For most people, thoughts of troops serving overseas in areas like Iraq and Afghanistan brings up mental images of sand and heat. And while that is mostly true, it also can get very cold for service members on deployment in those regions. Not only are there mountainous areas where it’s colder by nature, but desert regions can also get very cold at night. That leaves troops looking for a way to get and stay warm.
In fact, one of the most requested care package items from troops on deployment is hats. Thermal, close fitting hats, also known as skull caps, can be worn in most situations, including underneath a helmet. This not only keeps a soldier warm, but it also provides a little extra padding for comfort and protection. Some volunteer groups devote their efforts to making hats and helmet liners for the troops.
Thanks to a pattern created by knitters Bonnie Long and Linda Swinford, you can knit a helmet liner that is just right for troops serving overseas. It makes the perfect addition to any military care package!
Follow the pattern below:
Cascade 220 or any soft wool yarn that will knit to gauge. Approx. 175 yards (5 hanks of 220 will make 6 hats).
Size 8 – 16″ circular needle, or size to get gauge, same size double point needles, and Size 6 – 16″ circular needles for the ribbings.
One stitch marker.
Gauge: 4.5 st/in. in st st.
With smaller circular needle, cast on 84 stitches loosely. Place marker. Join in round and knit 2×2 rib for 6 inches.
To make hat portion: With larger circular needle, knit 32 stitches off smaller needle. Leave smaller circular needle in rest of the stitches. Cast on 59 additional stitches, place marker to mark beg of round, join in round, K even for 4″.
1st dec row: *K 11, K 2 tog*, repeat to end of round.
2nd dec row: *K 10, K 2 tog*, repeat to end. Next row: Knit even. Change to DP needles when necessary.
Continue decreases as established until K2, K2 tog. After this, decrease every row until 7 stitches on needles. Cut yarn 8-9″ long, feed through remaining stitches and weave in.
Ribbing around face:
With smaller needle still in neck portion, PU stitches around face.
Join in circle and K in 2×2 ribbing for 1 inch. On last row of ribbing, decrease in 8 sets of purl stitches by P2tog (4 sets on each side of face, i.e. 10:00, 2:00, 4:00 and 8:00). This will pull the ribbing in close to the soldier’s face. BO in ribbing and work in tail. BO around face can be snug.
The Veterans Site is proud to partner with Operation Support Our Troops — America, a volunteer-based, non-profit organization that works to “support the morale and well-being of American forces by providing comfort, resources, and education to them and their families both while they are deployed in harm’s way and after their return” to send care packages to the men and women of the military deployed overseas. You can make a donation to help us send care packages to troops overseas by clicking here!
To find out where you can send a care package for a military member deployed overseas, click to follow the link below!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.