This excellent site says that 4-5lb preemie head sizes are in the 11″-12″ size range. This hat measures 11.5″, with plenty of stretch. For tiny, tender little heads, it would probably be best to make it with softer yarns (Simply Soft and I Love This Yarn! are some of my favorites).
Worsted weight yarn, I use 3 different colors in most cases. You will be holding 3 strands together at all times.
Size “M” crochet hook
Start with a magic circle (an excellent tutorial can be found here)
Ch2, 8 DC in circle, pull circle tight, join, ch2 (8 stitches total)
2DC in each DC, join, ch2 (16 stitches total)
2DC in first DC, DC in next DC, *2DC, DC* repeat around, join, ch2 (24 stitches total)
Rows 4-7, DC in each DC.
Finish off, weave in ends.
According to motherly and grandmotherly wisdom, we as humans can lose anywhere from 60-80% of our body heat through an uncovered head. I checked on that statistic, and it appears that the number is more likely 10%. All I know for sure is that I’m definitely a lot cooler in the summer without a hat, and that I feel a lot warmer in the winter with one. Even without the warmer feeling, I’m much more comfortable when my ears are warm. However, to give that maternal wisdom its due, according to this post (and many others like it all over the internet), the cheeks, nose, ears, fingers and toes are most prone to frostbite. Especially in children and most especially in smaller children.
Every Christmas you hear about Coats for Kids, and Toys for Tots. Those are amazing organizations and they do immense amounts of good, but what about Hats for Heads? Google turned up no results, my search on Facebook led me to a small non-profit organization page that had 30 “likes”. The page states that they are an “organization for people in need of a hat for their child in this frigid Montana weather”. Why is this not made into a matter of more importance? Why is the Bozeman community the only one on board? It gets cold in many, many other places and just like there are tots without toys and kids without coats, there are heads without hats.
Personally, the youth leadership in my county head up the Coats for Kids collection and distribution. It’s a small part of the Christmas for Kids celebration at the city park. Several of the more crafty ladies produce a number of hats, but there are never enough. I have more yarn than I’ll ever be able to use, and it’s getting on my nerves. I have to keep it in plastic bags and in closets or the cats will decorate with it, and it’s just enough. I wanted a quick hat, because the more I can make between now and then, the better. I wanted a large variety of sizes, because the only thing less uncomfortable than no hat at all is a hat that pinches and squeezes your head. The newborn pattern is ready to go, more will follow as fast as my hands can crochet. Help make Hats for Heads an actual thing in your community and mine.