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….