These hats are traditional Danish in 2 ways. First, we use "nissehuer" in december. "Nisser" are a bit like elves - they might help Santa, but most of all they are a bit naughty and make some trouble (in a nice way) in human life - but they seem to mostly appear at Christmas. Often dressed in red, and almost all the time wearing red hats with white brims and a white top.
Secondly, we have a tradition in Denmark of using CPAP in premature infants. The CPAP is a small rubber-thing put in the nose, and it gets fastened to the hat. All premature infants wear hats - their heads will be warm and you can stick tubes to the hat.
Actually - I made this pattern to be used at Christmas in the neonatal ward at my hospital. As a sort of Christmas happening. (I am very excited about how it will turn out!)
Anyway - to the pattern.
The pattern is in 7 sizes. The smallest will fit a premature baby around 1 kg. The biggest will fit a term (big) baby of 4-5 kg´s. The other sizes will fit babies in between.
You will need: Red and white 4 ply cotton. Of 2 skeins (1 red, 1 white) you can make 3-4 hats, depending on the sizes.
Furthermore you will need double-pointed needles, 3 mm, 3.25 mm or 3.5 mm.
"Make 1"; using your right needle, lift the strand between the stitch you just knit and the next stitch, front to back. Place the stitch on the left needle and knit.
"Knit 3 together"; Slip 2 stitches together knitwise onto the right needle. Knit 1 stitch, pass the 2 slipped stitches over.
"Increases and decreases";
First doublepointed needle: Knit 1, make 1, knit 8-9-10-11-12-13-14 stitches, knit 3 together, knit 8-9-10-11-12-13-14 stitches, make 1.
Second doublepointed needle: Knit 1, make 1, knit 6-7-8-9-10-11-12 stitches, knit 3 together, knit 6-7-8-9-10-11-12 stitches, make 1.
Third doublepointed needle: Like first doublepointed needle.
Pattern: Cast on 56-62-68-74-80-86-92 stitches with white yarn. Arrange the stitches with 20-22-24-26-28-30-32 stitches on first needle, 16-18-20-22-24-26-28 stitches on second needle and 20-22-24-26-28-30-32 stitces on third needle. Purl one round.
On the next round, increases and decreases begins and continues on every other round.
Continue in white yarn, knit one round with increases and decreases, purl next round and continue in this way to make a garter stitch edge. In total the edge will have 4-5-5-6-6-7-7 ridges.
After this number of ridges, you need to break off the white yarn and continue with red yarn and stockinette stitch (knit every row, and continue increases and decreases on every other round)
The first 3-4-4-5-5-6-6 rounds of increases and decreases are made in white yarn, the next 5-5-6-6-7-7-8 rounds are made in red yarn, giving a total of 8-9-10-11-12-13-14 rounds of increasing and decreasing.
Now the shaping of the hat will begin. Continue decreasing in the usual places (centre of doublepointed needles), but make no more increases.
After the fourth round of decreases you will need to make an extra decrease at the centre back of the hat (the old increasing spot).
Re-arrange the stitches to have equal number of stitches on all needles.
Continue decreasing until each needle holds 8 stitches (24 stitches in total).
Knit 2 rounds, decrease one round.
*Knit 3 rounds, decrease one round*. Repeat from * to * once more. You now have a total of 6 stitches. Break yarn, thread yarn through remaining stiches, tighten and weave in ends.
Top of hat:
Cast on 3 stitches. Knit 3, cast on 8 stitches, using backward-loop cast on.
Next row: bind off 8 stitches, knit centre stitches, cast on 8 stitches.
Repeat this row until each side has 3 cords. Bind off all stitches.
Fold the piece down the centre, tightening one yarn-end around the piece (as in the bottom picture), weave in the end, and use the other yarn-end to sew the top unto the pointy top of the hat (where you ended the work).
Straps: Using a suitable size of crochet-hook, begin at one of the 2 broader "points" at the bottom of the hat, make 50 chain-stitches. Turn and make 50 slip stitches back. Weave in ends.
Congratulations! You now made a "nissehue" for a baby. Have fun!