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KNITTED BOOTIES AND MITTENS DESIGNED FOR PREMATURE BABIES

It didn't take readers long to respond to the request for patterns for knitted booties and mittens for premature babies. Many local hospitals will accept these items for their neonatal intensive care units. (However, check with the hospitals before submitting any garments.)

Margaret Knoll of North Tonawanda sent information from the Care Wear Volunteers. Interested people can write or call them and receive directions for making several items, plus a list of hospitals that accept finished items. Write to Bonnie Hagerman, 21201 Chrisman Hill Terrace, Boyds, Md. 20841, or call (301) 540-3919.

Mary Jane Taylor of Lackawanna and Mary Baxter of Snyder sent instructions for the patterns that follow. They tell us that the Guardian Drug Store in Ridgeway, Ont., has a program geared to knitting and crocheting for the preemies called Guardian Angels.

The store's leaflets say the Guardian Angels program was created to act as a vital link between people who can knit these garments and the babies who need them. The pharmacy has a drop-off bin for finished contributions.

The designs were created by Coreen Henderson, at Bishop and Briscoe Guardian Pharmacy in Kingston, Ont. Size A will fit a baby weighing 1 to 3 pounds; size B will fit 3-to-6-pound babies.

Included are bonnet, booties and mitts; be sure to use baby yarn or three-ply fingering weight yarn so the finished set will fit properly and not irritate the baby's delicate skin. Also needed are two 3 3/4 mm (formerly Canadian size 9 or U.S. size 5) knitting needles or any needles that give a gauge of 12 sts and 24 rows = 2 inches in garter st (knitting every row). Also needed is 3.50 mm crochet hook (size 4 or E) used for ties and a tapestry needle for sewing.

Instructions are written for size A with size B in parenthesis.

BONNET: Cast on 50 sts (58 sts). Work 8 rows K 1, P 1 in ribbing ending with right side facing for next row. Knit 24 rows (30 rows) garter st. Work should now measure about about 2 3/4 inches. If necessary, add or subtract an even number of rows here so it will measure accurately.)

To shape crown: Next row: (Right side of work facing) Purl.

Next row: *K 2 together. Repeat from * to end row. 25 sts (29 sts) now on needle.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: K 1, * K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. 13 sts (15 sts) now on needle.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: K 1, * K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. 7 sts (8 sts) now on needle.

Break yarn. Thread end through the remaining sts and fasten securely. Sew back seam down to beginning of shaping. (Make sure flat "knit" side of shaped section is on inside and that seam lies flat so it's comfortable.) Weave in yarn ends on wrong side of work.

To make bonnet ties: With crochet hook, ch 5 and join to form a circle. Ch 2. Work 10 dc in circle. Join with sl st. Ch 40.

With right side of bonnet facing you, work 30 sc (34 sc) along neck edge. Ch 45. Sl st in 5th ch from hook to form a circle. Ch 2. Work 10 dc in circle. Join with sl st. Fasten off. Weave in yarn ends.

BOOTIES: (make 2): Cast on 28 sts (32 sts). (Don't cast on too tightly -- booties have to slip on easily over fragile feet).

Work 12 rows in ribbing of K 1, P 1, ending with right side facing for next row. (Your work should now measure just about 1 1/2 inches from beginning.)

Knit 1 row.

To make eyelet holes: Next row: K 2. * Yfwd (yarn forward). K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. Knit 2 rows.

To divide for top of foot: Next row: K 19 (21). Turn.

Next row: K 10 (Turn).

Knit 12 rows (14 rows) on these center 10 sts thus ending the right side facing for next row. Break yarn.

Rejoin yarn at last st on right hand needle. Pick up and knit 9 sts (11 sts) along right edge of top foot. Knit across center 10 sts. Pick up and knit 9 sts (11 sts) along left edge of top foot. K to end of row. 46 (54 sts) now on needle. Knit 5 rows (7 rows).

Next row: * K 2, K 2 together. K 15 (19). K 2 together. K 2. Repeat from * once more.

Next row: Knit. Next row: * K 2 together. K 13 (17) K 2 together. K 2. Repeat from * once more. Next row: Knit. Next row: * K 2, K 2 together K 11 (15). K 2 together, K 2. Repeat from * once more. Next row: Knit.

Cast off. Sew flat seam along bottom and up back of bootie. (Make sure seam lies flat so bootie is comfortable). Weave in yarn ends on wrong side of work.

To make bootie ties: With crochet hook, ch 5 and join to form circle. Ch 2. Work 10 dc in circle. Join with sl st. Ch 70.

Sl st in 5th ch from hook to form a circle. Ch 2. Work 10 dc in circle. Join with sl st. Fasten off. Weave in yarn ends. Thread through eyelet holes.

MITTS: (make 2): Cast on 24 sts (28). (Don't cast on too tightly -- mitts have to slip on easily over fragile fingers.)

Work 10 rows in ribbing (K 1, P 1) ending with right side facing for next row. (Your work should now measure just about 1 1/4 inches from beginning). Knit 1 row.

To make eyelet holes: Next row: K 2, *Yfwd. K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. Knit 18 rows (20 rows).

Next row: (Right side of work facing). Purl.

Next row: * K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. 12 sts (14 sts) now on needle.

Next row: Purl.

Next row: K 2 together. Repeat from * to end of row. 6 (7 sts) now on needle.

Break yarn. Thread end through the remaining sts and fasten securely. Sew side seam. (Make sure seam lies flat so mitt is comfortable). Weave in yarn ends on wrong side of work.

Make 2 ties as given for booties (see above) and thread through eyelet holes.

Knitting instructions in Braille

Some good knitting news for the sight-impaired. "Knitting Counterpanes" by Mary Walker Phillips is now available in Braille. The six-volume edition is available from the National Braille Association for $56.52 for individual knitters. Add $6 for binding.

Other knitting books in Braille are offered in the Association's general-interest catalog. Write for a free catalog in regular print or on audio to: National Braille Association, 3 Townline Circle, Rochester, N.Y. 14623, or call 427-8260.

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