A couple months ago I shared a very personal story about losing a relative to a congenital heart defect as a teen. In that post I shared a pattern called Baby Hearts Hat in two sizes, newborn and infant, and I let you guys know about the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts drive. For those who missed it, the AHA is looking for red baby hat donations to be given to (hopefully!) every baby born in February in Chicago.
Reaching more little hearts
After sharing my story, I was lucky enough to talk in person at the Windy City Knitting Guild, in various online forums, and in tons of social media conversations about my family’s story. I’ve made new friends who have similar experiences to share, and it’s made me realize more and more how important this awareness campaign is. Awareness will prolong and save lives. Even though you’re just taking a couple hours to knit up a little hat with some scrap yarn, these little heart hats make a difference.
The campaign has gotten incredible donations from all over the world for this year’s drive, and due to its success in Chicago, the Little Hats, Big Hearts program will be expanding to more cities in 2015. The number one question I get on this blog and on social media is, wonderfully, “do you know who I can send donations to in my town?” I’ve been directing folks to my contact at the American Heart Association, a fantastic woman named Anne who has made this campaign a great success: If you have any questions, please contact Anne Schullo at (312) 476-6614 or Anne.Schullo@heart.org.
I’m posting today to remind everyone who’s been snowed under by the holidays that donations are DUE January 15 so Anne and her team has time to launder and package the hats with information on infant heart health before the start of American Hearth Month in February. When you’ve got a hat or two to donate, you can mail it to this address:
American Heart Association
208 S. LaSalle #1500
Chicago, IL 60604
Baby Hearts Hat for Preemies
Many babies who will spend most of the start of their lives in the hospital are preemies, and getting red hearts hats in their parents’ hands is a priority for this drive. Silly me, I only made the first Baby Hearts Hat pattern for newborns and infants, with head sizes of up to 14 and 17 inches around. The rule of thumb for knitting preemie size hats is to fit it on your fist or an apple. (If you know the weight of the baby, you can also refer to this sizing chart for more specific measurements.)
This hat is very similar to its newborn and infant size counterparts in that it features a ribbed edge and a repeating heart motif spaced around the hat. Unlike the other hats that feature 4 hearts around it, this one is teensy, and could only fit three. But just like the newborn size, this one doesn’t feature any sort of pompom or ornamentation beyond the heart motif, which is how the Heart Association would like to receive these donations. Just an FYI :).
DK weight light worsted yarn (confused? see this guide)
appropriate needles (~size 6 double pointed needles or circular)
CO – cast on
sts – sitches
k – knit
p – purl
rnd – round
k2tog – knit 2 sts together
rpt from ( to ) around. – repeat from ( to ) for the entire round
Preemie Size Pattern
CO 42 sts and join into a round
rnds 1-6. k1, p1
rnd 7-8. k around (2 rnds)
Knit heart motif
rnd 9. (k6, p2, k6), rpt from ( to ) around.
10. (k5, p4, k5), rpt from ( to ) around.
11. (k4, p6, k4), rpt from ( to ) around.
12. (k3, p8, k3), rpt from ( to ) around.
13. (k2, p10, k2), rpt from ( to ) around.
14-15. (k1, p12, k1), rpt from ( to ) around.
16. (k2, p10, k2), rpt from ( to ) around.
17. (k3, p3, k2, p3, k3), rpt from ( to ) around.
18. (k4, p2, k2, p2, k4), rpt from ( to ) around.
19-20. k around (2 rnds)
Reduce and finish
21. k5, k2tog around (36 sts)
rnds 22, 24, 26, 28. k around
23. (k4, k2tog), rpt from ( to ) around. (30 sts)
25. (k3, k2tog), rpt from ( to ) around. (24 sts)
27. (k2, k2tog), rpt from ( to ) around. (18 sts)
29. (k1, k2tog), rpt from ( to ) around. (12 sts)
30. (k2tog), rpt from ( to ) around. (6 sts)
Break yarn and draw tail through remaining loops. Weave in ends to finish.
What a sweet hat! Thank you so much! I plan on making some to send. I am learning magic loop…not with much success. But can do double points. I just love your blog and your wonderful patterns.
I am knitting my second preemie heart motif hat, am following your instructions to the tee, but only 1 heart pattern appears on hat?? I am knitting in the round and have been knitting for over 40 years, Help@!@!😇😍😘
In rows 9-18, you should repeat the stitches listed three times (keep knitting the listed stitches all the way around) per round. I wrote this pattern awhile ago, so I’ve updated it now with parenthesis for clarity!
Thanks for your great question & thanks for knitting preemie hats!
Thanks so much for prompt response. I will proceed as you said and it is my pleasure knitting for the babies.
PS Love this Teeney Hat.,😇😘
Cute little hat. How many yards are required…so I know how much yarn will yield # of hats. Thank you.
It will depend on your gauge and the yarn you use, but each preemie hat I’ve made with this pattern averages 10-15g apiece. Glad to have another person on board!
Do you have any crochet patterns available for the preemie hats? I’m planning a knitting/crochet party for all my friends to come to so we can make hats : )
I do! That’s such a great idea! Here you go: https://handsoccupied.com/heart-applique-hat/ :)
Using size 6 circular needle 16inch. Knitting the newborn hat with 56 stitches seems there is not enough stitches on needle to be able to knit in rounds in beginning and end without pulling the yarn .is this the wrong size needle I am using.
You can use DPNs or the magic loop method to work smaller projects like this one. Here’s a tutorial if you’re new to the method: https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/10/demystifying-the-magic-loop/
So glad to hear that preemie hats are used.
I think most people don’t realize the need and that all babies are born to size and healthy. I’ve knitted preemie hats for our local hospital and upon my last donation in 2015
Was told they weren’t needed that they had drawers full.
This year , after recovering from a stroke, I decided that good therapy would be to retract myself how to knit. Concentrating on knitting just hats. I feel pretty good and have knit 45 adult size hats but have no idea who to donate them to! Any suggestions? Diann
First off, thank you for sharing your story, not to mention all the time spent making hats! There are so many options that I’d recommend maybe calling your local library or other nonprofits in your area to see if they’re collecting locally, but this post from Lion Brand yarn has links to some potential donation spots: http://www.lionbrand.com/blog/where-to-donate-your-knitting-and-crochet/.
Hi,this is so lovely,is the needle size a uk size 6 or a US size 6,what would it be in mm’s please,many thanks.
It will depend on the yarn you’re using, your tension, and the size you’d like to make.