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Knitting For Premature Babies.

A premature baby has very delicate skin so make sure you use baby soft yarn. Sometimes premature babies are allergic to wool, so it's best to steer clear of using wool mix. You can use cotton and acrylic yarn. 100% Egyptian cotton is very soft, a fantastic soft yarn for delicate skin, warm when it is cold and cool when it is warm. Plain flat half-inch buttons are best to use for fastening. Avoid nylon and metal fastenings, as they get very hot under the incubator heaters. Do not use Velcro as a fastening, it is very scratchy on the hook side and also damages knitted garments when they are laundered. Ease of dressing is vital for preemies and as a general rule it is best not to use ribbon as a fastening as ribbon can often be fussy to tie on a garment so small. Knitting items for premature babies can be very rewarding and is definitely appreciated by the charities and the families who receive them. Here are some basic Knitting patterns for babies 3-4 lbs, you can add colour or any pattern stitch of your choice to make them as plain or as fancy as you wish.

Hoodie & Pant Set

Materials: 1 skein of Any kind of Baby Sport Yarn Size 6 (4mm) needles Stitch Holders (or large safety pins) 3 buttons Abbreviations: K Knit P Purl St stitch BO bind off K2tog Knit 2 stitches together YO Yarn over BACK Cast on 40 sts. Work 3 rows in garter st. ( K each row). Work in stockinette st ( K 1 row, P 1 row) until work is 4", ending on P side.

SLEEVES Cast on 18 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Next row: K across. Next row: K 2, P across to last 2 sts, K 2. Repeat these 2 rows until sleeve measures 2 1/2 inches, ending on P side. BO 18 sts at the beginning of next 2 rows. Next row: K 2tog across to end of row. BO 4 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Put remaining 12 sts on stitch holder. LEFT FRONT Cast on 20 sts. Work 3 rows in garter stitch. Next row: K across. Next row: P across to last 3 sts, K3 Continue last 2 rows until work measures 1". Next row: K1, YO, K 2tog, (buttonhole), K across. Continue in stockinette stitch until work is 4" ending on P side. **after you have 9 ridges from 1st buttonhole, make another buttonhole. SLEEVE Cast on 18 sts beginning of next row. (make sure this is not the side with the ridges) Next row:K 2, P across to last 3 sts, K3. (continue front edge) K until sleeve measures 2 ½ inches. Add another buttonhole when you have 9 ridges from last buttonhole. Make sure front measures equally to the back. BO 18sts, P across. Next row: K2tog across to end of row. (10 sts) Next row: BO 4 sts, P 4, K2 (6 sts) Place on stitch holder. RIGHT FRONT Cast on 20 sts. Work 3 rows in garter stitch. Next row: K across. Next row: K 3 sts, P across.

Continue these 2 rows until work measures 4" ending P side. SLEEVE Cast on 18 sts beginning next row. Next row: K across. Next row: K 3, P across to last 2 sts, K2. Continue these 2 rows until piece measures 2 1/2 inches. (make sure to compare size to the left front)<> BO 18sts, K across. Next row: K3, P across. Next row: K2tog across to end of row (10 sts) Next row: K2, P across. Next row: BO 4sts, work to end. (6 sts) Place these sts on stitch holder. HOOD With right sides facing you, place right front, back, left front (24 sts) on needle. Right side facing you, K across. Next row: P across. Next row: Increase 1 sts in each stitch. (48 sts) Keeping 1st and last 3 sts in garter stitch, work in stockinette stitch until hood measures 4". BO all 48 sts. Fold hood in half at BO sts. Sew seam for hood. Sew sleeves and side seams. Add buttons for the buttonholes. Crochet chain stitch for 10" (make 2 of these) for a cord to be attached at each side of the hood . Tie in a bow. PULL-ON PANTS RIGHT LEG Cast on 40 sts. Rib 4 rows in k1, p1. Continue to work in stockinette stitch until total length is 4". Increase 1 st both sides at knit row for 3 times. ( 46 sts) Work even in stockinette stitch until length from last increase stitch is 4", ending in P row.

Next row: K1, K2tog, *K3, K2tog, repeat from * across. Place on stitch holder. LEFT LEG Work as right leg. When you reach the last row, place right leg stitches on the needle, making sure K sides are correct. WAISTBAND With all stitches for left left, right leg, (knit side facing you) P across. Next row: P across. Next row: (knit side facing you) K1, *YO, K2tog, across to last st, K1. (eyelet stitch) Next row: P across. Next row. P across. BO all stitches. Finishing: Sew center front seam to match up the last increase stitch. Now do the back seam to match up to last increase stitch. (this will take you now to the crotch area) With the piece facing you, now sew the leg seams. Make a crochet chain approximately 30". Weave chain through the eyelet stitches of the waistband. Make sure each side is even, tie a bow.

Cardigan & Bonnet

Use size 6 (4mm) needles Baby yarn 3 or 4 ounce Abbreviations St = stitches K = knit P = purl YO = yarn over Inc = increase Mrk = marker Tog = together RS = right side WS = wrong side Cast on 50 stitches. Work even in garter st (knit each row) until 2 purl ridges on right side. (RS) Button hole - k2, YO, k2tog, k across. Knit next row. SHOULDER SHAPING: R1: (RS) K11, inc 1 , place mrk, inc 1, k4, inc 1, place mrk, inc 1, k13, inc 1, place mrk, inc 1, k4, inc 1, place mrk, inc 1, k10.

R2: K4, p across (slip mrks), to last 4 sts, k4 R3: k each stitch , inc one stitch before and after each marker, k to end. Continue rows 2 and 3 until 10 purl ridges from first buttonhole. Next row - k2, YO, k2tog, knit to first mrk, place stitches between first and second marker on a stitch holder.(sleeve) knit next stitches (back) to the next marker, place stitches between the next 2 markers on a stitch holder (other sleeve), knit next stitches Next row (WS) k4, p across to last 4 sts, k4 Next row - k across. Continue last 2 rows until 10 purl ridges from last buttonhole. (RS) k2, YO, k2tog, k to end Next rows - knit next 6 rows. Bind off. SLEEVES From stitch holder, pick up one side of stitches and put onto needle. (RS) R1: k R2: p Continue row 1 and 2 for 20 rows. Knit next 6 rows. Bind off, leaving 12" of yarn to sew seam for sleeve. Repeat for 2nd sleeve.

BONNET Cast on 14 st R1: k R2: p repeat rows 1 and 2 for 20 rows. Cast on 15st end of next 2 rows. Continue rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 3 1/2" from cast on rows. Knit next 6 rows . Bind off. Do not cut yarn off, leave attached to pick up stitches for neckband. Sew side seams. Pick up 45 stitches along bonnet bottom. Knit to end, cast on 24 sts. Next row - knit across Next row - button hole knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, YO, k2. Next row - knit across, then turn and bind off. Add buttons where appropriate buttonholes to sweater and bonnet are.

Easy Booties

Worsted Weight Yarn, Size 7 (4.5mm) Needles Note: Leave 12" tail to sew up the back

Cast on 29 sts Row 1 k 9 P1 K9 P1 K9 Row 2 K across Do these 2 rows for 10 rows Toe: K1, M1, K1 continue in P1 K1 Ribbing to the end of the row ... 30 stitches Work 6 rows K1 P1 ... Work 2 Tog across ... Cut 12" Tail ... Weave through the remaining 15 stitches ... twice ... tug Sew up the top of the toe