If you are a keen knitter – or are thinking about taking up knitting in 2020 – newborn babies in our hospitals need your help!
Our maternity teams have launched an appeal, asking knitters to create special red hats for babies who might need a little bit of additional support in their first few days.
After emerging from a warm womb into the world, newborn babies can develop hypothermia in the first 12 hours after they are born, particularly during the winter months.
Popping on a hat is a good way to help ensure that babies keep warm – and the red hats that the maternity team are asking for will serve a dual purpose.
The red hats will be given to babies who require closer observation than usual, perhaps because they have a complication like a respiratory condition, jaundice or low blood glucose levels. The bright colour will remind maternity staff to keep a close eye on babies wearing red hats, helping to reduce the number who have to be admitted to the neonatal unit because they get cold or develop complications.
The pattern can be found below – and completed hats should be sent to: Red Hat Appeal, Geoffrey Hammond Ward, Florence Portal House, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Romsey Road, Winchester, SO22 5DG
Use red double knitting wool.
Using 3.1/4 m.m. (10) needles.
Cast on 71 sts and work 8cm (3ins) in rib finishing on 2nd row.
Change to 4m.m. (8) needles and work 12 rows in stocking stitch.
1st row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. knit 5 repeat from * to end.
2nd row and every alternate row, purl.
3rd row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. knit 4 repeat from * to end.
5th row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. knit 3 repeat from * to end.
7th row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. knit 2 repeat from * to end.
9th row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. knit 1 repeat from * to end.
11th row K1*sl.1, K1, p.s.s.o. repeat to the end.
Break off wool and thread wool through stitches, draw up tight and fasten off.
Sew hat up, folding rib in half.