I finally made contact with the Children's Life Program at Yale New Haven Hospital and arranged for a dozen caps to be mailed. When my granddaughter was born 18 months ago she was only 4lbs 11 ounces and dropped down to 4 lbs 4 ounces before she left the hospital. The wonderful care that that our little one and the whole family received still continues to inspire me to share my talents with those who are in need or who are less fortunate than our loving family. Although I had made several beanies for my granddaughter,, the nurses always made sure that her head was covered so that she did not lose body heat. Many caring individuals had knitted and crocheted these tiny hats so that babies like my granddaughter would have that extra love and warmth. It was always a pleasant surprise to see which little cap she would would be wearing when we came to visit. I had long wanted to return the favor, and now I have the address. The spokesperson for the department was helpful and encouraging. In the future, I might even include some of the comfort dolls or make an octopus for preemie hands to hold. For now, I have made more than a dozen hats for newborns.and am ready to send off my first batch.
Each time I start one of these projects, I am hopeful that I will make a big dent in my scrap pile. I made about 30 comfort dolls, but the heap still remains. These little jewels might be the answer. I found that I can dash one of in about 30 minutes. Many are one color, but I like to put on a contrast stripe trim to perk them up.
After a considerable amount of scrolling and reading, I found 4 patterns that worked well for these little crocheted hats.
The first style was written by Tia Davis and published in Crochet Rochelle. The pattern is based on the double crochet stitch that is built out from a magic circle. After reaching the correct diameter for the crown, stop increasing and crochet enough rounds to get the crown to mid-ear measurement. If you choose, add an additional row of single crochet in contrasting color. The pattern can be found on Ravelry as a free download. I have also seen this pattern on Pinterest in sizes newborn though adult.
The Parker Crochet Newborn Hat was developed by Sewrella. Instructions are available in paper and video format. This hat also starts with double crochet stitches that come out from a magic circle. After the crown circle is formed, stop increasing and crochet enough rows to make the size of the hat. There is an added ribbed row followed by single crochet that make this hat quite attractive. The url for the pattern is http://www.sewrella.com/the-parker-crochet-newborn-hat/ A free pattern for booties is also available. The pattern is available through Pinterest and Ravelry.
The Layla-Lu Beanie (from the Sunshine and Sewing Basket) adds a whimsical touch that is suitable for the tiny little miss. For this pattern use a thicker DK or a thinner Worsted yarn. After making the circle for the crown. The next row calls for 2 DC in the same space that followed by a skipped stitch. Succeeding rows are crocheted in the open spaces. The effect is more open and lacy. the cap is finished with a couple of rows of single crochet. For specific directions, see Pinterest. You can also find the pattern if you go to Sunshine and a Sewing Basket and look for past popular posts. The author made the beanie for her Mandela 67 project.
The fourth style, "Little Heart Crochet Preemie Hat, " is made with a Half Double Crochet Stitch, using an I (5.5mm) hook. I had tried some patterns which used an H hook, but I found that the final product was too dense and not inviting for a little preemie baby. The tiny heart applique offers a physical reminder that the hat was made with heart and love. See: hjttp://www.crochetforyoublog.com/2018/02/little-heart-crochet-preemie-hat.
I will be taking a bag of small batches of yarn with me on my next field trip. On this trip, I am determined not to run out of yarn. The big question is how many beanies can I make in a week of driving and meetings. With the four patterns and many colors, I will keep busy and engaged.
Which of the patterns do you like best? I love seeing the dedication of devoted crocheters who contribute so many of these little love hats to our youngest children. Please share examples of your work and tell me about your experiences.