Sunday, May 24, 2009

Preemie IV Cover

Preemie IV Cover

IV ain’t the Roman numeral 4, but for intravenous access as preemies get their little IVs inserted into their little heads. I know, but it is the best place for it, and it is where they’ll go. I wanted a cap that would allow that, and it ended up with the bonus of needing a button – yay! Something to decorate with, while we’re at it! And this wee little button will go right in the front of the cap, so Baby won’t be lying on it, and tubing won’t snag on it. The back flap is roomy enough to actually close over the IV insertion, with gaps to allow the tubing somewhere to go, so this functions as an IV cover as well.
I also aimed to eliminate seaming since that’s a no-go with delicate preemie heads. When weaving in the end tails, be mindful of where you hide them, since the flap will likely be open a lot, making parts of the cap’s inside visible.

You’ll need
DK or light aran weight yarn, machine washable
US size 6 needles, straights and a set of DPNs
stitch marker, locking or split type
2 stitch holders or some waste yarn
One cable needle (but there’s no cabling in this)
darning needle

Gauge is roughly 6 inches per stitch in stockinette, but not crucial. Don’t worry if your hat is a bit smaller or bigger than others, as preemies come in all sizes too. Also, the reason it has such a proportionately generous brim is to allow for folding it wherever that particular baby needs it to be folded. Don’t worry; I promise it will fit someone.

Back Flap

Cast on 3 with DPNs, mark these cast on stitches with your cable needle by sliding it through the stitches (see photo), and then work an I-cord for an inch as if that cable needle wasn’t even dangling right there.

Bring those cast on stitches up to the DPN and transfer them to it for the button loop (you’re done with that cable needle).

Purl across these 6 stitches, transferring them to one of your straight needles.

Row 1: k1, m1R, k4, m1L, k1

Row 2: k3, purl to the last three, k3

Row 3: k3, m1R, knit to the last four stitches, m1L, k3

repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have 30 stitches. At this point, use a split or locking stitch marker to mark one of the end stitches (doesn’t matter which end).

Row 1: k3, purl 24, k3

Row 2: knit across

repeat rows 1 and 2 until it measures 2 inches from the marker (you can ditch the marker when it does).

Cut yarn and transfer all the stitches to a stitch holder. Place it aside for a bit, while you move on to making the front panel.

Front panel
Cast on 16 stitches

Row 1: k3, purl to the last three stitches, k3

Row 2: k3, m1R, knit to the last four stitches, m1L, k3

Row 3: k3, purl to the last three stitches, k3

repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have a total of 30 stitches

Cut yarn and transfer all the stitches to a DPN

Using your DPNs, you’re going to join the two pieces while also getting your brim stitches out of this little maneuver.

Transfer the flap onto 3 DPNs (six stitches on one, 18 on another, and six on the third).

Here comes the weird part, but it’s the part that makes this whole thing work. You’re going to overlap six stitches on both sides, so that the flap overlaps on the outside and the front panel on the inside. Lay the flap’s DPN with the six stitches over the first six stitches of the front panel. Using another DPN, add more yarn by knitting into a stitch from both pieces as if they were one, similar to the three-needle bind off. Do this with the remaining 5 stitches to be overlapped.

knit the next 18 stitches on the front panel, then repeat the overlapping maneuver for the last 6. Yes, it is a little fussy, but it’s only six stitches and those are only in this one row; it’ll all be easy peasy after this, I promise.

knit into the remaining 18 stitches. You should have a total of 48 stitches on your DPNs (or circ, if you prefer).

Now just work a k1p1 ribbing for two inches, and then bind off very loosely. Fold brim and pat yourself on the back!


  1. This is way too clever!!! Heck, I used to be a NICU nurse, why didn't I think of this???? I guess I'll need to knit a few for the littlest Vol fans ;-}

  2. now I gotta get some more oranges . . . I ate the model.

  3. I am so happy this is a free pattern :) My Stitch n Bitch group is making a push over the next few weeks to make preemie hats to donate to the Infant ICU at our local Teaching Hospital and I clicked the link to your blog from Ravelry almost by accident :) I am excited to try one (some) of these for my portion of the donation :) What a great idea!

  4. Awww, thank you!
    Ravelry has a fantastic variety of preemie caps, by just putting the word 'preemie' in the search thingy. And them little hats are addictive, since they go so quick.
    Their fast size was what enticed me to first dip a toe in the charity-knitting-waters.

  5. This is very clever! Do you sell these? I am a NICU nurse and would love to have a few!



  6. Thank you for this wonderful pattern. I've added it to my preemie charity knitting list. Appreciate it very much. :)

  7. Thanks for your free pattern. I am in Alaska and our local hospital needs hats of all children's sizes.I have the time to knit, but yarn here is very expensive. If anyone has odds and ends of any color, I would appreciate it. I will also frog unfinished projects to use for hats. (Each hat I knit is different and I often use fair isle design.) Box 765, Valdez, Alaska 99686