Lumps of love: how to make memory box covers

by Claudia Ravaldi

We have been producing Memory Box covers, caps and suckers since 2012: these handiworks are among the most appreciated by parents, who write very often to thank us for this gesture of care.

Over the years, a real movement of knitters has formed, which I have called the Falling Stars’ Knitting Club, dedicated to our meteor babies and children.

To date, the youngest knitter in the club is 16 years old, while the oldest is 91.

The longest-running group of knitters is the group that has been meeting in Castel San Pietro at the Garden of Angels for many years to make delicious tiny kits for our littlest stars.

The most prolific is Mama Marzia, who in recent years has produced nearly a thousand teddy bear caps for as many Memory Boxes.

A special mention to the volunteers of Knitted Heart who have supported us over the years by donating precious memory box outfits for our preemie babies.

So many hands weave and have weaved threads, counted stitches, tightened links.

From 2012 to the present, there are several thousand covers, caps and babouches that have been made by hundreds of women and men all over Italy: among them, many mothers, many grandmothers, many aunts of our meteor children, but also many people with a passion for wool and crochet who have donated some time to our cause.

If you would also like to join the “Falling Stars’ Knitting Club,” for which I have produced as many as 12 covers to date, because I am slow, here are some simple basic instructions:

For each cover, 4/5 balls of 50 g are needed (about 200-250 grams of yarn)

Covers of two sizes are accepted:

  • 40 cm x 40 cm
  • 55 cm x 55 cm

Usually use needles number 3.5 / 5, depending on the yarn: instructions on which needles to use are usually given in the yarn ball band.

  • You may need a 4 or 4.5 mm crochet hook for the edges.
  • We use Baby wool (wool, acrylic or bamboo blend: must be washable)
  • Our colors (there are many, there is ample room for choice, choose carefully from these colors):
    • white/ cream/ light gray/ light beige/ very light yellow/ chick yellow/ desert pink/ dusty pink/ antique pink/ amethyst/ sky/ light blue/ lavender/ ice/ teal/ light turquoise/ north sea/ some melange yarns with the same colors.
    • Occasionally we put a strand of lurex in the middle of the yarn.
  • The best ones also use satin ribbons to embellish crochet edges.

These are the basic, simplest points for making our covers:

  • the ligature knit (all straight stitches)
  • the shirred knit (alternate one all-iron with straight stitches and one all-iron with reverse stitches)
  • the rice grain knit (first iron: 1 stitch Right, 1 stitch Reverse second iron: 1 stitch Reverse, 1 stitch Right)

NB: It is important that there is a border on all 4 sides so that the blanket does not roll up; you can use a rice grain or tie or add a crochet border.

The association has also purchased some patterns for covers with various motifs, for volunteers with the most experienced hands (i.e. not mine, I’m still here knitting shaved): write to us so we can send them to you.


Before you get down to business, read this latest information:

Frequently asked questions about knitted and crocheted memory box blankets from CiaoLapo

Q: Do you accept blankets that are not handmade or crocheted, such as fleece?
A: NO. We only accept blankets made by needlework or crochet.

Q: Do you only accept wool blankets or can I use a synthetic fiber?
A: We accept wool or synthetic fibers as long as they are in baby colors and the blanket is knitted or crocheted.

Q: Do you accept red, black, purple, brown and other brightly colored blankets?
A: NO (please do not send us blankets other than those requested)

Q: Do you accept used covers?

Q: Where can I send the finished Memory Box blankets?
A: Email for the correct shipping address. Include your full contact details in the email so we can confirm receipt.

Q: I would like to crochet a blanket for a Memory Box, can I do that?
A: Yes! Here are some very interesting insights on our page

Q: I would like to knit a blanket for a Memory Box, can I do that?
A: Yes! Here are some very interesting insights on our page

Q: I would like to knit a blanket, but I don’t know how to do it.
A: I didn’t know that either before I started making covers! Knitting a blanket for the Memory Box is a great start. There are many useful online videos made especially for beginners. Search for “How to knit” on youtube or google (and welcome to our knit club).

Q: I don’t know how to knit or crochet, but I would like to contribute in some way. What can I do?
A: If you don’t knit or crochet, and don’t want to learn now, you can still help by donating wool to us. Here are some of the wools we use most frequently:

Q: How else can I support the work done by CiaoLapo?
A: There are many projects you can support by becoming a member or associate or through a free donation. Check out the website to learn more about our permanent projects!

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