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Knitted Helmet Liner

How would you like to use your knitting skills to help support our troops? Here is a simple pattern you can use to create a warm comfortable helmet liner for our troops overseas. The seasons are soon changing and in Afghanistan that means quite cold weather.


Cascade 220 or any soft wool yarn that will knit to gauge. Approx. 175 yds. (5 hanks of 220 will make 6 hats). NOTE: PLEASE USE ONLY WOOL YARN. 100% WOOL CAN BE PURCHASED AT MICHAELS AND THAT YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR IT. IT IS NOT ON THE SHELVES. Helmetliners made of synthetic fibers cannot be worn by Marines in combat areas. Colors allowed by the military are black, charcoal, brown, tan, olive drab. Size 8 - 16” circular needle, or size to get gauge and same size double point needles. Size 6 -16” circular needles for the ribbings One stitch marker. Gauge: 4.5 st./in. in st. st.


Neck: With smaller circular needle, cast on 84 stitches loosely. Place marker. Join in round and knit in 2x2 rib for 6 inches. (Note: This used to read 4 inches but feedback from soldiers to Linda Swinford led to a revision. There should be 6 inches of neck ribbing. Thank you!)

To make hat portion: With larger circular needle, knit 32 stitches off smaller needle. Leave smaller circ.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: *K11, K2 tog,* repeat to end of round. Next row: Knit even. 2nd dec row: *K10, 2tog,* repeat to end. Next row: knit even. Change to DP needles when necessary. Continue decreases as established until K2, K2tog. After this, decrease every row until 7 stitches on needle. Cut yarn 8-9” long, feed through remaining stitches and weave in.

Ribbing around face: (This portion has been revised from original instructions, based upon feedback from soldiers. Please use these instructions entirely rather than any older instructions you may have. Thank you.). With smaller needle still in neck portion, PU stitches around face. Join in circle and K in 2x2 ribbing for 1 inch. On last row of ribbing, decrease in a total of 8 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 their face. BO in ribbing and work in tail. BO around face can be snug.

QUESTIONS? Please address any questions about these instructions to:
Linda Swinford
Phone: 217/494-8456 evenings & weekends

These helmet liner instructions are used with permission from Bonnie Long and Linda Swinford (http://www.geocities.com/helmetliner/). Original design by Bonnie Long, Knit Wits, 3419 Chatham Rd. Springfield, IL 62704. 217-698-6100. All rights reserved. Copies may be made only for the purpose of donating helmets to our active service personnel. Many thanks for permission to use this helmet liner pattern!

Don't forget to include a Washing Instruction Label and "Made For You By..." Label! It works best if you type the instructions on adhesive labels and stick and/or staple one on each completed helmetliner. Here's a sample:

    WOOL. Do NOT put in washer or dryer; or it will shrink.
    HAND WASH ONLY with mild soap in COLD water.
    Lay flat to dry. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight.
  • This helmet liner was hand-knitted for you by:
    [put your name here, and optionally your address].

Completed helmetliners may be mailed or delivered to
Packages From Home
Attn: Helmet LIner Project
1201 South 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85007
and we will ship them directly to troops.
Alternately, you may drop them off at any of our DONATION CENTERS.

Thank you for supporting our troops!