Ideal Preemie Hat pattern (for charity knitting)

I have combined a variety of preemie hat patterns that I have come across as a consequence of trial, error, and a desire to make the hat comfortable for a little head in an incubator.  The result is the following pattern:

Ideal Preemie Hat Pattern
4 size US 7 double pointed needles or one size US 7 cable needle (40” cable, approximately) for largest size, US 5 for middle size and small size; if you go smaller, use a  US 4. 
Approximately 50 (60, 70) yards of fingering weight or other light-weight yarn (3-ply works best for this pattern)
Notes:  You will be knitting in the round to avoid a side seam on the hat. Smallest size is intended for a 4-5 lb. preemie with an 8” head. Largest size is intended for 12” head or 6 to 7 lbs.
Pattern Instructions:
CO 52 (58, 64) stitches, splitting stitches fairly evenly across three needles.  If using a cable, divide stitches in half across both sides of the cable.
Knit one round, then K1, P1 ribbing for approximately 6 rows or ¾ inch.
Knit every row for next 3 (3.25, 3.5) inches.
Begin decreases. 
*K2 tog, K3, repeat from * around.
K around.
*K2 tog, K2, repeat from * around.
K around.
*K2 tog, K1, repeat from * around.
K around.  If working on 3 needles, slip last st of round onto 1st needle.
SSK around.
SSK around.
Clip yarn, leaving a 6” tail.  Draw yarn through remaining stitches, pull tightly to close opening, and secure.  Weave in all ends.

Pattern composed by K. Kuhn for use in charity knitting.
All rights reserved. 4/26/2010.


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