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prem baby charity knitting patterns

Updated on October 19, 2009

Nutty about Knitting? Novice with your needles? Charity knitting is for you.

If you love knitting or are just starting out its always great to knit baby items... quick and satisfying, cute too! if you have run out of babies to knit for then why not knit for charity.

Hints and tips on Knitting for premature baby charities.

Your questions answered.

Do you want to knit for a good cause? Whether you are nutty about knitting or an eager novice with your needles paused there are lots of charities to choose from. If you are a knitter then knitting for charity can definitely be fun, but it can also be one of the most satisfying things you'll ever do.

So How do you get started?

There are lots of ways that you can click your knitting needles for a good cause. The information here will help you start charity knitting for prem babies. There is something sweet about knitting a tiny item for the tiniest of babies. Not only are you providing a personal gift for someone who desperately needs it, but also baby clothes are quick and easy to make! So it's satisfying in more ways than one. Even if you're a beginner this is a project you can start and see through right to the end. Read on for some great general advice on charity knitting for prem babies and some details of specific charities you can have a look at before you decide who to get knitting for. The charities often provide free knitting patterns but below is some general advice to help you get those needles clicking.

What size do I knit?

Don't put too much emphasis on trying to perfect the size of a preemie garment. There is a great variation between premature baby sizes that an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is approximately the same as their chest circumference. The average prem baby's chest measurements are 8"-14". However clothes of all sizes are required for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby.

Which colours do I choose?

Pastel colours are the most popular. Apart from the obviously baby pinks and blues other colours which may be used are: Lemon, Cream, White, Mint green, Peach, Lilac and Aqua. It is recognised that bright and dark colours should be avoided as they often make prem babies look frailer. When knitting burial garments the advice suggests its best to use colours such as white or cream and to avoid pinks, blues and lilacs, as they aren't suited to the colouring of a stillborn baby.

How do i know which yarn to use?

Premature babies have very delicate skin and can often be allergic to wool; therefore it is best to avoid garments made with a wool mix. Acrylic yarn is more suitable when knitting for preemies. Ideal yarn to use for preemie knits is baby double knit or 4ply yarn. Most preemie patterns will use these.

Do I need special fastenings?

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.

What do I choose to Knit?


These are the most frequently used preemie clothing. V-Necks or round necks are the best to knit for 'give' and ease of dressing. Cuffs and shoulders should have plenty o of 'give' to help make dressing easy. Stretchy knits such as garter stitch work best as they provide the necessary 'give'.


Prem baby knitting charities usually appreciate blankets. Avoid lacy patterns or blankets with large holes in can be dangerous for little fingers.


The best type is the ventilator hat as they allow the babies to have head scans without removing the hat. Keep the designs simple and preferably without any ties and fastenings. Check the specific sites for the knitting patterns they recommend.


Garter stitch is the best to use for booties as it is stretchy which makes it easier to put the booties on. It is better to knit shaping at the ankle to provide grip rather than use tie or cords.

The charities involved often have free patterns and advice on their websites so do not be worried by all the dos and don'ts as you really will be able to find a garment to suit both your knitting skills and the babies needs.

Where do I find Prem Baby Charity Knitting Patterns?

There are a number of charities organising knitting for premature babies, or you can contact your local hospital. Charities include:


Preemies UK

Bonnie Babies

Feed the Children

Early Angels

Knitting items for premature babies can be very rewarding and is definitely appreciated by the charities and the families who receive them. If you are excited by the prospect of getting your knitting needles working for charity and want to explore charity knitting for other organisations here are some ideas to help your search.

Charity Clowns

Teddies for Tragedies

Algerian Action

Save the Children


Knitting for Operation Christmas Child

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Have you tried the sweet pea maternity online store?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thumbs up!

      Great lens... very informative. Thanks for the good read.


      Hemorrhoid Miracle Review

    • jo-c lm profile imageAUTHOR

      jo-c lm 

      9 years ago

      Hi Carole

      Its best to aks the hospital what they want as some places only take scertain items, blankets for example, have a look

      for some more guidance, bonny babies has lot of patterns , but its best to check the specific needs of the hospital.

      sorry for slow reply.. been off line for a while

      good luck with the knitting.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great article, my wife dropped on your my smarticles site and really enjoyed your page on maternity reflexology

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Looking for prem baby patterns ,as I am going to start knitting for Colchester

      General Hospital Prem Baby Unit, it one of our line dancing charities, please can you help

      Yours Sincerely

      Carole Dimond

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Hi, I have been knitting for preemies for 20 years. I really love doing it and the finished hat or bootees etc. is so rewarding when you know you have done something to someone-else. I am always looking for new patterns so keep me in mind if you inherit a new pattern.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This little article is very informative. My knitting needles are clicking away as we speak!


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