Are you ready to jump into the first Making the World a Little Sweeter project?  I’m excited!  Click here to read the background on what Making the World a Little Sweeter is all about!

Our first project this year is a crocheting/ knitting project. We will be participating in the Good Goes Caps for Good program. It requires minimal time yet has the potential to make a big impact. Consider the following:

“Nearly 4 million babies die each year in their first month of life – half within their first 24 hours – mostly from preventable or treatable causes. But by giving mothers and caregivers a package of simple tools, including guidance on healthy newborn care practices, the majority of these deaths could be prevented…. This is where you can help by making a cap! Your caps will be sent to Save the Children’s newborn health programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America.” (taken from the Caps for Good Action Kit)

Basically, you can help save a baby’s life by making a tiny little hat which will be given to a new mama and baby somewhere far away.

What to do:

  • Check out even more free newborn hat patterns here and here, or feel free to scroll down and use the crochet pattern and tutorial I have shared with you.
  • Knit or crochet a tiny cap.
  • Mail the cap to: 
Save the Children, Caps for Good
c/o The Doe Fund
173 Cook Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206 
by the end of February (program ends then).
    • Tell someone about Caps for Good so they can get in on the fun.

    I know some of you are thinking “A tiny little cap?  Easy.  I can bust that out in about 20 minutes.”  People like my sister Marissa.  Come to think of it… why didn’t she write this post?  Oh, right, because she is super busy with her public health internship…  oh well, you’re stuck with me.  The rest of you (myself included) may not have such stellar skills in the needlework department.  BUT- this project really is easy.  If I could do it, you can do it too.  The hardest part for me was figuring out how to read a crochet pattern, which I have never done before.  But after some sweat and tears (well, ok, figuratively) and 5 attempts (the last two finally looked like hats!), I think I might be able to help.

    This is the pattern (minus the fancy cherries on top) which made me feel as if I could actually successfully crochet a hat, so with a few modifications, I did it!  The body of the hat is just really simple; all you need to know how to do is a single crochet stitch (click for an illustrated how- to).  So, the hat is made in a circular fashion, starting at the top, and coiling around until you get the desired length.  The instructions will be given in rounds, i.e. Rnd 1, 2, 3, etc. Most patterns will have you begin by crocheting a small chain, and working several stitches into the first stitch you made.  That really confused me at first, but you really do add all those stitches in that one little loop.  Well, I’m getting ahead of myself.  How about a picture tutorial to get you started?

    Simple Baby Beanie Tutorial & Pattern

    This beanie is sized to fit a very small infant, or newborn’s head. 

    Use any type of soft yarn to make this hat.  I used baby yarn because I have quite a bit that belonged to my husband’s grandmother, and it was just begging to be used (after 20+ years…).  I used my smallest crochet hook, I would say a size F or G.  Adjust the size of your hook according to the thickness of the yarn you are using.

    First make a slipknot in your yarn, like this:

    Now crochet a chain 3 stitches long.

    Then, connect your short little chain so that it becomes a tiny little circle, by adding a single crochet stitch to the other end of the chain.

    Now add 6 more single crochets into that same stitch, and you end up with a flower- like circle, like this:

    That was Round (Rnd) 1.

    For Rnd 2, add 2 single crochets into each stitch in your circle (14 stitches in all this time around).  Your circle is getting bigger!
     

    Rnd 3: Add one single crochet (sc) into the next stitch, two sc into the next, and keep alternating between one and two sc per stitch for 21 stitches.

    Rnd 4:  One sc into the next two stitches, then two sc in the third stitch, and repeat that pattern all the way around the circle (28 stitches).

    Rnd 5: One sc into the next three stitches, then two sc in the fourth stitch, and repeat that pattern all the way around the circle (35 stitches).

    Rnd 6: One sc into the next four stitches, then two sc in the fifth stitch, and repeat that pattern all the way around the circle (42 stitches).

    Rnd 7: One sc into the next five stitches, then two sc in the sixth stitch, and repeat that pattern all the way around the circle (49 stitches).

    Rnd 8: One sc into the next six stitches, then two sc in the seventh stitch, and repeat that pattern all the way around the circle (56 stitches).

    Rnd 9-23: One sc in each stitch until the hat is the desired length (approximately 14 more rounds).

    Finishing the hat: Try any style of trim you want, or just do a simple slip stitch in each stitch once around the hat.  A slip stitch as I understand it starts out just like a sc but when you put your hook through the middle of the stitch and grab the yarn, you pull it through both of the loops you have on your hook at once.

    Cut the yarn and tie it off by threading the end of the yarn through the loop your hook was in two times, then pulling tight.  You can then trim the yarn close to the knot or leave a tail and weave it into the hat so it doesn’t show.

    I turned my hat inside out because I like the look of the stitches on the inside best.

    Now, don’t worry if the number of stitches isn’t quite the same or stitches aren’t perfectly even or you think it is too big or too small or too anything.  The point of this is to make something to keep a little one warm and to feel warm fuzzies (no pun intended) for the recipients.  Just take a deep breath and say “It’s good enough!”

    If you need clarification on anything (or if you are a crochet pro and you find a mistake in my pattern and want to correct it), shoot me an email at rochelle@homesweethomebodies.net and I will do my best to point you in the right direction.

    Good luck and I would love to see pictures and/or a link to your blog post if you make a hat!