Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regina General Hospital’s Neonatal Unit

As I mentioned on my last WIP Wednesday, I wanted to finish a few charity hats to send to Jill, for her month's charity KAL.  February's charity was the Regina General Hospital's Neonatal Unit.  I thought today would be a good time to share with you the finished hats and the patterns I used.

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? :)

I love the way this hat turned out.  It's teeny tiny cute.  Knit in a newborn size, there is still a lot of flexibility because of the ribbing, so it could easily fit an older child, or be appropriate for a preemie.

The second hat I knit was 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.
I did struggle with this hat, and it wasn't the fault of the pattern.  My stitch count and pattern was off and twice I had to tink back.  There's a small mistake on the crown shaping, where a I missed knitting into a yarn over, but after the hat was finished, I was able to go back and close the hole - sort of.  I don't think anyone will notice.
I really enjoy the swirl ribbing on this hat.  I know the pattern can be for boys and girls, but I just think this adds a little more feminine touch than your basic ribbing.  This was knit with Caron Simply Soft Brights in Watermelon.  (Wow, this is pink!)
Now would be a good time to mention that all the hats were made from Caron Simply Soft Brights using 3 different colors: Limelight (green), Blue Mint (blue) and Watermelon (pink).  I chose these colors because they were bright and cheerful and reminded me of spring when the color comes back. We need some color after the gray winter days.
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. 


  1. Such teeny hats for a good cause by someone w/a big heart! Love the last one especially. Who couldn't resist wearing a hat of love?

  2. cute hats! Can't wait to deliver them to the hospital!