[B]Here you go Lap TopKnitter!
Knitted Helmetliner (or Balaclava)
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Directions Materials: approx 200 yds lightweight wool or wool blend (worsted or DK weight). DO NOT USE ACRYLIC AS IT PROVIDES NO WARMTH. Directions for worsted first and DK inside parentheses.
size 5 and 7 (5 and 6) needles in 16" circular and doublepoints matching the larger size.
NOTEL: if making for the troops, select yarn that is black, dark brown, olive, dark gray, navy... BLACK IS PREFERRED
With SMALLER needle, cast on 88 (96) stitches and join in the round. Work in K2 P2 rib for 5 inches. Now you will separate for the face opening:
Using the LARGER circular needle, KNIT 40 (48) stitches. Leave remaining neck stitches on a holder or the needle they are already on (might be cumbersome). Cast on 48 stitches and continue in just KNIT for another 4 inches. Begin decreasing for top of head, changing to double pointed needles when necessary:
round 1 - K10, K2tog around
round 2 - knit
round 3 - K9, K2tog around
round 4 - knit
round 5 - K8, K2tog
repeat in this manner until 12 stitches remain. Thread yarn through all stitches and pull up tightly. Fasten off.
Face opening: place live neck stitches back on smaller needle if you put them on a holder. Pick up stitches around top knit portion (48 sts) and work in K2P2 rib for 2 rounds. Decrease 6 stitches in next row by purling 2 together every 8 stitches. Work another 2 rows in new pattern. Bind off loosely.