When the winter months bring subzero winds chills and the snow is blowing outside, I love to have a knitting project next to my easy chair to work on while staying cozy warm watching a movie or catching up on a series. A wonderful quick and easy project to knit is a baby hat for charity.
I heard on our local news that the American Heart Association was sending out a call to all knitters and crocheters to join with them to celebrate National Heart Month by making red baby hats for them to deliver to newborns and preemies in our local hospitals this February. It touched my heart and I knew I needed to find some red yarn, knitting needles, and get to work.
I found lots of baby hat patterns online. I knew I loved the soft feel of the light yarns (#3). But they called for red hats, and it’s not easy to find light weight yarns in red! They’re mostly pastels for infants. But I was lucky in my search and found some red light weight yarn at my local Hobby Lobby (called “I Love This Yarn” Sport Weight), and was able to use their 40%off coupon (score)! Let the fun begin…
Next I found a basic pattern online. It wasn’t quite what I wanted (a little too plain), so I changed the pattern here and there…adding stripes of varying sizes. I made some of them in sizes for preemies and some for small newborns.
AVERAGE BABY HEAD MEASURMENTS BY SIZE
• Preemie head size: 9-inch circumference and 4 inches tall
• Newborn size: 11-inch circumference and 5 inches tall
• 0-3 month size: 13-inch circumference and 6 inches tall
Each time I made one, I changed the pattern a bit more. And finally, my favorite hat emerged…it was the one with the tiny hearts stripe. They’re cute, but they’re also oh so very easy to knit!
After all this experimentation, I came up with this basic knit pattern (shown below) that’s easy to make and features that sweet little stripe of tiny red hearts using “light” yarn (#3). The size was perfect for a preemie or small newborn (about 10 – 10-1/2 inch brim).
This second variation adds a stripe to the top and bottom of the hearts row.
By using knitting worsted, medium weight yarn (#4), this same pattern turned out to be newborn size (12-13 inch brim).
Heres a comparison photo below (left knitting worsted #4; right light yarn #3).
Tiny Hearts Knit Baby Hat Pattern for Charity
Size: 10-1/2 inches around & 5-1/2 to 6 inches high (small newborn/large preemie)
Supplies 1 skein #3 Light yarn in main color red (A)
Several yds of yarn in contrasting color for hearts white (B)
Sz 5 needles (I like to start with round needles), but you could use dpn
Sz 7 dpn (then I switch to double point needles)
Basic Pattern With main color A & size 5 needles, CO 56 sts & join into a round
Rnds 1-8: k1, p1 (about 2”) ribbing
Switch to size 7 needles and continue
Rnds 9-10: k main color (A)
Rnds 11-12 k contrasting color (B)
Rnd 13: k1 (A), k1 (B), etc. around.
Rnd 14-15: k contrasting color (B)
Rnd 16-27: k each round (12 rows) about 4-1/2” from beginning
Decreasing Rnd 28:(k5, k2tog) around (48 st remain)
Rnd 29 (& all odd rows through end): k around Rnd 30:(k4, k2tog) around (40 st remain)
Rnd 32:(k3, k2tog) around (32 st remain)
Rnd 34:(k2, k2tog) around (24 st remain)
Rnd 36:(k1, k2tog) around (16 st remain)
Rnd 38:(k2tog) around (8 st remain)
Break yarn & weave in ends.
Try different variations: add a white stripe above and below the row of hearts.
Use the pattern above through row 8, then
Rnd 9-10: k A
Rnd 11-12: k B
Rnd 13-14: k A
Rnd 15-16: k B
Rnd 17: (k1 A, k1 B) repeat
Rnd 18-19: k B
Rnd 20-21: k A
Rnd 22-23: k B
Rnd 24-38: Continue same as above pattern in main color A
Experiment with different sizes of yarns and needles to make the size you want (according to the head size chart). Try adding more stripes, or several different colors.
All my little knitted red hats have been sent off to AHA. I hope some newborn little boys and girls and their families will be very happy with them and will enjoy getting them.
And I hope you’ll use this pattern to make baby hats for your favorite charity. Or maybe make one extra to give to your friend who’s a new mom or dad, or to a new grandma or grandpa.
Until next time.
Happy Quilting … and Happy Knitting!