Preemie Crochet Challenge 2020
All of the patterns below are featured in the first annual Preemie Crochet Challenge!
This is something that both Sara and I feel passionately about. We have both had preemie babies. I know that all babies are unique, gorgeous and bring challenges and adjustments to every family. However, each preemie baby is unique in the challenges that they bring, the care that they need, and the adjustments that have to be made by their parents beyond the ‘norm’. Not all parents get to bring their precious bundle home.
For first-time parents having a baby is SCARY! Add the complications of potential or real health issues, medications, tests, questions, and concerns from family members who are just as worried. It all adds to the stress and uncertainty.
You can read about why this challenge means so much to us here
The patterns that were donated to the challenge were so great that we wanted to keep this post as a round-up for your reference. Many of the patterns are still available free on the designer’s blog, and a couple will always be free on Ravelry!
The patterns have been categorized to make it easier for you to establish which patterns are available free on the designer’s blog and which are now only paid patterns. As mentioned above, a couple of them will be free pdf downloads forever!
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Before we start, can we talk about bonding squares for a moment?
This challenge highlighted how few people were aware of bonding squares and their hugely important role! They seem to be more of ‘a thing’ across Europe, but that needs to change! These unassuming little squares really pack a punch when it comes to preemie babies and the bonding process with mum. Bonding squares are made in pairs, so please make an even number of these. The great thing is that they are usually between 5″ and 7″ squares, so don’t take a lot of time or yarn! Have you heard of bonding squares before? As mentioned, they are made in pairs and used when a mum cannot hold or be with her baby for whatever reason. Mum wears one of them against her skin for a few hours so that her scent is transferred to the square. The square is then given to the baby, and mum gets the other square to repeat the process. Baby learns their mum’s scent. This is so important to both mum and baby, while cuddles are a no-no or very limited. Mum knows she is still doing something important for her baby at a time when all too often, she may feel useless and frustrated. It also helps the bonding process for both baby and mum when they can cuddle each other! Babies have poor eyesight, but their sense of smell is just fine!
Free pdf downloads will always be available:
Crochet Basketweave Bonding Square by Raffamusa Designs
These bonding squares are another great pattern designed especially for the Preemie Crochet Challenge! Raffaella has decided that this pattern will always be free! We have talked about bonding squares before and their importance in the bonding process when a mum is unable to hold her baby. Babies bond by smell and so these little squares cannot be underestimated! Don’t forget to make them in pairs 🙂 They are also a great way to try a new stitch and bust your stash. You can find this pattern here.
Free on the designer’s blog
Preemie Cardigan by Sunflower Cottage Crochet
This preemie Cardigan is really easy so if you are new to garments of any description, you should still be able to make one of these. Handy hint: even if you are experienced use stitch markers to keep track of your ch1 spaces in the yoke! You will need about 120-130 yards of dk or #3 weight yarn and a 4.5mm hook. The arms are not tapered in case baby has any tubes or wires that need to be kept safe and the button is optional. This cardigan looks great in any colour and uses only ch, sc, hdc and dc – the very basic stitches – but the effect is beautiful. Because this is a preemie cardigan, do not worry if yours comes out too small, as it can be used on a smaller preemie! This pattern will always be free on our blog. Get the pattern links here.
Octopus pattern by Knitting with Chopsticks
Our challenge was kicked off by Knitting with Chopsticks! Hortense has donated her octopus pattern. She actually created it for her local NICU. As Hortense notes in her post, “The purpose of the crocheted octopuses is to promote comfort and development for the pre-term babies while in the hospital. The tentacles of the soft octos mimic the feel of the umbilical cord in their tiny hands and have been found to soothe the babies and help prevent them from pulling on wires and tubes.”
Hortense does not have the button on her post, but if you click the Ravelry link just under her video in the post it will take you where you need to go 🙂 You can check out the pattern and get the link here.
Simple Shells Baby Blanket by Krissy’s Over the Mountain Crochet
The simple shells baby blanket is such a sweet and textured blanket for any baby. It uses only one ball of Bernat baby sport or equivalent (approx 860 yards) and a 5mm hook. Kris has tutorials on the shell stitch for you if you have not yet tried it, and includes instructions for this very pretty border! You can find the pattern info and links for the pdf here.
Bonding Square By Ambassador Crochet
Kristine from Ambassador Crochet designed this great bonding square. I have made up a few of these, and the texture is beautiful. She also designed a matching baby blanket (below). You can find Ambassador Crochet’s beautiful pattern here.
Preemie Blanket by Ambassador Crochet
Kristine has also designed a matching blanket to go with the bonding squares, so you can make a set! This pattern is easy, so will suit any skill level, and the texture is just gorgeous! You could literally make this blanket in any yarn and any colour way, and it would look fabulous. You can get the links to the pattern here.
Little Loves Preemie Hat by Through the Loop Yarn Craft
Do you have 15-30 yards of #4 weight yarn in your stash that you were not sure what to do with but didn’t want to throw it out? Well, these super cute hats are perfect!! Whip them up in no time. Ashley has provided options with and without the ear flaps in her pattern, so you can make either version. When I think of preemie patterns, I never think of a hat with ear flaps, but they actually make a lot of sense! After all, after the top of the head, the ears are the next important thing to keep warm. You can find the pattern here.
Sadie Baby Cocoon by One Little Hook
This pattern is so sweet and a simple make! There is a lot of simple elegance going on with this one. Like yesterday’s pattern, it uses the sedge stitch, so if you would like more information on the stitch or a YouTube tutorial, we have you covered. I love the pop of color that is given by the striping in this one. This particular cocoon is made as a rectangle before assembly, so it’s super easy. There are so many options with color combos for this one it would make it a great stash buster too. You can find the pattern here.
Crochet Bonding Squares by Ned and Mimi
If you can do sc and a dc, then you will be able to work up these crochet bonding squares in no time! As mentioned, bonding squares are really important in the bonding process between mum and baby when they cannot have a cuddle and get to know each other. Babies bond by smell, and these squares allow them to do that! Just remember to make these in pairs – one for baby with mum’s scent on and one for mum to wear close to her so that her scent rubs off onto it! Check out this pattern here.
Easy Breezy Beanie by Fosbas Designs
I often forget how beautiful the ‘bread and butter’ stitches can look on their own! There are so many gorgeous stitch combos out there. It’s nice to be reminded that simplicity can also be beautiful! The Easy Breezy Beanie uses only hdc and sos perfect for crocheters of all skill levels and experience. They will take no time at all to make a few and add them to your donation box! Get the pattern here.
Lottie Baby Shoes by King and Eye
Aren’t these booties just adorable? This pattern has been written so it is suitable for a beginner. There are lots of photos that take you through it step by step. You need your #3 weight yarn or cotton and a 4mm hook! I love the simplicity of these. In white, cream, or ivory, they would also make great christening booties!
You can get the pattern here.
Heirloom Receiving Blanket by Stitch and Hound
This blanket is just so precious. The pattern calls for using 2 strands of #3 weight yarn, but you can use one strand of an appropriate thicker yarn which would make this a great beginner’s blanket. You crochet this in rows and in one piece, so counting is essential for this one. But isn’t the effect stunning? You can get the pdf here.
Sedge Stitch Bonding Squares by Carroway Crochet
Many of the designers in this Challenge have been intrigued and quite taken with the concept of bonding squares. I have come to appreciate that they are not widely known about I’m America or parts of Europe, but that really should change! As crocheters, they are a great way to learn a new stitch and are so quick to make. If you have never tried the sedge stitch before, you really should! We actually featured this stitch in our Stitch of the Week series last year. You can check out our post with links to a free pattern and YouTube tutorial if you would like to. Get the bonding squares pattern here.
Sleepy Bye bonding squares by Noors Knits
Noorain has some gorgeous patterns. This one was designed for the Preemie Crochet Challenge. It’s a Tunisian pattern, but don’t be put off if you have never tried Tunisian before! Noorain is a great teacher, and she has linked video tutorials for EVERYTHING you will need to make this gorgeous project. And the appliqués are included in the pattern! Take a look at it here.
June’s Baby Blanket by The Loophole Fox
Make this gorgeous star blanket in just 35 rows using a #3 or #4 weight yarn and a 4mm hook. Shannon used 3 colours to create this fabulous blanket, so all you have to decide is your colours! If the ‘Get the Pattern’ button does not work for you, click the Ravelry button not far above it, and you can still use the code from there! Get the link to the free pdf here.
Lansdowne Beanie by Sincerely Pam
Pam donated her Lansdowne beanie to the challenge today! This is such a sweet pattern and comes in sizes preemie to adult!! That’s 8 sizes included in the pdf! This one uses a 4mm hook and #2 weight yarn. The whole hat is made using hdc, so it is a great project for everyone, regardless of how long you have been crocheting. You can find the pattern link here.
Seed Stitch Baby Blanket by Itching’ for Some Stitchin’
This is a great beginner’s project, and if you haven’t tried the seed stitch yet … well, you should! Baby blankets are ALWAYS needed by charities, so having plenty of them in a donation box is great. As crocheters, we tend to get bored making the same blanket over and over. This challenge has given you a lot of different blanket patterns, and there are more to come! If you want to crochet this one, grab a 10mm hook and some Bernat baby blanket yarn. You can get the pdf here.
2 Preemie Hat Patterns by Three Fates Creation
Today we have a special treat for you. Three Fates Creations is donating a bundle of 2 preemie hat patterns to the Challenge! The first hat is suitable for beginners, and the second is suitable for adventurous beginners (there is the star stitch in this one). These are another must in your donation box! Preemie hats are a great quick project and use very little yarn, so are a great stash or scrap buster too! Check out the pattern here.
The Cuddly Cloud Baby Blanket by Crafting Each Day
This blanket is just so full of texture! The stitch combinations in this one create such a beautiful texture. You will need approximately 350 yards of #3 weight yarn and a 4mm hook. If you are a beginner to crochet, you may not have come across the herringbone half double crochet yet, but there is written instructions on how to do the stitch in the pattern. You can find the pattern here.
The Friendship Blanket by Two Brothers Blankets
This blanket has got my imagination running wild when it comes to colour choices! It would make a great scrap or stash buster, and each blanket would look so completely different just through the colour choices! It uses just over 800 yards of yarn (458 in the main colour if you want to follow it through) and a 5.5mm hook. You can get the pattern here.
Easy Crochet Blanket by Blue Star Crochet
This blanket comes in no less than 12 sizes, from lovey to king-size! It has an easy 2-row repeat and a video tutorial if you are unsure about how to cross double crochet. It’s a great blanket for beginners or more experienced crocheters and will make a super stash buster because of the color blocking! So what are you waiting for? Grab the links to the pattern here.
Basketweave Beanie by HanJan Crochet
Hannah over at HanJan Crochet donated this sweet beanie pattern – and it comes in sizes from preemie to adult! Yes, this is another one you can make for the whole family! The basketweave stitch is quite simple once you get the hang of it, so if you have never tried it before, go for it! Get the pattern info and links here.
Tiny Puff Beanie by Strings and Cuddles
This is a reversible hat pattern that is suitable for a confident beginner. I love the texture of the puff stitches on the outside of this one (the grey version). What about you? But it’s cool that you can get two different looks with the same pattern. It is worked in rounds in the back loop only and uses a single crochet puff stitch (instructions on how to do this stitch are in the pattern!). You can find the pattern here.
Paid patterns only
The Houndstooth Baby Cocoon by Sunflower Cottage Crochet
Baby cocoons are a lovely alternative to a blanket. Sara designed this one, especially for this Challenge. She loved designing it so much that she also did another 5 baby cocoon patterns, which will be coming your way soon! This cocoon has been written for preemies with instructions on how to make it bigger for newborns. You will need about 400 yards of #4 weight yarn in 2 colors and a 5mm hook for this one. Find the pattern here.
Samma’s blanket by Made by Gootie
Isn’t this blanket just gorgeous?? To be honest, I have been eying this one up for a while but had no babies to make it for! The challenge is giving me the perfect excuse. I love the texture, the pattern, and the colours that Agat used in this one. If you would like your free pdf copy, then you can get it here.
Preemie Beanie by DutchCrochetbyMDK
Marjolein has created such a sweet little beanie for this challenge! She is a new designer with a background in midwifery, and so has seen her share of premature babies! This pattern will have a free pdf download with the code until 9th August. You can find out more about her and get the link to her pattern here.
Sweet Dreams Baby Blanket by Jo’s Crafty Hook
Joey has used the crunch stitch to create this sweet baby blanket. Blankets are a definite staple in any donation box (along with hats), and as crafters, we love to make them. They are fairly quick to make, we can use our stash as they don’t take 12 skeins, and it feels good to think about the baby that will snuggle into or under it! If you have never tried the crunch stitch before, we have video tutorials for it on our YouTube Channel! Baby blankets are also a great way to learn a new stitch! Grab this one here.
Variegated Baby Blanket Duo by Canoe Mtn Designs
This is a 2-in-1 pattern – you get 2 patterns in the pdf for this feature! Audrey has designed a boy’s blanket and a girl’s blanket for this event! They use any #3 weight baby yarn and a 4mm hook. I have been following Audrey for a few years and have tested quite a few of her patterns – they are great and always so full of texture! Baby blankets are essential in donation boxes. You can find this pattern here.
Preemie Love Blanket by Ashlee Brotzell Designs
This pattern is written for both mosaic and interlocking crochet. You will need between 1000 – 1350 yards of yarn and a 4.5mm hook, depending on which version you create. And it gets better – the instructions are for both left and right-handed crocheters! So if you are left-handed, there is no need to work out the pattern first. I love the textures on these blankets. Get it here.
Kensie Baby blanket by Straight Hooked
Today we are featuring this gorgeous Kenzie Blanket by Straight Hooked! The pattern has instructions for both preemie and baby sizes. It should be suitable for confident beginners, and the repeats mean that you can have loads of fun with your colours if you would like to play around and use your yarn stash! You can find the pattern here.
Knit bonding square by Needle Klankers
Bonding squares help the baby bond with mum in those precious first few days, weeks, or months when mum cannot hold her baby. I cannot emphasize enough how important these simple little items are! This knit bonding square will be the last of the bonding squares in this challenge! As this one is. knit version it is great for beginners (like me!) to practice on or more experienced knitters who have a little yarn left over from another project that they want to use and a couple of hours to spare! You can get the pattern here.
And that was the 31 patterns that featured in our first-ever Preemie Crochet Challenge! If you make any of these, we would love it if you could tag the designers and ourselves on any of our social media platforms.