The general rule is that the items have to be soft and can be washed easily. Preemie babies have premature organs, including skin, which makes only the softest of soft fabrics and yarns suitable for their tender skin. The fabrics also have to hold up to being washed in very hot water and dried in a hot dryer to kill germs.
If you would consider making a hat or blanket for Hats and Peas, please stay away from animal fibers. The best yarns for preemies blankets, hats and octopi are acrylic. Baby yarn is great, but worsted weight and bulky yarns can be appropriate and helpful too, as well as ear flaps (without any ties that could present a choking hazard).
Since premature fingers and toes are so tiny with such fragile skin and capillary beds, only tightly woven knit or crochet pattern textures should be used. Please refrain from using any lace, long ties or designs with large holes. We have to be mindful that some patterns can become traps for the babies hand and toes. For blankets please keep the length to no less than 36" to 38”, this will make the blankets more versatile and useful over a good period of time. The dimensions of the hats are as follows:
To make an octopus, download the instructions here.
If you are interested in donating hats and blankets to Hats and Peas – please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org