So, as some of you may have noticed, I have been making things to donate to the local NICU and bereavement program. In particular, I love this Ravelry pattern for tiny bonnets. It is however knit, and my skills of a knitter are less than fabulous. So I have written my own crochet pattern for tiny bonnets! Here it is!
Use soft baby yarn (I have been using Bernat Softee Baby, but anything similar will do) and a 4.25 or 5 mm hook, give or take. You want the fabric to be soft and flexible, but guage is not overwhelmingly important. The NICU needs all kinds of sizes!
Ch 6 (7, 8) (Instructions for alterations for ch 9, 10, and 11 at bottom.)
Row 1: starting in second ch from hook, sc in front loop of each ch to end, DO NOT TURN, sc in back loop of each ch for 10 (12, 14, 16, etc) sc in a U-shape. Ch 1, turn.
Row 2: 2 sc in each sc around for 20 (24, 28, 38, etc) sc. Ch 1, turn.
Row 3 thru 7 (8, 9): SC in each sc around, ch 1, and turn. Basically, do one less row than the number of ch you started with after the increase row.
Row 8 (9, 10): do some sort of tiny lovely edging. I like eyelets (ch 2, skip one stitch, sc 1, ch 1, skip stitch, repeat from around), but anything will work. Sc ch3 in each stitch around also looks really cute. Finish and weave in ends.
If you want, you can also put eyelets around the bottom of the bonnet for the ribbon to thread through, but I find it unneccessary, personally.
Weave a length of thin ribbon around the bottom of the bonnet to make a tie. Do not tie any knots or sew it in, just weave it through (in case the councilor needs to remove it).
These are very small – the 6 ch version will fit a head about the size of a golf ball. For larger sizes:
Ch 9 (10, 11)
Row 1: Starting in second ch from hook, sc in each ch to the end. Sc one in middle of last ch. DO NOT TURN, sc in back loop of each ch to make a U shape (17 18, 19 sc).
Proceed as above, except do one more row of sc in each sc (i.e., do the same number of rows as you did chains, instead of the number of chains minus one).
The ch 11 version comes out about the size of a small apple.
It is possible that the pattern will expand to larger sizes, but I have only tested it up to ch 11. If you have comments or suggestions for improvements, PLEASE TELL ME! I have never drafted a pattern before, and while I have tested extensively (thank you testers!) it is always possible I have missed something.
If you want to make some to donate, you can contact your local hospital NICU or send them to the councilor here, at this address:
Utah Valley Hospital
1036 N 500 W
Provo, UT 84606
C/O NICU Common Bonds Heather Walker
Or if you know me well enough to know my address, you can send them to me, or hand them to me if you see me. Happy yarn therapy!