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!

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!

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.