What is the Itty Bitty Giant Hat Drive All About?
Hi there, My name is Myshelle, and I run MammaThatMakes. If you crochet using preemie patterns, chances are you've already stumbled onto my blog. In 2013, I became a member of a community that until then, I had only ever supported. That year, I joined the baby loss community.
The Itty Bitty Hat Drive, was created in 2013, in the memory of my own little angel Frankie.
I wanted to do something meaningful in bubs memory, something that wouldn't be sad, that would be helpful to others feeling like I felt and something to keep me busy. The Itty Bitty Hat Drive was born. I picked Chance's Clothes Project ( CCP for short) as the recipient, because I had sent items to them previously, respect the way they run and was blessed to receive my very own pack from them, after being let down by my local hospital. CCP is run entirely by volunteers who donate their time, their skill, their items and their love. It is run by the most amazing Nikki, who is one of the kindest, down to earth people I have had the privilege of knowing.
The very first hat drive eventually became the CCP crafters group on Facebook, and we still run monthly optional challenges, share patterns and ideas and talk about all things relating to making items for the smallest of the small. This group is run by myself and Lisa, from QuackersCrochet
The annual drive has 2 main goals. The first is to get people talking about early pregnancy loss, and to help take away the stigma and secrecy surrounding it. The second, is to help supply Chance's Clothes Project with enough hats to help fill the hundreds of packs they send Australia wide to various hospitals. These packs contain clothing, blankets, keepsakes and of course hats that are size appropriate for babies that pass. The comfort this service gives families is immeasurable. It is an acknowledgement that their child mattered, and often the only clothing that fits their baby properly.
The drive starts every year on September 1st. Participants then have just over one month to create their hats. On October 15th, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, everyone posts their parcels to Chance's Clothes Project, in memory of all babies and infants that never got to stay on this earth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find out more about Chance's Clothes Project?
You can find their Facebook page HERE and their website HERE
I encourage you to like their Facebook page so you can keep up to date on any events and info, get to see the amazing feedback and view all their great photos. CCP share images of every donation they receive, so you know it made it there and you get to see it put into packs. It also gives you a way to get in contact with someone if you have questions or want updates.
What size hats do they need to be?
Hats can be any size from those for under 8 weeks gestation (these would fit on your fingertip) through to the size for a full term newborn baby. I have a size chart available HERE if you need a hand, but honestly any size is fine, babies come in all shapes and sizes. If you are worried about length, making a hat longer is the best way to go, the edge can always be folded up.
Do I have to crochet the hats?
Not at all! You can choose to crochet, knit or sew your hats. Some people loom them, some people use a knitting machine and others felt. You can use whichever crafting style you are most comfortable with.
Do I have to use your patterns?
Again, not at all! You are free to use whichever pattern you like to create your hats! I have a preemie related pinterest board HERE to get you started with free patterns and ideas. The colours and styles are entirely your choice.
Why do we post on the 15th Oct?
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (in most countries, including the US, UK and Aus). What better day to send these precious gifts and honour the memory of beautiful babies gone far too soon.
What is the posting form for?
We will not be using a traditional posting form this year. To make it easier for the unpackers, we are asking that you just include a note with your parcel letting them know how many hats are enclosed.
If you would like to be added to our interactive map. please use the CONTACT form to let me know your location and total number of hats sent.
Can I send my donations to other charities?
The Itty Bitty Hat Drive was created specifically with CCP in mind. I understand there are a lot of other groups about the globe and some people would prefer to support locally. If you would like to organise your own event, I am happy to give you advice on how to do that. But I do appreciate that you don't hijack my event or copy it's name.
Do I have to send a certain number of hats?
Nope! In fact, even just one hat is perfectly fine. One or two hats may even be a cheaper alternative for international crafters as it can be sent flat in a regular envelope with a stamp, instead of a package.
I want to join in but I don't live in Australia, can I?
Absolutely you can. In fact we have some regular international contributors! But having said that I feel it is only fair to warn you that postage to Australia can be expensive. My advice would be to weigh a few hats and decide on how many you would like to make prior to starting, and going to the post office to see how much that weight parcel will cost if sent via sea mail. Sea mail is slower then air mail (sometimes up to 2 weeks slower in fact) but it is considerably cheaper.
Are there any goals?
There are no set goals because we are absolutely thrilled with any number of hats coming in. However, if you wish to make a personal goal, you are more then welcome to do so. If you want to share your goal, or share images of the items you have made to donate you are more then welcome to. I also love hearing about your hats and goals, so feel free to pop over to my Facebook page MammaThatMakes and share with me!
Myself personally, I aim for 50 hats. I'll be sharing my progress on Facebook as well.
Can I share this with my local craft group?
Yes indeed! If you want to print out the details, forms and address you are more then welcome to share the event with your local crafting groups! The more the merrier.
Where do I post my hats to?
You can post your hats to the below address. Please be sure to include the posting form with your parcel.
Chance's Clothes Project
c/- Cowra Neighbourhood Centre
15 Vaux St
Cowra NSW 2794
I don't have a crafty bone in my body, but I want to help. Are there other ways?
Of course! First, simple word of mouth about the charity or the event would be amazing. You can share this page on social media networks and with friends and family. Some people choose to purchase preemie sized beanies from stores and post them in. Others send donations of yarn or fabric so CCP can pass it on to local crafters to make items with. The choice is entirely yours. If you need advice on sending items, please use the contact page and I'll help as best I can.
I think that answers most of the questions we've had so far. If you have any more at all, feel free to use the contact form. I'll do my absolute best to help you out wherever possible and as always, have a gentle day.