East African Preterm Birth Initiative: Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies

We were set to roll out the East African Preterm Birth Initiative just when Hurricane Harvey hit. These are two very different but important campaigns and we’re hoping that in-between stitching afghan sections, you’ll have time to complete a preemie cap or two for this life-saving initiative.

Unlike WUA! Hurricane Harvey effort, which is more long term, the PBI-EA will run through early-November.

BACKGROUND

Each year across the world, 1 million preterm babies die within their first 28 days. Unable to regulate their temperatures, they are vulnerable to hypothermia and ultimately death. Tiny hats are an easy solution; they give tiny babies a fighting chance.

University of California San Francisco’s East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative and the Warm Up America! Foundation are partnering on the Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies campaign to deliver knitted and crocheted preemie hats to newborn health facilities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative is a partnership of the UCSF; Makerere University in Uganda; Kenya Medical Research Institute; the University of Rwanda; and Rwanda Biomedical Center.

For more details about this program, visit: pretermbirth.ucsf.edu

HOW YOU CAN HELP

World Prematurity Day, November 17, 2017, is a global conference which will be held in San Francisco and attended by the East African health ministers. All hats need to be delivered to the WUA! office in time for World Prematurity Day.

Click the "Learn More Here" link to see a knit and crochet version of cute tiny hats, along with more information about the initiative and a note card which you can attach to your tiny hat. Follow instructions for either preemie sizing (green or orange type). Learn more here.

Please mail or deliver your tiny hats by November 5, 2017 to Warm Up America!

Ship to WUA! offices:
Warm Up America!
ATTN: Tiny Hat Campaign
3740 N. Josey Lane, Suite 102
Carrollton, TX 75007

TINY HAT REQUIREMENTS

  • The average premature baby in Africa is about 3-4 pounds with a head circumference of 10 in-12.5 in (26-32 cm).
  • See suggested patterns below, however, feel free to use any pattern that you like, just be sure that it is sized appropriately.
  • Please use a soft acrylic yarn in pastel or bright colors. Please prewash the hat in a non-scented or baby-friendly detergent. Tiny babies are very sensitive.

Below are additional cap patterns.

Cap Patterns

The following cap patterns are especially designed for low-birth-weight babies. The circumferences range from 9" to 11". Any infant pattern is fine so long as it is a suitable size and will keep the baby's head warm. Use any smooth, washable yarn. Here are suggested patterns for both knitters and crocheters, using either sport or worsted weight yarns. Scrap yarns are fine, and the patterns can be varied as desired with stripes or other color combinations.

Knit Caps

Abbreviation Key

knit hat examples
'' = inch(es)
CO = cast on
k or K = knit
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
mm = millimeter(s)
oz = ounce(s)
p or P = purl
rem = remaining
rep = repeat
st(s) = stitch(es)

Knit Sport Weight Cap

Size:

10" circumference

Materials

Sport weight yarn, 3/4 oz
5mm/Size 8 knitting needles (or size required for gauge)
4mm/Size 6 knitting needles
Yarn needle to sew seam

Gauge

20sts = 4" with larger needles in Stockinette Stitch

Instructions

Cuff

With smaller needles, CO 48 sts. Work in K1,P1 ribbing for 1 1/2".

Crown

Change to larger needles.
Row 1 (right side): Knit.
Row 2 (wrong side): Purl.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 5" from CO edge, ending with a wrong-side row.
Shape Top
Row 1: *K2tog,K2; rep from * across: 36 sts.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: *K2tog, K2; rep from * across: 27 sts.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: *K2tog, K1; rep from * across: 18 sts.
Row 6: Purl.
Row 7: K2tog across: 9 sts. Cut yarn, leaving a long end. Thread yarn into yarn needle and draw through rem sts on needle. Draw up tightly and fasten off securely. Sew seam. Turn up cuff.

Knit Medium-Weight (Worsted) Cap

Size:

10" circumference

Materials

Medium-weight yarn (worsted),3/4 oz
5mm/Size 10 knitting needles (or size required for gauge)
4mm/Size 8 knitting needles
Yarn needle to sew seam

Gauge

16 sts = 4" with larger needle in Stockinette Stitch

Instructions

Cuff

With smaller needles, CO 44 sts. Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 1 1/2".
Body Change to larger needles and knit until piece measures 5" from CO edge. Crown
Change to larger needle.
Row 1 (right side): Knit.
Row 2 (wrong side): Purl.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 5" from CO edge, ending with a wrong-side row. Shape Top
Row 1: *K2tog, K2; rep from * around: 33 sts.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: *K2tog, K1; rep from * around: 22 sts.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: K2tog, *K2, K2tog; rep from * around:16 sts.
Row 6: Purl.
Row 7: K2tog around: 8 sts. Cut yarn, leaving a long end.

Thread yarn into yarn needle and draw through rem sts on needle. Draw up tightly and fasten off securely. Sew seam.
Turn up cuff.

Crochet Caps

Abbreviation Key
examples of crochet caps
" = inch(es)
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
lp = loop(s)
mm = millimeter(s)
oz = ounce(s) rem = remaining
rnd = round
rep = repeat
sl st = slip stitch

Crochet Sport Weight Cap

Size:

9 1/2" circumference

Materials

Sport weight yarn, 3/4 oz
Crochet hook 3.75mm/size F or size required for gauge
Yarn needle to weave in ends

Gauge

10 dc = 2"

Instructions

Rnd 1: Ch 4; work 11 dc in 4th ch from hook; join with a sl st to top of beg ch: counts as 12 dc.
Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc, now and throughout), dc in joining chain; 2 dc in each dc around, join: 24 dc.
Rnd 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in next dc; *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from * around, join: 36 dc.
Rnd 4: Ch 3, dc in each of next dc, 2 dc in next dc; *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from * around, join: 48 dc.
Rnds 5 through 9: Ch 3, dc in each dc; join.
Rnd 10 (turning rnd): Ch 1, sc in front lp only of each dc around; join, turn.
Rnd 11: Ch 1, sc in both lps of each sc; join.
Rnds 12 through 14: Rep rnd 11.
Rnd 15: Ch 1, *sc in next sc, ch 3, skip 3 sc; rep from *around; join, finish off.
Weave in all ends. Turn up cuff.

Worsted Weight Cap

Size:

10" circumference

Materials

Medium-weight yarn (worsted),3/4 oz
Crochet hook size H (5mm) or size required for gauge
Yarn needle to weave in ends

Gauge

7 dc = 2"

Instructions

Rnd 1: Ch 4, work 11 dc in 4th ch from hook; join with a sl st to top of beg ch: counts as 12 dc.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as first dc, now and throughout), dc in joining ch; 2 dc in each dc around, join: 24 dc.
Rnd 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in next dc; *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from * around, join: 36 dc.
Rnds 4 through 8: Ch 3,dc in each dc; join.
Rnd 9 (turning rnd): Ch 1, sc in front lp only of each dc around; join, turn.
Rnd 10: Ch 1, sc in both lps of each sc; join.

Rnds 11 through 13: Rep rnd 10.
Rnd 14: Ch 1, *sc in next sc; ch 3, skip 2 sc, rep from * around; join, finish off.
Weave in all ends. Turn cuff up.

Patterns for Knit Hats (4-Needle Version)

Abbreviations

" = inch(es)
CO = cast on
k or K = knit
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
mm = millimeter(s)
oz = ounce(s)
p or P = purl
rem = remaining
rep = repeat
st(s) = stitch(es)

Sport Weight Hat

Size:

10" circumference

Materials

Sport weight yarn, 3/4 oz
Four, Size 8 (5mm) double-point knitting needles (or size required for gauge)
Four, Size 6 (4mm) double-point knitting needles
Yarn needle to weave in ends

Gauge

20 sts = 4" with larger needles

Instructions

Cuff

With smaller needles, CO 48 sts. Divide sts onto three needles, being careful not to twist sts. Mark beg of round. Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 1 -1/2".

Crown

Change to larger needles and knit until piece measures 5" from CO edge.Shape Top
Rnd 1: *K2tog, K2; rep from * around: 36 sts.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *K2tog, K2; rep from * around: 27 sts.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: *K2tog, K1; rep from * around: 18 sts.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: K2tog around: 9 sts. Cut yarn, leaving a long end:
Thread yarn into yarn needle and draw through rem sts on needle. Draw up tightly and fasten off securely.
Turn up cuff.

Knit Worsted-Weight Hat (4-Needle Version)

Size:

10" circumference

Materials

Worsted weight yarn, 3/4 oz
Four, Size 10 (6mm) double point knitting needles (or size required for gauge)
Four, Size 8 (5mm) double point knitting needles
Yarn needle to weave in ends

GAUGE

16 sts = 4" with larger needles

Instructions

Cuff

With smaller needles, CO 44 sts. Divide sts onto three needles, being careful not to twist sts. Mark beg of round. Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 1-1/2".

Body

Change to larger needles and knit until piece measures 5" from CO edge.
Shape Top
Rnd 1: *K2tog, K2; rep from * around: 33 sts.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Rnd 3: *K2tog, K1; rep from * around: 22 sts.
Rnd 4: Knit.
Rnd 5: K2tog, *K2, K2tog; rep from * around: 16 sts.
Rnd 6: Knit.
Rnd 7: K2tog around: 8 sts. Cut yarn, leaving a long end, Thread yarn into yarn needle and draw through rem sts on needle. Draw up tightly and fasten off securely.

Turn up cuff.

Simple Crocheted Baby Cap

If you are a fi rst-time crocheter, here’s a perfect beginner project: a baby cap. Simply crochet a rectangle approximately 10’ by 7’, then sew the side and top seams. For how to knit instructions see below.

Size:

To fit Baby’s head 10 ins [25.5 cm] around.

Materials:

Sport Weight Baby Yarn One 1.75 oz [50 g] ball
Size 4 mm/G or 6 crochet hook or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge:

16 sc and 21 rows = 4 ins [10 cm]. diagram for construction

Stitch glossary

Ch = Chain.
Sc = Single crochet.
St(s) = Stitch(es).
Tog = Together.
WS = Wrong side.

Instructions

Ch 41.
1st row: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook. 1 sc in each ch to end of ch. 40 sc. Turn.
2nd row: Ch 1. 1 sc in each sc to end of row. Turn.
Rep last row, until work from beg measures 7 ins [18 cm]. Fasten off.

Finishing:

Fold piece in half lengthwise. Sew top and side seams, reversing last 2 ins [5 cm] for turnback. If desired, to decorate add small pompoms or tassels to corners of the cap.

Simple Knitted Baby Cap

If you are a first-time knitter, here’s a perfect beginner project: a baby cap. Simply knit a rectangle approximately 10’ by 7’, then sew the side and top seams. For how to knit instructions see below.

Size:

To fit Baby’s head 10 ins [25.5 cm] around.

Materials:

Sport Weight Baby Yarn One 1.75 oz [50 g] ball
Size 4 mm/6 knitting needles or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge:

20 sts and 40 rows = 4 ins [10 cm] in garter st.construction diagram

Stitch glossary

Beg = Beginning.
St(s) = Stitch(es).
Tog = Together.
WS = Wrong side.

Instructions

Cast on 50 sts.
Work in garter st (knit every row), noting that first row is WS, until work from beg measures 7 ins [18 cm], ending with WS facing for next row. Cast off.

Finishing:

Fold piece in half lengthwise.
Sew top and side seam, reversing last 2 ins [5 cm] for turnback. If desired, to decorate add small pompoms or tassels to corners of the cap.