Monday, 2 April 2012

Knitting for Premature Babies

One of the rites of passage for the parent of a premature baby is when that baby can have a blanket and wear clothes. In the picture above is a helmet Joseph wore for his first outing out of the incubator. This was knitted by a kind volunteer that I will never meet. Also in the picture is a blanket I hastily knitted out of chunky wool, that Joseph slept under in his incubator.

I am not a knitter. I have just completed a six week knitting course at our local surestart centre, which has brought my knitting along by a country mile. I have started to knit a couple of simle blankets for neonatal units.

This little pink number is modelled by a friendly triceratops. It's not that clever, just stocking stitch and the wool is dyed to form that pattern no clever striping or intarsia work so don't be too impressed!

This one is much smaller and is for a charity called Lisa's Stars. (Content is sensitive, these blankets are made for babies born too soon who can't come home with their parents)

Some units no longer take hand knitted garments as there are concerns they cannot be boiled washed. More often hand knitted garments are given to the baby and stay with them, so there is no need for boil washing. This is why there are such large numbers needed in the units that do still use these precious garments.

If you want to join me in knitting there are several ways of going about it. Contact your local unit and ask if they are accepting garments and blankets.

There's a growing charity called PreemiesUK that supply garments all over the United Kingdom. On their Facebook page under Notes, there are several patterns ranging from easy to more difficult ones. If you are not a knitter, sewer or crocheter, there are loads of other ways to help, through donating money or recycling, see the page for more details.

Bliss, for babies born too soon, too small too sick have a craft club you can join for a reasonable monthly fee that will give you access to patterns and projects.

In my travels I found a great list of patterns here on the BBC Stoke and Staffordshire website, supplied by Ray of Hope based at Leighton Hospital. The patterns are categorised into hand knitted patterns, machine knitted patterns and sewing patterns.

I hope this has inspired you to get your knitting needles out and knit for premature babies! You don't have to be a brilliant knitter, and it's very rewarding.




74 comments:

  1. What are the general measurements for a preemie blankie? I love knitting but have about a metric tonne of scarves!!!

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  2. Great post. My mother in law knits for.Simpsons in edinburgh where gemma was. She also hands items into john Lewis who I.think distribute to different units that need them. My cousins wife knitted a great yellow hat for gemma and it was great when she could wear it. If you look through my facebook photos you will see it. Very 'different' style but lovely to have.something different and of her own.

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  3. All sizes 12 inches up to 30 inches!

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