Becky’s Preemie Fruit Orchard Hat
 copyright Becky 2005

becky's baby hat

Size 5 double point needles (I like the flex ones by: Bryspun called Bry-Flex)
Baby Yarn in fruit color of choice:  Lemon Yellow (I like to use TLC Baby or Red Heart Soft Baby)
Worsted Weight Brown/Green  (Caron Simply Soft or TLC work great)

Special Notes:
This is for a preemie size hat, 11 inches in circumference.  I will give directions for the Lemon Hat.  With the TLC or Red Heart baby sport weight yarn you can get about 12-15 hats/skein.  You will need yellow, lime green and brown for the lemon, you can get the sky blue to make a blueberry hat and for apple/pumpkin/squash hats you will need to use a worsted weight or sport weight yarn (if using worsted weight yarn or sport weight only cast on 14 sts/needle).  I have a preference for the Caron Simply Soft and TLC.   I can make one hat from start to finish in just under an hour and a half.  

On size 5 dpn’s using baby sport weight yarn cast on 54 stitches (dividing up into 18 sts/needle).  Work in knit (stockingette is automatic on dpn’s) stitch for approximately 4 inches.  Begin decreasing for the crown as follows:

K 7, k 2 tog
K 6, k 2 tog
K 5, k 2 tog
K 4, k 2 tog
K 3, k 2 tog
K 2, k 2 tog
K 1, k 2 tog

 To Make Stem:
Switch to brown yarn for the next decrease row (you should have 4 sts on each needle for a total of 12 sts now).  Be sure to wrap your yarns or even tie a knot on the underside to secure at this point.  K 2 tog all the way around then transfer all 6 sts to one dpn. 

Begin working in an I cord for the next 1 inches.  To do this simply knit the first row as normal, then slide the sts from the left to the right side of the dpn and and knit the next row, then slide the sts back to the right again, and keep repeating.  The trick is to NOT turn your work, keep sliding until your stem is the desired length then cut a 6-12 inch tail, thread with a tapestry needle, give the end a couple of tugs to even out the I cord then pull needle through all 6 sts, poke needle through stem and secure loose ends on underside of hat. 

 To make Leaves:
With green and size G crochet hook, chain 8, slip st in 2nd st from hook, sc next st, hdc in next st, dc once in each of next 3 st, ch 2 and slip st in beginning chain.  Turn and working in unused loops of base row, ch 2, dc in first 3 sts, hdc in next st, sc in next st, slip in end of first row.  Make as many leaves as desired.  With same color yarn as leaves securely sew where desired, tuck in ends underneath and hat is complete. 

 To make Pumpkin Spirals:
With green and size G crochet hook, chain 15, 2 sc in 2nd chain from hook, 3 sc in all remaining chains, finish off.  You should have about a 2 - 3 inch spiral.  I make 2 for preemie hats and 4 for full term hats (1-2 for each side), you could do any number that appeals to you.  I just take the long strings from the beginning and end and pull them underneath with the hook and tie in square knots and cut about inch above the knot to finish.  You could also sew in the ends.

 I donate my hats to the Sacred Heart Hospital NICU in Pensacola, FL.  This pattern was inspired by several out there, but this is one I had to adapt and figure out by myself to make preemie sized.  Try to donate some to charity if you have the chance.

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