Helmet Lners for the Troops


Has anyone made the citizensam (http://www.citizensam.org/) troop helmet liners? I just found out about these and would love to give it a try. But in reading the pattern it states that gauge must be EXACT, that even 1/2 stitch will make the size wrong and they will be unusable.

So I am a bit wary of trying it, gauge after all is a variable thing. It seems odd that 1/2 stitch could be so crucial, given the variety in the size of peoples head.

I ordered the suggested yarn but now am concerned that my efforts will be for nothing, if they are not spot on guage wise.


I made an Operation Helmetliner a couple years ago, so my pattern might have been a bit different. They appreciated my helmetliner very much. I think I’ll make another one. Thanks for the reminder! :hug:

Here’s how it looked as it was being made:


I would like to knit some of these too, I just need to get the time and the correct color yarn. We have a local national guard troop getting deployed next April so I think it would be nice to send some with them.


I made two helmet liners in May for the project. You can read about it on my blog HERE and HERE.


I have made 3 so far. They are a quick knit. I love Shandah’s but my directions gave pretty limited color choices and they had to be solid (black,khaki,brown), they encouraged black but I used brown.

I have enough yarn to make 10 and am trying to make one every few weeks. I’ll post a pic later.


Exactly. I used bits of different yarns in my wool stash to make that one. Now, I’m starting another one with ONE color throughout, because that’s what they recommend now. :thumbsup:



My LYS has a project that has a different version of the helmet liner that is more like a beanie than a ski mask and more colors are okay. Since I don’t know the actual designer of the pattern that I received at a KAL I haven’t been able to post it on Ravelry but I do have it in a Squidoo lens (free pattern) and hope you will take advantage of it if you wish. All I ask is that you let me know how many you knit and donate as we are trying to track them and push ourselves to meet higher and higher goals. The purpose it to get every soldier a liner that wants one.

Squidoo Link: http://www.squidoo.com/knittedhelmetliners

You can comment on the Squidoo lens or email me your donation count at kaeelliott9@gmail.com

Happy knitting and let no head go unprotected.



OK, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a whiz with directions but before I start one of these, let me make sure that when you do the increase to 91 stitches, that’s it. You don’t increase 1 every row for the next four inches, correct? (Sorry if this sounds stupid, but I have had patterns that have turned out very “blobby” because they don’t clarify that increases don’t continue…yet read like they do).


Also, do you have a simple pattern for a neck gaitor or neckwarmer that fits fairly snugly? All I’m seeming to find are more cowl styled, or lacy…definitely not what a male soldier wants to help keep warm.:teehee:



Thanks for your interest in the helmet liners. You only make one increase to 91 stitches when you change from the ribbing to stockinet stitch. You knit with 91 stitches until you begin the decreases. Hope that helps.

Now to the gaitor or neckwarmer. Here is the pattern that someone sent me to post in my Squidoo lens.

Neck Gator Knit Pattern
Easy pattern
Materials 100% wool
Size 6, 7, or 8 - 16" circular needle or dp needles.


Cast on 112 stitches very loosely.
Join (make sure not to twist) and rib (k1 P1 or K2 P2 for 9".
Cast off very loosely.
Weave in the ends.

I think the important thing would be to cast on loosely enough and bind off loosely enough to get this over your head otherwise the pattern looks snug and a tight knit.



One more question…when it says to check your gauge, are they talking about with the size 6 needles or the size 8’s? They don’t specify, and obviously if you meet the gauge with one size, you won’t with the other. My gauge matches if I use the 8’s, but of course on the 6’s it’s a tad off.

I sure hope I’m not doing this thing for nothing…:pout:


You take the gauge with the larger needles which you are using for the stockinet stitch. The smaller needles are for the ribbing and ribbing isn’t usually gauged. The size 8 needles are the ones you need to gauge. I knit tightly enough that I have to knit them on size 9 needles.

You are definitely doing this for something. Remember that everyone is a little different shape so if the helmet liner doesn’t fit one person it should fit the next one. Mine aren’t perfect and neither are the ones that are donated at the shop or mailed to us.




I also posted this in the “How To” thread, but want to try and get help as soon as possible.
OK, I’m working on the helmet liner, have the 6 inches of ribbing done (using the citizenSAM pattern). I’m ready to transfer to the larger needles, and have watched the video MANY times to make sure I get the hang of it. So, I do the cast on…and find that the cast on stitches are all on the #6 needle instead of the #8 like they’re supposed to be. How did I mess this one up? Where did I go wrong? And more importantly, how do I correct this?
I was so sure I had this in my head going right, and now this…augh!!!:hair:


I haven’t used that pattern but I do have a copy so I’ll try to answer.

When you change to the larger #8 needle you knit 32 stitches from the size #6 needle onto the #8 needle. Leave the rest of the stitches on the #6 needle and think of it as a stitch holder.

[B]Now take the #8 needle that has 32 stitches on it and cast on 59 [/B]additional stitches, place marker at beginning of round, join in round and knit even for 4 inches.

I hope this helps. If not, please contact me again and I’ll try to explain more.



Yeah, I get what the instructions mean, I just royally messed them up. The video shows using both needles to do the cast on…you knit a stitch, leave it on the left needle, pull the stitch on the right needle out and insert the left needle into it to cast on the stitch. My problem is, when I did this, without realizing it (cause I was concentrating too hard on not dropping any stitches, etc.) the cast on stitches were going on to the size 6 needle instead of the size 8…I’d knit the 32 onto the 8, but the cast on ended up on the 6 (which I was holding in my left hand, if that makes any difference). See, at that point, you’re working off the smaller to the bigger needle and somehow I mucked it up…am I explaining myself at all? I’m so confused now I don’t know if I’m clear or not.
Watch the “Knitting On” cast on video - it was one recommended in another thread for casting on in the middle of a project - and you’ll see where I came up with the stitches ending up on the left needle instead of the right (which is the needle the stitches I had knitted off the #6’s ended up on). Do I need to unravel the extra stitches, and “flip” my work over so the #6 is in my right hand and the #8 is in my left, or am I making this even more difficult?


If you have an extra circular needle, can you slip the stitches you need on the #8 needle off of the #6 needle and then slip them onto the #8 needle? It is just like knitting but without using the yarn and creating a stitch. It is late here and I’m not thinking real clearly tonight due to a cold so hope this will work for you.



I don’t know…will that leave a gap between my knitted on stitches and the cast on stitches, and will the working yarn still be on the #6’s? I don’t have a cold, but this has done to my brain what sticking a fork in a toaster will do to the rest of you. I’m so confused I can’t figure out how to reverse this. It should be simple, but I keep thinking of “what if it does this, or what if it does that?”. Seems like I should simply be able to unravel the cast on stitches and start again, but will the working yarn be on the proper needle, or will it be on the opposite one I need it to be? Oh dear, my head hurts…


If I were at this impass, I would unravel back to where you have the original stitches put onto the size 8 needles.

At this point I would make sure that I had the live yarn at the point needed to cast on more stitches attached to the stitches on the size 8 needles.

I would then get a zip type bag and place the size 6 needles with the stitches on them in that bag to make sure they are separated.

Then I would take one of my double pointed needles to do the knit cast on being careful to have the finished stitch be on the size 8 circular needle.

Once you have cast on the number of stitches needed, place marker and join as directed - making sure that you have a circle without a twist.

Now you are ready to knit the cap portion with the joined stitches using the knit stitch which will magically create stockinet when knit in the round.

Good luck.



I’m baccckkk!!!

Got the “head” portion done, now it’s time to go around the opening and pick up stitches to make the ribbing around the face.

Since I’ll be working with unattached yarn, what is the best method to make sure the new stitches will not come unraveled? I’ve been watching the “picking up stitches” video, and get the idea, but the video is using yarn that’s already worked into the project. Do I just find a place and tie a knot and then start picking up stitches from there? The way the pattern reads, there is not even any yarn from the previous knitting to try and weave it together with.

Thanks for any advice! (And, if anyone else has done the citizenSAM helmet liner pattern, can you tell me when you switched to the double pointed needles? This just said "when necessary…and I need details! Because by the time I figure it’s necessary, I ended up with oddball numbers on each needle, and ended up with a loose stitch that I managed to work in somehow. ugh)

  1. Picking up stitches. When I need to pick up stitches in this type of circumstance, I begin the first stitch by leaving a long tail - at least 4 inches - so I can weave it in using duplicate stitches. This will make a stretchy, almost invisible securing of the yarn without knots. Just pull a loop through where you want to start leaving the long tail and continue picking up the stitches. When you get back to that first stitch, knit or purl as needed but be sure to tighten the tension on that loose stitch as you turn your work so it doesn’t separate too much. Once you have completed the area you are working, then thread that long tail thru a needle and duplicate weave the ends into the knitted fabric. :hug:

  2. You need to change to the double pointed needles when you have tight tension on the circular needles. You don’t want your stitches to have to stretch around the circular needles. As you knit and decrease you will have to manipulate the remaining stitches on the DPNs so that you have the ones you need to knit together on the same needle. I do this by simply slipping the ‘missing’ stitch from one needle to the next so I can knit 2 together from the same needle. You will often be working with a different number of stitches on each DPN so don’t let that worry you. When I get down to the next to last row, I make sure that I am ending so that I have a free needle to knit the last round onto. That will make it easier to finish the round smoothly. :knitting:

Please contact me if you have more questions. I’ll try to answer as soon as I can but I’ll be off-line most of the next couple of days as DH is in hospital again - surgery tomorrow which hopefully will stop all the bowel obstructions.

Kae :cheering:


Well, I finished it. It’s not bad, but I can tell that the more you make the better you get (at least for me…these directions weren’t quite enough for me - I need the "when you get to x number of stitches, divide them between 3 dp needles) and I think maybe I might need to do more decreaes near the place where the ribbing from the neck meets the ribbing around the face. It almost seemed like there was too much of a gap there, although hubby tried it on and said it fit him fine.

I also found out picking up stitches when using black yarn is tougher than the video that shows using lighter colored yarn (or maybe that’s just me, too), but since that’s one of the few colors allowed I’ll just have to keep practicing and learning.

Thanks kae for all your help!!! I’ll stick this one in my As package, and let them see if one of them can wear it - if not, they can pass it on.