Type of item: Clothing
Any yarn, but soft is best for newborn heads. Crochet hook, yarn needle.
What was your inspiration?
In 2008, a missionary nurse midwife friend of mine told me that newborn babies in third and fourth world countries die just from not having a hat on their head in the first 24-48 hours. Me and a group of women at church began crocheting and knitting baby caps. The first shipment was 118 hats to Ghana. Since then, over 11,500 hats have been sent with nurses/midwives on their trips around the world. Some are sewn and some are bought. One of the pictures is a pile of 818 hats that I took with me on a trip to Madagascar June 2011.
What are you most proud of?
We've sent nearly 12,000 hats to countries in Africa and the Middle East since May 2008. Anybody can help! Usually by the time somebody we know is ready to travel, we have at least 500 to 1000 hats ready to go. Many U.S. hospitals won't accept donated hats for newborns, but other countries are thrilled to have them. We don't ship them...we send them off with people traveling there, that we know can get them in the right hands, especially the clinics serving remote villages where infant mortality rate is especially high. If you would like to send us hats, please message me!
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Make any flat circle about the size of your palm, like making a coaster. When the circle is about 4 inches across, stop increasing and then keep going around and around until it's taken on the shape of a baby hat. Use any stitch you like, knit or crochet. Play with it and have fun! A newborn cap should fit an apple or an orange and have some stretch to it.
You can also make a ribbed rectangle (so it has stretch to it), sew it into a tube, then gather it together at one end, which becomes the crown of the hat.
Reach out to your community and get them involved. When you have a batch of hats collected, whether it's ten, fifty or 500, send them to me and we'll take care of the rest! God Bless all the hat makers and suppliers!