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!

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

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!

94 Days In The NICU

I love a baby story with a happy ending. I especially love a preemie story with a happy ending. My brother Dan, now 26, was born at 30 gestational weeks (a full 10 weeks early) and spend two months in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) before he was able to come home. This was actually my first encounter with charity knitting - at 12 years old, I can vividly remember the sights, sounds, and smells of the NICU, down to the little handmade hats the nurses put on his minuscule head.

Babies are born premature for any number of reasons, often with no explanation or warning whatsoever. And so when I hear stories of people loving on not only their own little NICU miracles, but other NICU miracles as well, I get all misty and have to share.

I found the photo above on Ravelry, shared by user lartemis. She made 92 hats to celebrate the 92 days her daughter spent traveling back and forth to the NICU to spend time with her twin sons, born at just 28 weeks. Both boys are healthy and happy three year olds now, and these hats were made in honor of their fight, and to help warm and comfort new little NICU residents as they grow stronger and fight to go home with their families.

She used the Wrapped With Love Preemie Hat pattern for all 92 of her hats, and it looks like she embellished many of them in her own way. The pattern is available for free, and comes with instructions for attaching a super cute bow for baby girls!

Hello Preemie Hat

Pattern: Hello Preemie Hat by Heather Walpole

Suggested Yarn: Wooly Worsted from Ewe Ewe Yarn (worsted / 10ply yarn)

Suggested Needles: US 7 / 4.0mm

Why It's Charity-Friendly:

This free pattern knits up fast on either double points or a long circular needle (if you use the Magic Loop method), and is the perfect quick baby hat pattern. Add the bow for a hat for a baby girl, make the hat in a self-striping or self-patterning yarn for a bit of super simple interest - the possibilities are endless with this pattern!

As an added bonus, the pattern fits preemies perfectly when knit with a thinner worsted like Ewe Ewe's Wooly Worsted, but will make a PERFECT newborn sized hat if knit in a thicker worsted like you find at the big box craft stores!