Fastenings: Plain flat half-inch buttons are best to use for fastening. Avoid nylon and metal fastenings, as they get very hot under the incubator heaters. Do not use Velcro as a fastening, it is very scratchy on the hook side and also damages knitted garments when they are laundered. Ease of dressing is vital for preemies and as a general rule it is best not to use ribbon as a fastening as ribbon can often be fussy to tie on a garment so small.
Finally, one essential accessory to keep your equipment safe is a set of knitting needle caps, which are designed to be placed over the end of your needles when they are not in use. As mentioned above, needles can cause damage to bags that they are kept in, and can even prove a safety hazard, especially if they fall into the hands of children.
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.
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.
Garn Studio allows the visitor to print free patterns in eleven different languages. There’s even a link for American English patterns and British English patterns. You’ll find many crochet and knitting patterns for children and babies: hats, sweaters, blankets. You’ll also see links for their yarn on the Knitntyme.com site at discounted prices, however, you can use your own yarn.