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!

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!

December Featured Pattern: Sliver

Pattern: Sliver, by Jen Geigley

Yarn: super bulky yarn (used in the pattern: Wool And The Gang Crazy Sexy Wool)

Needles: US 15 / 10.0 mm

From the pattern notes:

Sliver is the basic hat everyone needs, and that’s why it’s been designed in five sizes – XS through XL. Knit in the round, Sliver is unisex and can be worn by kids, too. A yarn forward and dropped stitches create a ‘run’ in the hat. Sliver is named after one of my favorite Nirvana songs, and the first test sample of this hat was knit in olive green, inspired by Kurt Cobain’s memorable ragged green cardigan.

I always get panicky in December, feeling like I've got to make 50 hats to donate, but with no time to do it! As the cold sets in, I begin to worry that I haven't donated enough hats, that too many people will still be cold, and that there aren't enough hours in the day to help keep them all warm by knitting until my fingers get stiff.

Thank goodness for super bulky wool and hat patterns that I want to knit on repeat!! Jen's latest book Weekend is full of amazing patterns that can be knit super quick, and Sliver has quickly become my go-to charity hat pattern for this winter. Sized for kids through adults, worked up on big needles with super bulky yarn, and perfect for both men and women, this hat keeps people warm while also being a hat I can make in an evening while watching holiday movies!

UPDATED TO ADD!!

Jen has kindly offered a coupon code, so you can get Sliver for FREE through January 1!! Just enter the code MAKEGIVEREPEAT when checking out on Ravelry, and the pattern will be yours for free!

November Featured Pattern: Point Of Hope Hat

Pattern: Point Of Hope Hat, by Robin Celli

Yarn: see Knots Of Love approved yarn list for suggestions

Needles: Size 9 / 5.5mm

The Point Of Hope Hat is a free hat pattern meant for chemo cap donations. The pattern is reversible, which means the recepient can choose which side they like best. The pattern also works well for men or women, depending on the color yarn chosen.

When looking at people's project notes on Ravelry, several have suggested sizing down to a needle size 8 / 5.0 mm for a tighter gauge, so keep that in mind. If you are a looser knitter, this may be just the note you need to get the perfect sized hat!

Several folks also said they made one extra repeat of the pattern before decreases, so keep that in mind, as well.

Robyn and Heather will be working this pattern up and sharing it on Instagram throughout the month, and we invite you to knit along with us for Knots of Love!

Wavy Moss Hat

Pattern: Wavy Moss Hat, by Cedar Box Knits

Suggested Yarn: Cascade Yarns Eco Wool (bulky yarn)

Suggested Needles: US 10 / 6.0mm

Gauge: 15 sts = 4" in seed stitch

While I'm obsessed with the slouchy version of this hat, and have made it several times for a variety of charities, this pattern is perfect for a variety of knitterly loves. You can make just an ear warmer, you can make a fitted beanie, or you can make my favorite slouch hat, all by using the same pattern.

Written for wool yarn, any bulky weight yarn can be used to make this hat gorgeously, and I've made it with acrylics in the past, always with good results. This means you can make this hat to donate to oncology centers and hospitals as well, where washable and allergy-free are required!

Monk Hat

Pattern: Monk Hat, by Sarah Chilson

Suggested Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted (yarn is held double)

Suggested Needles: US 11 / 8.0 mm

This hat pattern is the perfect stash-buster pattern for charity knitters! You can hold two strands of worsted weight yarn together, or use up the bulky yarn in your stash, and have a hat off your needles in just a night or two!

With a stretchy brim, the pattern is perfect for adults and teens, but by simply adjusting the number of stitches cast on you can also make a hat for a child, toddler, or baby!

Yes, Checks!

Pattern: Yes, Checks! by Stephen West

Suggested Yarn: Madeline Tosh DK

Suggested Gauge: 20 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (for substituting yarns)

Suggested Needles: US 6 / 4.0 mm

This gorgeous hat pattern is available for free download, which I always love in my charity patterns. And as I've yet to meet a Stephen West pattern I don't love, if you're of the same mind, you'll be happy to add this to your charity rotation.

Large checkerboard design (with two square sizes, for every preference) make this hat stretchy and comfy, and without the need for ribbing around the edge to keep ears snug and warm. And the forgiving nature of the pattern means you can substitute just about any DK weight yarn from your stash and have a hat that'll fit perfectly. Made long, this hat is meant to be worn either slouched or folded over for a snug fit, meaning it's got a double layer of ear protection built right in!