Pattern for Baby Beanies

baby beanies with ball of wool and knitting

One of our long time newsletter subscribers, Louise Goodson, has been kind enough to share her newborn baby beanie knitting pattern with all of us. Louise and her daughter, who is a midwife at Middlemore hospital, customised this pattern for a better shape and fit.

When knitting baby beanies please be sure to use wool as this will keep the heat in and keep baby warm. With the cooler weather that we are experiencing now is a great time to get knitting and donate beanies.

Middlemore usually has around 24 births a day so they go through a lot of beanies, however there are other units that you can donate too. 

For a list of postal addresses to send beanies click here.

Or look up your local birthing unit …

Waitakere Birthing Unit

North Shore Birthing Unit

Auckland Central Hospital 

Pukekohe Birthing Unit

If you know of any other units that are taking beanies please make mention in the comments or send me an email so I can update the information. [email protected]

Louise’s Baby Beanie Pattern

Using 4 ply wool (that is 100% wool) and size 10 needles cast on 65 stitches and knit garter stitch 20 rows.

Change to size 8 needles and knit in stocking stitch until total work is 11.5cms.

Row 1 knit 8 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 7 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 6 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 5 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 4 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 3 knit 2 tog, repeat across row.
Next row purl.

Next row knit 2 knit 2 tog, repeat across row
Next row purl.

Next row knit 1 knit 2 tog, repeat across row
Next row purl.

Next row , knit 2 tog right across row.

Cut wool off with a long strand, keeping the remaining stitches carefully,  and thread wool through them, pull up tight, knot off.
Sew hat together using the long strand of wool.

In the comments it has been mentioned that Middlemore sends out packs of six beanies, please do still make beanies for Middlemore and here’s how to ensure they are shared out …

Middlemore Foundation makes up packs of items for newborns, which include hats singlets jumper and toys.  They are then sealed as a package and given to the birthing ward which the staff then give to high need families, when appropriate.
When we (that is me and my sister) donate hats to Middlemore and Papakura, we take them directly to the birthing ward and hand them to the staff on duty, who put them in a bag in a cupboard and give one hat to one baby. 
It is wonderful that people are giving their time and energy to knitting in all cases, but I don’t want people to get the impression that bunches of 6 hats are being given to families at all times. Louise.


Comments 17

    1. Size 10 will be the UK size – you’d use 3.25’s for a tighter warmer knit (but smaller fit) or US4’s. Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. We get about 2 to 3 hats per ball. It is a bit hit and miss as we often buy wool from friends that are not full balls. We spend quite a bit of time sourcing pure wool as it is expensive. Also as we have knitted hundreds we make some bigger or smaller, some for the prem babies and to be fair a lot of babies are much bigger so some hats we make slightly bigger too, more stitches and longer straight knit before the reducing. Good luck.

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  1. Louise here. I have currently run out of wool so I am going out next week to get more. I will buy a commercial ball, note the weight then knit a hat on the standard pattern I have given then I will measure it too and show how it looks at the ‘basic’ size. Often we make the hats with a blend of colours and different wool ply too, as the supply of wool is always the issue, therefore sometimes we have to make do with a slightly heavier ply or a blend of alpaca and possum, etc etc, which does make for a different end result. Having said all that, the hospitals are very grateful for a wool hat given to them free. I am really pleased some of you have asked me the questions, and best of luck with the knitting. It is a fun project for us.

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  2. This pattern works well.
    I switched donating from Middlemore to North Shore / Waitakere hospitals (Well Foundation) because Middlemore were putting 6 beanies in each package, (as stated on their website) so when I sent 50 beanies that only covered 8 babies.

  3. I would love to knit some but I have only double knit wool. Can someone help me with a pattern please or how to adapt the above pattern.

    1. Morning.
      You can use double knit, just cast on about 8 stitches less, and carry on. They always turn out fine, don’t forget, all babies are different, and if you are using pure wool a hat is a wonderful thing for a small person to have, they will always be used.

  4. Hi Louise, I started knitting this beanie for my new grandchild but realised it might be too small by the time I finish it ( haven’t knitted for about 15 years). Do you have instructions for a 3 month old size too please?

    1. Hello Rose. Good for you, knitting again. I’m sorry I don’t have a pattern that I can recommend for a 3 mth old. Maybe someone else who is a good knitter could help.
      In the past I have used the basic style to knit a hat for a friend. I measured his head (which was about average for a 6 ft tall man, and then cast on 100 stitches. I knitted in the same format, plain then stocking stitch, but as he was sitting next to me while I did it, I knitted until the length covered from the bottom of his ears nearly to the crown of his head, which was about 16cms, then I began casting off in exactly the same way as the baby hat, every 8 stitches then so on and so on. It fitted him very well and he wears it while mowing his lawn. If you feel up to it, measure the distance from under baby’s ear to the crown and roughly round the head, and have a go with (I’m guessing) about 80 stitches. That would be using 4 or 5 ply wool. You can always unpick it if it isn’t right, as they don’t take long to knit, and then guess again with the stitches. I have done this numerous times when I have knitted a hat for adults too. The other option is find a free pattern online which will give you a good idea of the number of stitches for a 3 mth old (depending on baby’s size) and have a go with that. Good luck.

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