My first hat was Little Boy Blue Ribbed Hat. The recipe for the hat is simple, a simple 2x2 rib pattern. I probably could have figured out the math of the decreases on my own, but it's so much simpler to read it from someone else's pattern. This is a free pattern offered on Ravelry and goes by so quickly. I picked out 100% acrylic yarn, as per the norm for many charity donations. The yarn for this hat is Caron Simply Soft Brights in Blue Mint. I don't mind pastels for babies, but I just feel like vibrant rich colors are terrific. Why not use bold colors so adorn your baby's head? :)
Swirl Hat. This pattern calls for fingering weight yarn. I don't have much of that on hand and I wasn't going to buy more when I had three 315yd skeins of worsted weight acrylic to work with. So using the recommended needle size (US 3), I cast on 64 stitches. This is 8 stitches fewer than the preemie size given in the pattern. But using the measurements and numbers the pattern gives, I modified the sizing and stitch count very easily. Hopefully this modification has yielded me a hat this is somewhere between preemie and newborn.
The final pattern I used was Preemie Hats for Charity by Carissa Browning. This pattern actually comes with 5 variations on a hat. The versions include eyelets, hearts, diamonds, stripes, and ribbed. Again, because I'm only using worsted weight, I figured these would come out big, so I modified the stitch count. I wanted to knit all 5, but didn't have time, so I've only got 2.
First, I knit the the eyelet hat. I cast on 64 stitches because it starts with 6 rows of 2x2 ribbing, so I needed multiples of either 4 or 8. After I finished the ribbing and started the main body of the hat, I included an extra 2 stitch increases (2 kfb stitches), so that there would be 66 stitches. I did this because when you get to the crown decreases, the decreases are done in multiples of 6. (The original cast-on number was for 72 sts.)
I really like how this hat came out. I picked green because I thought, 2 pink, 1 green, 1 blue...I've got 2 hats for each gender. Then DH & Mom both told me the green was sort of a girly color. So be it. The eyelet pattern is a bit more feminine as well. But in the end, it's the nurses at the hospitals that will be picking the hats for the babies and I'm sure the parents will appreciate whichever hat they receive.
The second hat from this set was the hearts pattern. I couldn't resist the little hearts ringing this hat. It's not immediately noticeable (in my opinion), but if you're close up, you can see the hearts right above the ribbing. Again, I cast on few stitches to accommodate the heavier yarn.
Once I got past the hearts, this hat went super quick because it was all stockinette stitch. This hat screams girly, in pretty much any way possible. The hearts on their own could be subtle, but when paired with this hot pink, it's sort of like a light flashing over your head saying, "I'm a girl, I'm a girl!"
I really enjoyed making these little hats and I like knowing they are going to a good cause. They really don't take long at all. I knit up 5 hats in a week. So I encourage you all, if you have a little time to spare, to consider picking up your needles or hook and knitting, or crocheting, something for a local charity or hospital.