A collection of Charity Beanies

As you may know I have followed Jan’s lead and joined in with the Baby Beanies charity, knitting beanies for Preemies.  I have a lot of small bits of yarn and this is perfect for using it up.   The smallest beanies use 9 to 15 oz of yarn (the cotton is heavier) for the knitted one with rolled brim.

But I am not a particularly fast knitter – I am a MUCH faster crocheter.  So I went looking for an “approved” crochet pattern.  After my experience with the Knockers I wanted to make sure I wasn’t wasting my time.  The organizer didn’t have a pattern but said she has had requests.  I figured this is something I can help with! so I went hunting for patterns to test, because you just don’t know till you try, right?

I found what I thought was a winner – a 10 minute, really simple pattern.  But when I tried it, there were issues.

The first issue is it has a very small crown and the sides come straight down.


Then there is a slip stitch edging that keeps the edges from stretching out.


So I set about tweaking the pattern to make it more like the knitted version.  I think I managed that but it took quite a few attempts to get it “right.” I will send them along and hope to get some feedback from the hospitals to say whether or not the pattern works for them – because that is the real test, isn’t it?


Simply varying the number of beginning stitches, and the hook size, gives slight variations in the sizing.  If it gets the OK then I will share it.  No point in sharing if it’s not usable, right?

But I will add the links to a few places I found and some good patterns.  They are all listed as preemie beanies.

One of the biggest selections of patterns is at Mama That Makes.  And this pattern is my favourite.  A little more time-consuming because of the ribbing, but so cute it’s worth it.


The hat on the left is this one.  Also ribbed.  The reason I looked at ribbed hats to begin with is the denser fabric.  As preemie beanies are meant to help keep the heat from escaping and help the babies regulate their temperature, I wanted a crocheted hat that wasn’t hole-y.  Most of them are, tho’, so I set that aside.  I mean, would 1000s or people be crocheting beanies if the “holes” were an issue?  Probably not. Similar issue, tho’ as the sides are quite straight – they SEEM stretchy because of the ribbing, but are they stretchy enough?

There seem to be two styles – one that is a circle crown with more or less straight sides or a continuous spiral, that increases slightly.  I didn’t test this one, and be warned, the site is littered with ads and not all the arrows mean what you think they do!  Click carefully.  I really hate that trick and tend to click away pronto….

This one is a gently increasing one, and probably my 2nd favourite.  The size can be adjusted by stopping the centre circle sooner, using finer yarn and a smaller hook, etc.  As all sorts of sizes are needed, and as this is hdc (htr in the UK) it is a bit denser than the dc (tr) versions.


I love the LOOK of this one but the there were so many instructions it sort of did my head in.  Seemed more like a choice for making something for someone you know and love, rather than for cranking out charity items where quality matters, but so does quantity!

This is by no means either ALL or the BEST versions, just the ones I looked at and wanted to try, that fit my own criteria (ie fast, easy, dense, even slightly re-sizeable or in different sizes) and where the end product seemed usable.  There is no doubt in my mind the knitted version is “finer” and the stitches tighter so the fabric more “solid” but I can make four crocheted beanies (maybe five)  in the time it takes me to knit one.

Are you a neonatal nurse?  Have experience of beanies?  Leave me a comment on the best patterns, knit v crochet, anything to help me focus my energies on the most useful version.

Now I have some WOYWW visits to return.  Yesterday the day got away from me, due to my aching back and some unavoidable stuff that needed attention.  And OMG my ATCs for the crop need attention too.  I have a lot more to make and time is slipping away….


WOYWW 305 – BIG changes…


Doesn’t look like BIG changes from this angle.  Just some of the beanies, ready to pop in the post.  I did a pile of the knitted version


and then went on a bit of a quest for a good crochet pattern.  I made up a number of them and will send the patterns along with the beanies so the organizer can see them.  She mentioned in her email a few knitters had asked for a crochet pattern and I thought it would be good to see how they work up – and how they fit.  There are so many versions out there! I love the ribbed beanies, they look so cute, but if they don’t fit, then what’s the point?


OK so the BIG change is that we got a new Smart TV.  Nothing wrong with the old one, 40″ screen, but with a wide bezel and heavy.  It fits my desk, so now my two screen set up is the rotated monitor and the TV.  I am sure yo can’t get any sense of exactly how big it is but however big you think, trust me it’s bigger.



If I hold up an A4 sheet of paper over that A4 image of yesterday’s printables, it doesn’t even cover it on the screen.  🙂

So that’s my desk.  Let’s see yours.  Is it as messy?  I hope so – I do love a busy, beautiful messy desk.


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Printables – an experiment (big numbers again)

I changed my monitor and wanted to do a quick printable to see if the current set up will become a permanent one or not.  I’m still not convinced it’s going to work, for a lot of reasons.  That might be my “workdesk” for tomorrow!

Anyway, here they are.


Just the numbers from 1 to 10, in that nice big fat font, filled with dots of varying styles and colours.  Nice and bright.  I just noticed there is no purple!  Oh well, maybe the next set. There is a little room for a bit of journaling if you like. Grab them here.

I have had quite a few interesting days.  Started the holiday weekend not feeling great. Easter and our anniversary fell on the same day.  And I wrenched my back yesterday – possibly due to the upheaval of my desk.  I’ve been knitting and crocheting for the Baby Beanies charity collection (nice, cause such small projects can be worked on even when I am flat on my back) and been getting DD and DH ready for a BIG event today.  I’ve sent them off as pure Americans and they will return as dual-citizenship holders.  Now I just have to get off my butt and schedule the test myself.




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I got sidetracked yesterday.  Actually, a phrase used by the culprit, the one who sidetracked me, is “my butterfly mind.”  Oh I do love that, it fits perfectly.  My brain flits and flutters all over the place too.  I’ll explain.

In visiting WOYWW yesterday I landed at Jan’s (that’s LLJ, or Lunch Lady Jan, who caters the WOYWW crop) and saw the diddy little hats she was knitting for charity.  I mentioned I would hunt up the link, but before I could she linked in a comment (and probably lucky, too, as I got a good 20 or so visits to desks before following the link.)

The site is Baby Beanies. What they say:

Baby Beanies is a non profit organisation run solely on the dedication and support of it’s volunteers.

 Neonatal units across the UK are in constant need of knitted hats for the premature and poorly babies in their care. 

Premature babies are often unable to maintain their temperature by themselves and statistics show that simply by wearing a hat it helps them to regulate their temperature. In some cases this can be the difference between being allowed home or not!

Sounds like a worthy cause, and ideal because they suggest a 50gm ball of wool will make FOUR beanies and I have tons of bits of wool and cotton.  Plus they knit up fast.  I emailed to the CONTACT US address at 9:01 and by 9:06 I had the welcome pack and patterns.

Of course I had to convert the flat knitting pattern with a seam to one for circular needles, and one I made one and worked out how I needed to alter it to be able to do two at a time, I gave that a go.


When knitting ONE in the round it’s easy to slip a stitch from one needle to the other, when the decreases start, so you aren’t trying to K2Tog with one stitch on the front needle and one on the back. Magic Loop won’t allow that.  But tiny tweaks sorted it.


Just doing to rolled brim ones (I do HATE purling, but might do a ribbed brim a some point) and with 150 mm cables I can do three hats for sure, and might even be able to push it to four!

3beaniesOf course it takes a bit longer to complete a three hats – it isn’t really about saving time, it’s about seeing if I can.  You know me….

So I’ll aim to get a handful done, it’s great watching-TV knitting, since the tricky casting on is done and it’s just rows of knit for a while, then ship them off.  And maybe help a wee one get home sooner.  That would be nice.

And NOW I have a few WOYWW visits to return so will set down the needles for a bit and get them done!


WOYWW 304 – more ATC play

Hello WOYWWers!  I have finalized my design and in the midst of making.  Sadly, the crop has been cancelled this month (sort of expected, falling between Good Friday and Easter, but I finally cleared the decks and was 100% I could go, even if I had to leave early.  Oh well.) so I am working on them at home.


Much like my blog, the ATC incorporates a lot of different elements, including some at first handmade items (stamped then coloured) then scanned and made digital.  With the best will in the world I couldn’t get as many Ws cut from book pages as I would need to multiple ATCs LOL!

There will be an interactive element, and I may cut a few to assemble at the WOYWW crop, as they can stand alone (literally) without the ATC.

I asked a trusted fellow WOYWWer if she thought an ATC that wasn’t 100% hand crafted from beginning to end would be a disappointment and luckily she said she thought it would be fine.  Even with the glimpses here you aren’t getting the whole picture, so I’m not worried about spoiling the surprise.  Not that I ever have been. I’m not one to hide my ATC until it is received.  The “official” swap one will be hand crafted from beginning to end, if possible, and there will be different versions, depending on the masterboard background, so it might still be a surprise.

I am working on a design for the backs – as with past years, I’ll share those if anyone wants to use them.

But not today.  Today I am desk hopping till DD gets home from her last day of term. I’ll be popping round to yours soon, I imagine.  Hope you didn’t tidy up, I like a messy desk LOL!