Yesterday someone I follow on Facebook posted a link to an article calling for knitters and crocheters to make tiny red hats for the American Heart Association. The AHA is asking for red baby hats to be sent by February of 2018 to be given to babies born that month, which has been designated as Amercian Heart Month. The project is to spread awareness about congenital heart defects. You can read the article here (click for link) and find out how to participate as well. I hope you will.
You see, the article reminded me of when my eldest son was born. He was born 7 weeks early and was a preemie. So many things could have gone wrong including heart defects and issues. I got lucky, incredibly so. He never developed any of the problems preemies usually do. And even though he had to come home with and wear a heart monitor for three months, he never had a single problem with his heart. In fact, he was taken off the monitor three months early. My son beat the odds. And, if I may say so, has lived a fairly charmed life since, and I’m grateful for that.
The one thing this whole thing has brought back to mind are the hats the neonatal unit would put on the preemies. You know, maintaining body heat is pretty crucial for preemies so hats are necessary. However, the machine ones hospitals normally give out are not very well made. They’re thin, lose their shape, and the edge frays with use and washing. In fact, the fraying is so bad that threads routinely get caught on babies fingers and especially fingernails. That was a concern to me. So, at 24 years old I searched every pattern book I could find for a suitable baby hat I could make. Remember, this was before the internet went public so it was libraries and whatever available resource I had. And it turned out the perfect pattern for me ended up in a small knit/crochet magazine called Annie’s Attic that belonged to my ex-mother-in-law. It was the only preemie pattern I know of at the time. Designed in the 80’s I think, it was a simple and straightforward pattern that created a side-to-side rib pattern instead of the usual spiral. I made hundreds of these over the next few years and I would donate them to the NICU at the hospital my son was born at every year on the anniversary of his release home.
Sadly, several years ago I decided I wanted to focus on knitting only and so I gave away all of my crochet patterns and booklets, including the preemie hat pattern. Now, here I am needing that very pattern and it is nowhere online. But guess what? I apparently made so many of the hats that the pattern went into permanent storage in my brain. So, I’m finally typing it up and saving it and sharing it with a couple of women who plan on participating in the Tiny Red Hats project. It’s simple single crochet and single crochet decreases and chain ones. Takes about an hour, maybe less, and is easily adjustable.
So here I am. I’ve come full circle, and it seems fitting as Big Son moved away a few weeks ago to begin a new chapter in his life having officially become a full adult. Now, it’s back to knitting hats for wee ones I don’t know and I’m sentimental and excited at the same time.
I plan on participating in the AHA’s project and I hope you will too!
For hat patterns and yarn requirements click here: Little Hats, Big Hearts.
Happy Tuesday everyone!