For the upcoming anniversary of Cebu Crochet Group, we’re doing the “Little Hats Big Hearts Project.” The project is about making hats for preemie babies to be given to NICU department of hospital.
When I made my first preemie beanie, it was a struggle to get the right size of it especially that I’m only used to making beanies for adults, in which I basically have the estimated number of stitches in my mind.
After a few trials, here’s how I got the beanie / hat sizing right using whatever yarn weight and hook size that are available:
Start with any number of DCs or SCs. Then increase the number of stitches in the succeeding rounds until you get to the desired “DIAMETER” of the hat (not circumference as diameter is easier to measure). Once you reach the right diameter, you maintain the number of stitches or you stop increasing your stitches. Continue crocheting in rounds until you get the right hat length measurement.
This applies to “Basic Top-Down in a Round” crochet hat patterns. Top Down in a Round hats is when you start at the top of the crown, and then in circles (I hope this definition makes sense.)
Materials: Yarn, Hook, Tape Measure / Ruler, Hat Size Chart (see below)
Here’s a more detailed steps. Hopefully, this helps than confuse you. =)
1. Start with a Magic Ring. You may start with chains and slip stitch to make a circle. But it’s also great to learn Magic Ring. Once you learn magic ring, you don’t want to go back. =)
2. How many count of single crochet or double crochet should I start with? When you’re used to following a pattern when creating beanie, you’re used to being given a number of DCs or SCs to start with.
But since we’re kind of winging it, you make as many DCs until you get a flat round after a slip-stitch. For me, I’m lucky starting with 8 or 10 DCs.
3. In the next round, increase the number of stitches until you get the DIAMETER size (not the circumference) of the preemie hat you want to make.
For this example, I’m doing the smallest preemie hat size.
When increasing the size of a hat, the rule I follow is: multiply the beginning number of stitches with the number of row. For example, I began with 10 DCs so I will multiply it with 2 in the 2nd row, meaning you’ll have 20 DCs in 2nd row. If you had made coasters or any thing round pattern, you’re familiar on how to add the stitches for the increase like 1-2 then 1-1-2, etc.
For those who are not familiar, you can do it by grouping your stitches by the number of row you are in. For example, in Row 3, I group the stitch by 3. So 1 DC in first stitch then 2 DCs in the next stitch. And, when in Row 4, it would be a group of “1DC 1DC 2DC” repeat until the end.
4. Measure the DIAMETER of the circle every now and then. Once you reached the desired diameter size, you can now stop increasing the number of stitches in the following rows. You just then maintain crocheting the number of stitches in the following rows.
In this example, the desired diameter size was met in my 4th row which has 40 DCs. The following rows will then have 40 DCs or stitches.
5. Continue adding rows until you reached the right length size.
The finished product:
1. If you find your hat stiff, try a bigger hook size to make it stretchier.
2. To add designs to your hat, add different stitch patterns. It’s easier to do different stitch patterns once you’re done increasing. In my example, I add a different stitch pattern on the 6th row. You can check different stitch patterns from mypicot.com. But no pressure, the best thing is that we’re making something to give warm to the tiny babies.