Sunday, July 6, 2014

Knitting Newborn and Preemie Hats for Charity

My current workplace encourages the employees to volunteer. As part of this effort, there is a group of knitters and crocheters that select charities and create items for them. I am part of this group. We have made items for veterans, orphans, animal shelters, etc. This month, we are making hats for newborns with Down's Syndrome.

I have made many hats over the years and I have a very simple pattern that I use as my go-to pattern whenever I make a charity hat for a baby. It also works if you are in a pinch and need a quick baby gift. This pattern is not fancy, but it does the trick.  It knits up fast and it does not use much yarn. If you happen to need a quick hat for a baby, these hats are perfect.

If I have patterned yarn on hand, I prefer to use that. The patterned yarn makes it look a little fancier without any additional work. I made a couple of these this weekend. The pink jacquard is the preemie size and the print is the newborn size.

Here's the pattern! Here is the printable PDF version of this pattern.

I've made this hat both knitting in the round with double pointed needles and also knitting on straight needles, so I included both options. In my opinion, the hats that are knit in the round look slightly nicer, but not everyone is comfortable knitting with double pointed needles.

The preemie size is written first, followed by the newborn size in parenthesis. If there is only one directive listed, the instructions are the same for both sizes.

Materials:
Any sport-weight Yarn (less than 20 grams per hat)
Size 3 (3.25mm) Double Pointed Needles or Size 3 (3.25mm) Straight Needles
Tapestry Needle

Gauge:
6.5 stiches = 1 inch
The yarn you choose will determine the gauge, as not all sport-weight yarn is exactly the same. Gauge is not super important, as babies have heads of all different sizes.

Finished Size:
11(12) Inch Diameter


Pattern for Knitting in the Round
Cast on 72(78)
Divide the stitches between three DPN and join
Rounds 1-6 (K2, P2) around for 2x2 ribbing ((K3,P3) around for 3x3 ribbing)
Rounds 7-31 K around
Round 32 (K4, K2Tog) around 60(65) st
Round 33 K around
Round 34 (K3, K2 Tog) around 48(52) st
Round 35 K around
Round 36 (K2, K2 Tog) around 36(39) st
Round 37 K around
Round 38 (K1, K2 Tog) around 24(26) st
Round 39 K around
Round 40 (K2 Tog) around 12(13) st
Round 41 K around

Cut the end of the yarn. Thread the yarn end through the remaining stiches. Pull the yarn through to the inside of the hat and pull it tight. You may or may not choose to place a knot at the inside of the top of the hat to ensure it stays tight. Weave in the ends on the inside of the hat.

Pattern for Knitting on Straight Needles
Cast on 72(78)
Rows 1-6 (K2, P2) across for 2x2 ribbing ((K3,P3) across for 3x3 ribbing)
Rows 7-32 work in stockinette st (K odd rows and P even rows)
Row 33 (K4, K2Tog) across 60(65) st
Row 34 P across
Row 34 (K3, K2 Tog) across 48(52) st
Row 36 P across
Row 36 (K2, K2 Tog) across 36(39) st
Row 38 P across
Row 38 (K1, K2 Tog) across 24(26) st
Row 40 P across
Row 40 (K2 Tog) across 12(13) st
Row 42 P across

Cut the end of the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the yarn end through the remaining stiches. Pull the yarn through to the inside of the hat and pull it tight. You may or may not choose to place a knot at the inside of the top of the hat to ensure it stays tight. Sewing on the inside of the hat, use the tail to make the back seam of the hat. Weave in the ends on the inside of the hat.

Abbreviations:
DPN = Double Pointed Needles
K = Knit
Mm = Millimeters
P = Purl
St = Stiches
Tog = Together

If you want to see some of my other knitting and crocheting projects, be sure to check out my Ravelry Projects page.


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