Crochet Hats On Repeat For Refugee Babes

beanies for babes, made on repeat.

beanies for babes, made on repeat.

Robyn here!

One statistic that makes me super sad? Hundreds of babies are born every month in refugee camps. Almost 100 alone in the biggest refugee camp in France. Babies born to families who were fleeing terror, are now being born into uncertain conditions.

I remember when I was super pregnant with both my babes - the last thing I wanted to do was travel, much less travel long distances through perilous conditions, not knowing where I'd be giving birth. NO THANKS. So for these women to leave everything, to take such a journey? Their lives must have been un-imaginable.

And so, as part of my holiday hat-making, I have been crocheting baby hats on repeat, using my leftover balls of wool. The pattern I've been using most often? The Basic Beanie, from Sweet Kiwi Crochet. (ravelry | etsy)

Two things to know about this pattern. One, it costs $5. That's a price that may turn away some crocheters, but I'm here to tell you it's worth EVERY PENNY. I use this hat all year long. It's got sizes from newborns through adults, directions for adding ear flaps or not, and tutorials for stripes, ties, and poms! Did I mention I've more than gotten my money's worth out of it?!

Second, I alter it a bit for true newborn hats. The smallest size in the pattern is for 0-6 months, so I do 9 instead of 10 for the first row, which gives me fewer increases and a more true newborn size. When made this way, the hat will fit for the first 6-8 weeks on the babes I know here in America, which makes them perfect for super tiny newborn heads all over the world.

These hats are tiny, for sure. They will not fit for an extended period of time, it's true.  But the bigger sizes don't always work on true newborns, and babes need so much extra warmth those first precious few days and weeks. So while I also donate bigger hats, I love to toss as many super tiny newborn hats into every package I send off to refugees.

Where do I send these hats? To the Salaam Cultural Museum, an organization in Seattle that regularly sends medical aide to refugee camps. There's a huge group of knitters and crocheters on Ravelry who send items to them regularly, and I trust my fellow knitters with just about everything, so I send things their way as well!

The Longest Day Square

Pattern: The Longest Day, by Anastacia Zittel

Suggested Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver

Suggested Hook: US H / 5.0 mm

Blanket squares are not only a fast way to use up stash yarn and/or leftover bits of yarn from other projects, they are a great way to donate to charity! This square was designed for Warm Up America, as every charity accepts slightly different sized squares.

Purple Stitch Project

Purple Stitch Project (PSP) is a web-based charitable organization to benefit babies, children and teens with epilepsy. The 1st goal of this initiative is a call to action for people who knit, crochet, or sew to make purple (the epilepsy awareness color) gifts for kids with seizure disorders. These gifts will serve as a reminder that they are not alone — that they have community support.

WHAT TO MAKE

The Purple Stitch Project suggests a wide variety of items, from toys to beanies to blankets and more, all made in just about any fiber you'd like!! Check out their project instructions page for ideas!

MAILING ADDRESS

Please send all finished knit, crochet and sewn items to:

Purple Stitch Project
9901 Brodie Ln, Ste 160 #268
Austin, TX 78748
USA

If you’d like, you may also download to include with your item a “Made especially for youby___”, Purple Stitch Project gift tag. Click here to download!

Knit For Kids

Knit for Kids began in 1996 by Guideposts magazine as a way to send hand-knit or crocheted sweaters to children in need. Thanks to volunteer knitters, over half a million children have received something new for the first time in their lives. As children grow out of their sweaters, they often become cherished hand-me-downs to other children.

In 2009, Guideposts magazine turned the Knit for Kids program over to long-time partner World Vision in order to help even more children in need.

SUGGESTED PATTERNS

Knit For Kids prefers you use their patterns (available for free download here) for donations to their organization. They have sweater, blanket, and hat patterns available for both knitters and crocheters.

MAILING ADDRESS

Knit for Kids
c/o World Vision
210 Overlook Drive
Sewickley, PA 15143

There is no need to insure or express ship your sweaters, caps or blankets. We accept knitted items all year! Please print a packing slip and include it inside your package.

 

Loopy Love Blanket

Pattern: Loopy Love Blanket, by Moogly

Suggested Yarn:  any sport/light weight yarn (size "3" yarn)

Suggested Hook: US I / 5.5 mm hook

Why It's Charity Friendly:

This free crochet blanket pattern is perfect for using up your sport weight scraps, making it charity-friendly and yarn storage friendly! Use just one color, or stripe the blanket with three colors and never have to cut your working yarn until the blanket is done!

The blanket pattern features sizes from 12"x12" memory blanket to one big enough for a king sized bed, so you're sure to find the size blanket perfect for the charity you're donating to!!

 

Binky Patrol

Binky Patrol is an all-volunteer, national, non-profit organization making and distributing homemade blankets to children born HIV+, drug-addicted, infected with AIDS or other chronic & terminal illnesses, those who are abused, in foster care or experiencing trauma of any kind.

Our recipients are from 0-18.

Economic demographics, race, social status play no role in the decision of who gets binkies.  We simply check our local area shelters, hospitals, emergency foster care and other agencies to see who has the need we can help fill.

We encourage our chapters to build local community by seeking the "invisible kids" near them.  Those who have been forgotten, not been seen, not heard are the ones we seek to comfort.  Children and teens may experience trauma when a parent or sibling is ill or has passed away.  These children need binkies too - not just the ones in the hospital.  They need a gift - a reminder - that they, too are loved and thought of by someone who cares.

HOW TO MAKE A BINKIE

Binkies can be knitted, crochet, sewn, or tied fleece blankets. Sizes range from 3x3 to twin bed size, with occasional requests for 2x2 blankets perfect for preemies and strollers. Any pattern and color can be used!

WHERE TO SEND YOUR BINKIES

Please use the website to find a Binkie Patrol group near your home, so your blankets can be donated locally! If you don't see a local chapter, binkies can be sent to the national headquarters, and will be distributed from there.

Susan Finch, Founder
PO Box 652
Beaverton, OR 97005

Project Linus

At Project Linus, a non-profit organization, we provide homemade blankets to children in need. Our blankets are lovingly made by adults and children from all walks of life and many different sources.

THEIR ORIGINS

On Christmas Eve, 1995, an article titled “Joy to the World” appeared in Parade Magazine. It was written by Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist, Eddie Adams. Part of the article featured a petite, downy haired child named Laura:

“Laura has unusual compassion for others,” Charlotte Barry-Williams of Oceanside, California, says of her daughter, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. “I guess part of the reason is that she has experienced so much pain herself.”

A special “blankie” has helped Laura, 3, get through more than two years of intensive chemotherapy. She takes it to the hospital with her when she goes for treatment. When she was first diagnosed, 97 percent of her bone marrow contained cancerous cells. Although chemotherapy has helped eradicate the cancer, she has had to endure nausea, high fevers and the loss of her hair. An allergic reaction at one point caused her to lose vital signs.

“She doesn’t understand what cancer means,” her mother says. “She’s a very joyous and happy person, very curious.” Her mother hopes Laura can start preschool next spring.

After reading the article, Karen Loucks decided to provide homemade security blankets to Denver's Rocky Mountain Children's Cancer Center, and Project Linus was born.

DONATING BLANKETS AND OTHER ITEMS

Finished blankets as well as materials that can be used to make blankets should be donated to the chapter closest to you. Contact your local chapter coordinator for more details. Many of our chapters have blanket drop-off sites to help make it easier for you to donate.