Last week I had a new and exciting experience – I became a volunteer at our local hospital. I originally created this blog to have a creative outlet but I had no idea the impact my readers would have on my life. All the positive feedback and comments have helped me see that I have an opportunity and an obligation to give back.
My new volunteer job is to create and deliver art and activities for the pediatric and geriatric wards and to make hats and blankets for the maternity and neonatal intensive care units. I delivered my first big package of materials and hats last week and it felt so amazing to be able to contribute to this wonderful cause.
In honor of this new endeavor in my life, I'm including the pattern for what I'm calling my “Caps for a Cause” crochet beanie.
This is a very quick and simple crochet pattern that even beginner crocheters learning how to crochet can easily master. I crochet pretty slowly and I can make these hats in about 45 minutes (less time for a preemie-sized hat).
These crochet hats can be made in any size from preemie all the way to men's large so this is a very versatile pattern.
I'd also like to extend a challenge to any of my readers who are so inclined to join me in this volunteer effort. Hospitals are in great need of caps for newborns, preemies, and cancer patients. Crochet blankets, shawls, wash clothes and toys are also in high demand. Most hospitals have volunteer programs for receiving knitted and crochet goods so I encourage you to donate if possible – and please share your experiences with me in my comments section.
Crochet Caps for a Cause Pattern – download pattern.
- A soft medium weight yarn (50-70 yards) – I used Red Heart Soft. Choose as many different colors as you'd like.
- Crochet Hook – US J10/6 mm. I used this larger hook size for the baby hats so that the hats were a little more airy and stretchy but feel free to use a smaller hook if you prefer.
- Yarn or tapestry needle
Basic Hat Directions:
Ch = chain, sl st = slip stitch, sc = single crochet, dc = double crochet (U.S.)
- Ch 5 and then join together into a ring with a sl st (keep all your stitches loose). Or use the magic ring method if you prefer.
- Round 1: Ch 2 and then make 12 double crochets into the ring. Join with sl st.
- Round 2: Ch 2 and then 2 dc into the same stitch. Now do 2 dc in each stitch around and then sl st to join.
- Round 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in the first stitch then 1 dc in the next and the repeat this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join.
- Round 4: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next TWO stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join. (*Hats for preemie babies skip to step 7 – note that hospitals ask that hats for preemie's be a little bit longer so that they can fold back the edge of the hat)
- Round 5: Ch 2, 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next THREE stitches and repeat in this pattern for the entire row. Sl st to join. (*For larger hat designs you'd just keep increasing the number of stitches between each dc by 1 until you get the size you'd like. Example: the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FOUR stitches, the next row would be 2 dc in the next stitch then 1 dc in the next FIVE stitches, etc…)
- Rounds 6-12: Ch 2, double crochet in each stitch and join with a slip stitch. Continue this for each row until the hat is as long as you want it. (I usually do 6 rows for my baby hats)
- Final row, chain 1 and then sc in each stitch and slip stitch to join (keep this last row loose or else it will make the hat too tight at the bottom).
- Fasten off and weave the ends into the hat using your yarn/tapestry needle.
For the striped hat design just alternate different colors for each row (and add a third color in the second last row of dc's if you'd like). For the hat with the second color along the rim, change the color in your last row of dc's and then keep that color for step 8. I really like having at least 2 colors in the hat design, it just makes it a little more exciting to look at and you can have fun coming up with contrasting colors.
To add the single woven thread through the hat, thread your tapestry needle with a piece of yarn about 24″ long. Starting at the back seam of the hat, weave in the yarn and tie in with a knot and then weave in and out of each stitch around one row. See photo below for exactly where you put your needle through to get the same design I've done. When you're done the row fasten off and weave in any ends.
So, what do you think? This is an easy peasy crochet pattern easy enough for anyone who's still learning how to crochet. We hope you found this the perfect pattern for donating to your local hospital. Happy hooking!
Looking for more great crochet patterns for babies: Easy Striped Crochet Baby Hat Pattern, Easy Done in a Day Baby Blanket, Baby Bumps Blanket Crochet Pattern, Primrose Baby Blanket Crochet Pattern and the Star Stitch Striped Baby Blanket.
Update: Here's the pile of hats that Noelle and I took to the hospital on New Year's day… what a positive way to start off a new year.