Knitted hats for newborn twins

Hi All! Just realized this morning that I haven’t been to Knitting Help in a while. Hope you are all well and happy. Time’s gotten away from me since Christmas when my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 2 weeks later and since his passing in January my mother-in-law has been living with us. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease in April and things are new and challenging every day, but I’m glad she’s agreed to stay with us so we can care for her. But, enough about me…onto some wonderful news…

Both my chiropractor and her receptionist are pregnant! I’ve already knit each of them baby socks and they aren’t due until October and November, respectively. Jessica (receptionist) is having twin boys no less. Her first babies! And even though I have no desire to have kids myself I just love the whole joy of new life and am so happy for both of them. Anywho…Jessica has given me a picture of twins in hats that are tied together in a bow and has asked if I could make such things for her (in red and green for their first Christmas photo. I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of that special picture.) I want to do a really good job.

Here’s my dilemma - I can make hats no problem, but I have no experience knitting for newborns and am wondering if someone can help me. The hats in the photo are kind of chunky with long tails on top that can be tied together (I’m trying to upload the picture, but I’m having trouble). Can you tell me about how many stitches I would need to cast on if I used a worsted weight and if I used a bulkier yarn?

Head circumference for an infant is about 14". I’m using a pattern that calls for 5sts to the inch right now and casts on about 70sts. Usually for a preemie, head circumference is about 12-13" (and twins might fall into this category).

Look at some patterns on Ravelry for babies and newborns with the weight of yarn you are thinking of using. You can get an idea from those, too.

Twins tend to be born prematurely, anywhere from 3 to 7 weeks. My twins were 5 weeks early and weighed 4 pounds 8 and 4 pounds 13 ounces. Tell her to paint the nursery and put up the cribs early. She may have to go home from the hospital alone and leave the babies in the intensive care preemie nursery for a while. I hate to be so negative about it, but she should prepare emotionally.

Most twins are born healthy now so we’ll hope for the best.

Do you want to knit the patterns flat or in the round? A ribbed hat is always a good choice for this situation because it can stretch to fit a variety of sizes.

Good idea about doing them in ribbing, Jan. I’ll do that. I think I’d like to knit them in the round.

Thanks for all the good ideas, all.

Even twins born close to full term are preemie-sized. So knit small.

Here’s a pattern for a baby rib hat. This is done on straight needles, but you could do it on circulars with magic loop or double points. Seems to me the last time I made this, I didn’t want to use a size three needle. Too putzy. I think I used the small size cast on of 52 stitches with a size 5 or 6 needle. You can figure out your gauge with your chosen needles and yarn to get the number of cast on stitches you need. It would be your number of stitches per inch times the circumference of the hat. Bev has sizing charts for baby hats. Sport weight or baby sport weight yarn is recommended.

When I make hats or mittens, doing a regular cast on makes them too small to fit over the head. What I like to use is called a Maine cast on. This makes the cast on edge super stretchy.

Even twins born close to full term are preemie-sized. So knit small.

My oldest daughter had twins that came a bit early, but they each weighed over 7 pounds; I think 7 lb. 1oz and 7lb. 3oz. They each looked like full size, full term baby girls.

So you can never be sure about baby size, but they will probably be small.

Whatever you yarn you use make sure its machine washable and dryable.