2.07.2007

Need Has No Season - February

Apparently our dear old friend Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this year! Whoo-hoo, an early spring is headed our way! Wait, I just watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and this might not be such a good thing. In any case, I know that there a still a few chilly days left, and who hasn't heard of a spring snowstorm?

Well, with a few wintery days left this winter what can we do to spread a little warmth? Little is the key word in that sentence. The smallest of us all, preemies, benefit from the warmth of a cozy hat. These tiny hats aren't much bigger than your hand and are a great way to begin charity knitting. Care Wear began in 1991 as a group of volunteers who gave handmade (knit, sewn, or crocheted) baby items to hospitals to be given free to infants, children, and their parents. These handmade items provide comfort to the parents, warmth to their child, and a memento as the infant grows. Care Wear accepts more than just preemie items as they recognize the needs for full term infants and children.

Their website is a great information resource for anyone interested in helping with this project. You can find patterns for knitted, crocheted, and sewn items as well as local hospitals and organizations that will accept your handmade gift. Please visit the Care Wear website for more information.

Things to remember when knitting for hospitals:
- Preemie hats must be made of very soft yarn and washable in hot water with harsh detergents, and disinfectants
- Place finished items in sealable plastic bags to keep them clean and free from odors.
- Do not add potpurri or other scents to the finished items because the hospital will need to wash and sterilize them anyway. So save your lovely scents for another gift.
- Items knit for preemies must be free of cigarette smoke odors.
- Check with your hospital liason (found on the website) to know if they accept items with pompoms or other decorations. If decorations are allowed attach them securely.

Jester Hat Pattern for Preemies

Materials:

  • 3-ply sport weight yarn
  • Double pointed needles in sizes #3 and #5

Directions:

  • With larger needles, starting with a single loop, which counts as a knit st, double cast on 60 sts on three needles (20-20-20) in (K1, P1) rib pattern.
  • Being careful not to twist sts, join by knitting the single loop with the tail end of the yarn.
  • Return this st to the left hand needle.
  • Tug on the tail to snug up the join; this eliminates a bump at the joining.
  • Change to smaller needles and work in rib pattern as established for 20 rounds.
  • Change to larger needles and work in stockinet st (knit all rounds) for 20 rounds.
  • K30 and put on one needle.
  • See * and directions for finishing.

* Please note: Until this hat is put on a precious little head, it's just a bland rectangle!

Finishing:

  • With yarn end you're knitting with, measure back and forth across 30 sts on needle four times.
  • Add about 6” and cut yarn.
  • Graft the hat opening shut using the Kitchener Stitch. If you bound off the hat opening, close it using the Mattress Stitch.

(Optional) Securely attach a pom-pom, bell, star, etc. to the “ears” or “horns” in a spiffy color.

You just made a hat! You're so smart and charitable!

Ok, and to part, here is something to think about for March 21 (click on the link).

Until then, Peace

Alison

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