If you are using chunky yarn then you probably do not need to double strand. Please also add a brim to the loomed hat to keep the recipient's forehead warm.

When making baby hats they must fit an average size newborn or larger. Often we receive hats that are just too small. It is very important that you do NOT attach anything to hats for babies or children that could become a choking hazard such as buttons, bows, beads, snaps, pompoms or anything that is not permanently secured. We want to make sure that the hats we send out are safe for small children and babies. Therefore, we will remove all pompoms, buttons, bows, beads, etc for any hat that is for a child/baby 3 years and younger. 
 

All hats must have secure knots tied where the hat changes color and where the hat ends. If you live in a home with a smoker or with pets we do suggest that you please wash the items prior to mailing them.

Child, teen and adult size hats need to be warm. Many of our recipients are homeless and live in cold regions of the country where there is snow and freezing rain. If you can easily stick a pencil or your pinky between the stitches, the hat isn't going to keep someone warm in the cold winter months. 

Scarves must be at least 4" wide and 48" long. Please do not use eyelash or feathery yarn. Warmth should always win out over fashion.

Please make sure mittens and slippers are warm and please tie the pairs together so they do not get separated during transport.

Please do not use yarn that contains any angora or mohair. People have very serious allergies to this type of yarn.

You can send winter hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, yarn (NO ANGORA OR MOHAIR PLEASE), blankets, and afghans.

Mailing Address:

Emily’s Hats For Hope Initiative
P.O. Box 2374
Morristown, NJ 07962-2374

Bundles Of Love

Bundles Of Love is a volunteer driven nonprofit organization that partners with community service agencies to assist Minnesota families in need by providing handmade baby clothing, bedding and basic care items for their newborns.  Our vision is to gather communities to support a parent and newborn.   We offer peace of mind for families and provide important, essential and practical supplies to show that someone cares. 

The following hand-made items are included in every newborn bundle:

  • 1 diaper bag
  • 1 quilt
  • 1 fitted crib sheet
  • 1 afghan or fleece blanket
  • 2 receiving blankets
  • 2 bibs
  • 2 burp cloths
  • 2 sleepers
  • 2 gowns
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 jacket with matching pants or knitted or crocheted sweater
  • 1 hat
  • 1 pair booties
  • 1 toy
  • 2 washcloths
  • 1 pair mittens (winter only)
  • 1 bunting or car seat cover (winter only)

With so much handmade goodness going into each bundle, there are a variety of items you can knit, crochet, and/or sew to send to Bundles Of Love!

MAILING ADDRESS:

Bundles Of Love
PO Box 240301
Apple Valley MN
55124-0301

Knit With Love

Knit With Love is dedicated to providing knit or crochet items to people in need, whether they are homeless, impoverished or sick. We believe the gift of a hand-knit or crochet item provides warmth to people who may have little else, and can also be a tangible showing of love and support that will serve as an encouragement in this difficult time. Every item is donated to a person who greatly appreciates the hand-made gift. As of August 2015, we have donated over 8,000 hand knit and crochet items to people in need in thirty-nine countries. None of this would be possible without our incredible volunteers who work so hard to create beautiful items for so many people in need!

WHAT TO DONATE

We donate knit and crochet items to people ranging in age from newborns to adults living in such a wide variety of climates that virtually any item you wish to make will be given to a person who greatly appreciates it!

Beanies/caps are one of the main items we donate. These go to homeless children and adults throughout America, cancer patients in hospitals, and very impoverished children in orphanages and hospitals abroad, among others.
Blankets are greatly appreciated by cancer patients in hospitals, impoverished babies and children abroad. Many people who have received our hand-made blankets lack adequate shelter, so these blankets provide much needed comfort and warmth!

Scarves and prayer shawls are another main item we donate. Width and length can vary to your own preference, but we prefer scarves that are at least five inches wide. Scarves and prayer shawls are greatly appreciated by homeless people in America, cancer patients in hospitals, and impoverished people abroad.

Sweaters, especially for children, are greatly appreciated by impoverished communities in cold regions. Children coming to orphanages in impoverished locations often have just the clothes on their back.

Miscellaneous items such as bags and purses, stuffed animals, socks and gloves are also greatly appreciated! When we donate to people in need in places such as African countries that are in warmer climates, they enjoy things such as bags and stuffed animals.

MAILING ADDRESS

Knit With Love
32565 Golden Lantern, Suite B, # 190
Dana Point, California 92629

If you have an email address, please include this with your donation so that we can send you a confirmation letter and thank you for your donation!  If your live locally and would like to drop your items off, please contact us and we will schedule a time to meet.

The Preemie Project

The Preemie Project seeks to provide comfort and support to critically ill infants and their families in Newborn Intensive Care Units in Iowa.

The Preemie Project website is constantly updated with urgent needs, as well as printable volunteer tags, size information, and so much more. Below is a short list of the items they always need, as well as their mailing address.

ALWAYS NEEDED:

  • Tied fleece blankets to use as isolette covers
  • white knit or crochet blankets for bereavement packages
  • White knit and crochet hats for bereavement packages
  • Pink and blue hats and booties sized 3-5 pounds and 6-8 pounds.
  • There is always a need for boy hats, as there are always more girl hat donations

MAILING ADDRESS:

The Preemie Project
2607 Flagstone Court
Coralville, IA 52241

Visit the website here.

Visit their Facebook page here.

Bundles Of Joy

Bundles of Joy is a group originally created to support the babies in the Pine Ridge Hospital OB Ward. Poverty on the Reservation is extensive and many of the moms do not have any clothing or other items waiting at home for their new babies. There are around 420 babies born each year.

The OB ward needs hats, socks, mittens, warm blankets, sweaters, receiving blankets, snug sacks, bibs, little outfits every month. If we can help fill the need for 35 babies a month, that would be awesome. Check out this month’s thread for more information.

This group is a great place to try out a new pattern or use your favorite ‘go-to’ baby pattern. Store purchased items are wonderful too. The OB Ward does request, for health reasons, that only new items be sent. All knitted, crocheted and sewn items are considered new by the hospital.

If you are interested in creating slightly larger items or donating gently use children’s clothing we can help there too! Oyate Teca Project and OST Child Protection Services (formerly called LOWO) are centers around the Reservation that can use all of the baby and children’s items we can send. Oyate Teca Project also can distribute your hand made wonders to the elders!

GENERAL MAILING ADDRESSES:

Via US Mail:
Mrs. Emerson
Rockyford Elementary School
HCR 49 Box 175
Porcupine, SD 57772

OR

Via UPS/FedEx:
Mrs. Emerson
Rockyford Elementary School
800 Rockyford School Drive
Porcupine, SD 57772

Mailing Address for the OB Ward at Pine Ridge

--sizes 0 to 3 months
sweaters with a 17 inch chest
hats with no ties - 10 - 12 inches in circumference, unstretched

Via UPS or FedEx:
Nancy Stein
Indian Health Service
Attn.: OB Ward
East Highway 18
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

Via US Mail:
Nancy Stein
Indian Health Service
Attn.: OB Ward
P. O. Box 1201
Pine Ridge, SD 57770

OF NOTE:

Do not use Styrofoam for packing materials. New large size trash bags serve well as padding and are reusable. Remember, if you are sending anything liquid please double wrap it and seal well in a plastic bag. Gently used items are welcome.

Join the Bundles Of Joy group on Ravelry here.