The Purple and White Knitting Initiative for Irish Premature Babies

As some of you are already aware, we were contacted back in May by Mandy Daly the Family Liaison Manager with Irish Premature Babies, Ireland’s only charity supporting families in Ireland with premature babies.

Each year, over 4,500 babies are born pre-term, and many require very long hospital stays and suffer lifelong complications as a result of their early arrivals.

The charity works hard to raise public awareness of premature birth and arranges several public events every November 17th to celebrate World Prematurity Awareness Day.  This year the charity is participating in a global initiative  and is hoping to turn many Irish landmark buildings purple (the worldwide colour of premature birth). It also wants to engage in a photography project where it plans to photograph a washing line of baby socks in front of these landmarks.

The charity also wants to donate preemie baby clothes (knitted and crochet hats, socks, cardigans, etc) to the various neo-natal units countrywide. This is where we come in.

Our collection for The Chernobyl Children’s Trust has come to an end; items are being collected later this week. This means we can put all of our efforts into this campaign now.  Items can be worked in knitting or crochet and the charity has said all colours are acceptable. Of course they have to be soft yarns, that goes without saying, but the items really can be every colour under the rainbow.  Fantastic, if like me you get tired using the same colour, if however, you do have any purple or white yarn lurking around in your stash the charity would love the odd item in these shades to follow their theme.

There are obviously quite a lot of sites online with patterns for preemies in addition you might already have some paper patterns that include preemie sizes.  16″ is newborn and 12″ and 14″ are classed as preemie.

Pattern Sites

While looking for free patterns on the web, I discovered lots of broken links and many sites suggested a ‘donation’ for their patterns.

Ravelry contains well over 2,000 knitting/crochet preemie patterns, with approximately 1,500 of them available free.  I assume some of them can also be found on the other sites listed.

This pattern from Ravelry is the one we’ve all been busy knitting as it’s so simple and lovely to knit.

A Paxton by Edwina
Another Paxton from Edwina

These are the booties we’ve been making too. They take more time to sew them up than they do to knit!

Baby Booties – So tiny

I think this site is one of the best for free patterns, it has links to some of the more popular patterns on the net.  There are hats, booties, cardigans and blankets.  I had a good look through the patterns and the yarns used range from 4ply through to aran weight.  They are all knitting patterns though

This site has a good few knitting patterns. I particularly like the Sideways Sweater which I’ve added to my ‘to do list’

This site has a mix of crochet and knitting patterns for preemies, lots of them.

These are crochet patterns and again there seems to be everything from booties to blankets.

This site has quite a few crochet patterns on it.

I found this little crochet hat pattern on the Red Heart website and it looks fairly easy and quick to make (says she who doesn’t really crochet).

Lastly (for now) this is a blog one of my friend’s Lucy discovered for preemie crochet patterns.

I also discovered this page with baby measurements on it for those of you that ‘go with the flow’ in your knitting/crochet.

Hopefully, there are a good few patterns there for you to get busy creating for the latest charity collection.  Ideally all items need to be in for around the second week in October to enable them to be sorted out and dispatched to the hospitals for November 17th.  You can forward them on directly to the charity or hand them to me at the shop to go off with ours.

If you need to know any more information please email me.

Happy knitting!

2 thoughts on “The Purple and White Knitting Initiative for Irish Premature Babies

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