Friday, September 16, 2011
Teeny tiny

Recently I got involved with Project Halo, a charity organisation that made hats, blankets and small items of clothing for premature babies, and distributed them to hospitals and families in need. They have now merged with Little Angel Memory Boxes, but the work continues.

It was heartbreaking to see how tiny the hats were, and the blankets were barely the size of tea towels. Why do premature babies need hats, you may wonder. Babies have disproportionately large heads. Even full-term babies have heads that are very large relative to their body size, and this is the case for premature babies as well. The babies lose a lot of heat through their heads. When babies are taken out of their little cribs for skin contact with their mothers, hospitals put hats on their little heads to keep them warm. If the hats fall off, it is is replaced with a clean one. You can imagine how many hats they go through daily!

Yes, those are real eggs. I made these hats (and a few others) to donate to the cause. The pattern has been written up and tested and available as a free download on Ravelry. They are called the Archie and Aubrey hats.

About a year ago, Lara, pregnant with twin boys discovered that her waters had broken early. What followed was a mother’s difficult and heartbreaking journey to try to save her boys. She lost one baby in-utero and kept fighting to save the other. In November 2010, she gave birth to both babies. The second baby was born alive but lost shortly after. She named her boys Archimedes Hare and Aubrey Michael. These hats are in remembrance of the precious lives of these babies who are still loved and missed every day.

For these hats you need a small amount of fingering, sport or DK weight yarn. Depending on the size you’re knitting, you need needles ranging from 2.5mm to 4.5mm. Don’t worry too much about exact sizes and gauge as hospitals need hats of all sizes. Each baby is different. The hats are very stretchy and each hat covers a range of different sized heads. I urge you to knit them for your local hospital as neonatal intensive care units always need hats to keep the little heads warm.

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