This is the perfect project for someone learning to do fair isle, not too involved and only takes a short time to complete and has an easy to follow pattern. Lots of stranding though, so lots of practice. :-)
OK, here's the pattern. I'd prefer if you made these for charity, but as with all my patterns you are free to make them and sell the items as much as you want, just please don't sell my patterns. If someone asks where you got it, send 'em here :-)
Worsed weight acrylic yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft)
size 5 straight needles. Gauge is not critical to this project, as preemies come in all sizes!
pattern notes: Stockinette Stitch-purl all stitches on wrong side, knit all stitches on right side.
C/O 48 sts in main color (MC). K2 P2 ribbing for about an inch, ending with right side row.
purl one row (wrong side)
switch to contrast color (CC), DO NOT CUT MC, and Stockinette stitch 2 rows. pick up MC along the side being careful not to pull too tightly, and begin colorwork pattern.
Colorwork pattern (sorry, I don't know how to do charts on the computer) is as follows:
row 1: *K2 with MC, K2 with CC* repeat across, pulling new strand over the top of old strand every time. It will be very twisted by the end of the row, but will fix itself as you purl back. Be careful not to pull too tightly as it will bunch. I usually spread the stitches out on the needle before pulling strand across.
row 2: *P2 with CC, P2 with MC* across
row 3: *K2 with CC, K2 with MC* across
row 4: *P2 with MC, P2 with CC* across
row 5: repeat row 1
row 6: repeat row 2.
work colorwork pattern thru once, then stockinette stitch 2 rows with CC. Cut CC, and pick up MC. Stockinette stitch 2 rows, weaving in end of CC as you go on the first row (wrap it around MC before every stitch for 5 or 6 stitches, this saves you time later).
decreases: row 1 *K6, K2tog* across.
row 2 and every following wrong side row: purl
row 3: *K5, K2tog* across
row 5: *K4, K2tog* across
row 7 and 9, K2 tog across (row 9 will end with K1)
Cut yarn, leaving a long enough tail for seaming. thread onto a tapestry or yarn needle and draw thru remaining stitches. Pull tight and turn hat inside out, lining up fair isle on either side. Using mattress stitch with right sides together, seam hat. Weave in any remaining ends and it is done.
If you have any questions or problems with the pattern please leave a comment so I can help! Enjoy! :-)