In this post, you will learn all about purple hats for newborns and why they are needed.
I recently read an article about how many makers are knitting and crocheting purple hats for newborns to raise awareness about the ‘Period of PURPLE crying’.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has been asking for donations of purple knit caps to be sent to various destinations.
PURPLE is an acronym that stands for:
- P – Peak of crying
- U – Unexpected
- R – Resists Soothing
- P – Pain-like face
- L – Long-lasting
- E – Evening
The Period of Purple Crying
It has been reported (from Doctors/experts) that from the age of 2 weeks to about 3 or 4 months, some babies will cry and cannot be soothed.
Babies can cry for hours, but they are neither sick or in pain, they are just crying.
It is usually called colic, but some doctors are trying to move away from that diagnosis, saying it could mean there is something wrong with the baby.
But they also say it could be a part of their normal development.
That’s why they’re trying to change it from colic to “The Period of PURPLE Crying.”
Purple Knit Caps Are Needed
At the same time, the department of health has found that this is the time that babies are at risk for Shaken Baby Syndrome.
To spread awareness, the Oklahoma State Department of Health will distribute thousands of purple knit caps to every baby born in 41 hospitals in Oklahoma in November and December.
They really need your help to make that happen!
The Hat Guidelines
There are guidelines you should follow when making the purple hats;
- Please make your hats with new, clean, soft to the touch and washable yarn. Some ‘value’ yarns are made with scratchy fibres, so please double-check that the yarn you are using is super soft and perfect for a newborns head!
- The hats are intended to be worn by 1-2 day old infants, the average newborn head circumference is 14″ (13-15″) and hats should be approx 4-6″ high.
- Hats need to be 50% or more of any shade of purple.
- Please use either – gender-neutral (Unisex) styles or an equal number of girl/boy-friendly styles.
- In order to keep the babies safe from choking hazards or strangulation risks, please do not add straps, ties, pom poms, tassels, bows, ribbons, buttons or any other additional decorations.
- The hats are meant to keep babies heads warm in colder conditions, a smaller stitch results in a warmer hat. if the stitches are larger and looser (for example if it has been created on a loom) they will not provide enough warmth.
- This type of knitting is allowed but should be used with caution. Please make sure that the hat is not too loose or too tight for a comfortable fit around the baby’s head.
Here is a free knitting pattern for a unisex purple hat designed by Olha from Halifax Charity Knitters.
- DK weight (Light #3) soft acrylic yarn in purple (MC), 43m (47 yrds), and green (CC) 6m (7 yrds); 3.25 mm (US#3)
- 4 mm (US 6) double-pointed needles or circulars
- Tapestry needle
- 1 stitch marker
Pattern Note: This pattern is written for a smooth, ‘jogless’ colour change. Do not cut the contrasting color between stripes; carry up the inside.
With two smaller needles held together, cast on 60 sts using MC yarn. Pull one needle out. Distribute sts evenly on 3 double-pointed needles (20 on each); mark the beginning of the round and join, being careful not to twist.
- Rnds 1-22: K1, p1-tbl.
- Switch to larger needles.
- Rnds 23-28: MC. Knit.
- Rnd 29: CC. Knit.
- Rnd 30: Sl 1, knit to end.
- Rnd 31: MC. Knit.
- Rnd 32: Sl 1, knit to end.
- Rnds 33-34: Knit.
- Rnd 35: CC. Knit.
- Rnd 36: Sl 1, knit to end.
- Rnd 37: MC. Knit.
- Rnd 38: Sl 1, knit to end.
- Rnds 39-42: Knit.
- Shape Crown
- Rnd 43: (K8, k2tog) 6 times. (54 sts)
- Rnd 44: Knit.
- Rnd 45: (K7, k2tog) 6 times. (48 sts)
- Rnd 46: Knit.
- Rnd 47: (K6, k2tog) 6 times. (42 sts)
- Rnd 48: Knit.
- Rnd 49: (K5, k2tog) 6 times. (36 sts)
- Rnd 50: (K4, k2tog) 6 times. (30 sts)
- Rnd 51: (K3, k2tog) 6 times. (24 sts)
- Rnd 52: (K2, k2tog) 6 times. (18 sts)
- Rnd 53: (K1, k2tog) 6 times. (12 sts)
- Rnd 54: (K2tog) 6 times. (6 sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a 15 cm (6″) tail. Using tapestry needle, thread tail through remaining sts and pull tight. Weave in ends.
To knit a hat in one colour, read the pattern as follows: Rnds 23-42: Knit.
Sizing tip: change the size by adjusting the cast-on number by 6 sts. The decreases are worked over 6 sections (2 sections on each of 3 needles).
Calculate the number of stitches in each section when you start decreasing (Rnd43) and work knit to last 2 sts of the section, k2tog, in each section, alternating decrease and knit rounds until you have 42 sts left.
Then follow the pattern as given, starting from Rnd48.
k = knit
p = purl
p1-tbl = purl through the back loop
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together
sl (slip)= transfer a stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right without knitting
sts = stitches
MC = main colour
CC = contrast colour
Gauge: 23 sts and 32 rounds over 10 cm (4″) in stockinette st on larger needles.
Head circumference: 37 cm (14.5 inches), average newborn size.
PLEASE NOTE: the hat’s cast-on edge must be very stretchy to fit comfortably over a baby’s head. Please follow cast-on instructions.
Free Knitting Pattern – Simple Baby Hat
This simple baby hat can be knit with ease, fairly quickly on circular needles >>
- Baby Yarn (Rico Essentials BIG 50%acrylic 50% wool) 1 ball in Aubergine 039 / or alternatively for 100% cotton use Rico Creative Cotton Aran (Violet 16) on smaller needles (4-5mm) or double strands worked if used with 8mm (US 11) needles.
- 8 mm (US 11 Circular needle
- Stitch marker
- Darning needle
- Tape measure
- Cast on 34sts. Join in rnd, placing a marker on first st.
- 1st rnd: Purl.
- Knit in rnds until work from beg measures 4½ (5)” [11.5 (12.5) cm].Next rnd: (K6. K2tog. K7. K2tog) twice. 30 sts.
- Next rnd: Knit.
- Shape top: 1st rnd: *K3. K2tog. Rep from * around. 24 sts.
- 2nd rnd: Knit.
- 3rd rnd: *K2. K2tog. Rep from * around. 18 sts.
- 4th rnd: Knit.
- 5th rnd: *K1. K2tog. Rep from * around. 12 sts.
- 6th rnd: *K2tog. Rep from * around. 6 sts.
- Break yarn. Draw end through rem sts and fasten securely.
To fit 0-3 months
Approx = Approximately
Beg = Begin(ning)
Cont = Continue(ing)
K = Knit
K2tog = Knit next 2
Rem = Remaining
Rep = Repeat
Rnd(s) = Round(s)
St(s) = Stitch(es)
Where To Send
Take a look at this list to see where you can drop off or mail your hats to by the 1st October 2017.
Mail purple hats to:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
ATTN: Maternal and Child Health
1000 NE 10 St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299.
Volunteers can obtain patterns for caps and campaign guidelines at clickcampaign.health.ok.gov