Yarn: Premature babies have very delicate skin and can often be allergic to wool; therefore it is best to steer clear of garments made with a wool mix. Acrylic yarn is more appropriate when knitting for preemies. Ideal yarn to use for preemie knits is baby double knit or 4ply yarn. Most preemie patterns will use these.
Knitting items for premature babies can be very worthwhile and rewarding. It 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 other ideas to help your search.
Bliss: One of the many ways that you can support Bliss is by knitting for babies in special care units. Knitted items are most helpful for babies about to go home, but there is also a need for blankets and hats for babies in hospital. Knitted items are often not suitable for intensive care units – stitched cotton is preferable. However for larger babies, and in high dependency and special care units, knitted items are often very welcome.
Size: Don’t put too much importance on trying to perfect the size of a preemie item of clothing. There is a great difference between premature baby sizes and so an item of any size should be suitable for at least one baby. As a general guide premature babies head circumference is roughly the same as their chest circumference. The average premature babies chest measurements are 8”-14”. However clothes of all sizes are needed for preemies, so no matter how big or small your item is it will most likely fit at least one baby.
The charities involved usually have free knitting patterns and advice on their websites so do not be worried by all the details as you really will be able to find a garment to suit both your knitting skills and the babies needs