On the blog where I talk about family stuff, I shared this awesome picture of the most recent baby hat I made for charity. Over there, I talk about why I am excited about this project. Let me tell you a little bit about this project. And I want to give you the pattern!
I was born 3 months early during a blizzard of notable proportions. (Every year around my birthday, my late Grandmother would always tell me about how impressed she was with that storm. It seemed to set an early precedent for myself as well, because major events in my life seemed to have coincided with somebody somewhere getting massive storms that were big enough that it made news headlines.) I was a baby that had a 50/50 chance of living. Obviously, I made it. And, more happily so, I did so with relatively few complications.
I stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital until about this time in February. (I was born in November.) My Grandmother also liked to talk about that. As she was plotting to smuggle me home at that time when I was released to come home. It was a good family chuckle. The NICU is a very important part of the hospital. I had always felt that I needed to do something to express my gratitude for the care that I was given. When I graduated high school, I sent a graduation announcement to them with a note about who I was. I did the same when I graduated college and when I got married. (Those last to notes had pictures enclosed with them.)
Still, those happy notes didn't feel like enough. So, when I found out that the spinner's guild I am apart of were making hats to donate, I was thrilled. Finally, I had something I could do that was more tangible and longer lasting than a happy note and a picture. I started out crocheting hats. They were nice, but I wanted to knit something. Cue the last two years of my attempting to figure out how to knit a hat. I'm not that great at knitting yet, but these little hats warm my heart as much as I hope they'll warm those babies.
The one pictured here was knitted out of a sport weight, soft textured acrylic yarn. I used size 5.5 mm double ended knitting needles. The reason why is that I figured out that the size 5.5mm crochet hook made a hat that was the right size when I reached the round of having 30 stitches on it. The conversion from crochet to knit was based on that measurement. I was delighted to find that my intuitive guess was correct. (I'm not always that great with knitting, I'm still learning.) Unlike a lot of the other baby hats you can find on the internet, this one was knit from the brim up.
I cast on moderately loosely 30 stitches. I spread them over three needles. I suppose you could spread them over four. I found the three needles easier when it came time to decrease for the crown. It was a little less like wrestling a porcupine. I knit in the round for the stockinette stitch. While you could use garter stitch, it is a bit harder doing that in the round. Or at least, it is for me because I haven't figured out how to do it with out dropping stitches. I then knit three inches of length. At which point, I began my decreases for the crown.
On the first round of decreases, I knit together the two center stitches on each needle. Then I knit a plain row. After this, on each decrease round, I knit together in alternating order, the two stitches after the first stitch and before the last stitch on the needle or the two center stitches. When I came down to having three stitches across all three needles, I moved them onto the same needle. I then knit a simple i-cord that was an inch long. I bound off knit wise and then wove the tail down through that little i-cord. After this, I tied the i-cord into a knot.
On the inside of the hat, I made sure that there wasn't any tail sticking out from that weaving through the i-cord. And that was it. When making preemie hats, I don't put anything like buttons on them. This is because they're not good for the baby's head due to creating uncomfortable pressure points. My crochet hats are basically the same as the knit hats when it came to the pattern, except the crochet was all single crochet. I didn't make an i-cord for the top of the crochet hats because I have not yet mastered that technique. (It is a goal to learn it over the next several months and make some interesting stuff with it.)
But, please, if you are able to, try to make a little something to help the people in your neighborhood. It is something that helps binds our communities together with love. And I think we can all agree that the world is sorely in need of more of that.