Knitting for Our Troops (K*4*O*T) Caps Project

Dear Knitters,



Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Knitting for Our Troops project. We will continue to collect hats through the end of October 2010. Hats received after that time will be donated to another worthy cause here in Denver (like Urban Peak center for at-risk and homeless youth).



Citizen Support for America's Military, Operation Helmetliner's parent operation, has recently been informed by its military contacts for the helmetliners that the military has begun issuing its own helmetliners made of a special wicking material as its standard.  They will no longer be allowed to accept the liners and caps you have so lovingly made. This new rule takes effect on November 1st. The website offers many projects that may fit your skills that are not being closed down.



If you'd like to continue to contribute your knitting and crochet work to a good cause, please try one of the charity knitting projects listed below.



We gratefully acknowledge your efforts in helping our service men and women feel a little closer to home.



Many thanks,



Chris Loffelmacher & Fresh City Life





Charity Knitting Projects



17,172 helmet liner hats have been knitted and donated to the Rocky Mountain USO through Knitting for Our Troops!

 Knitting for Our Troops Knitting for Our Troops

K4OT deadline: October 31, 2010

Fresh City Life is partnering with the Rocky Mountain USO (United Service Organizations) to create knitted items for care packages for our service men and women overseas. Our current project, adapted from a full helmet liner pattern (military regulation) is designed to be used under a helmet during cold nights on duty. It’s a great cap to wear when a soldier has off-duty time as well.

It’s easy to join the project: just knit a cap or two (or three or many) and deliver them to the Fresh City Life office in the Central Library (Fresh City Life is located on Level One, west entrance) and we’ll bundle them up and deliver them to the Rocky Mountain USO. They’ll package the caps with other donated gifts and essentials for our soldiers and send them off.

Though we all have differing opinions about war, we’re not conflicted about our soldiers – who stand up for our country everyday. Knitting for Our Troops is a great way to say how much we care for our service men and women – and your donation will mean a lot to a soldier far away from home.

Deliver caps to:
Chris Loffelmacher/Fresh City Life
The Denver Public Library
10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy.
Denver CO 80204

For more information about this project (or beginning knitting classes), contact Chris at 720-865-1205 or email For more information about the USO, go to Read feedback on the project.

Happy knitting! Here’s the pattern for a great cool weather cap:

Click here for a printable copy of the pattern (PDF).

Click here for a printable copy of the crochet version of the pattern (PDF).

Click here for a printable copy of the full helmet liner pattern (PDF).

Knitting for Our TroopsNOTE: Knitters are encouraged to knit in any yarn that is at hand. However, if you would like to knit a cap that a soldier can wear under his helmet for extra warmth while on duty, knit in 100% soft wool yarn. Our Armed Forces are not allowed to wear synthetic fibers “outside the wire” - which means off the base. Wool is inherently non-flammable and won’t melt against the skin in the event of an accident and is warm even when wet. Please include the fiber content and care instructions (the skein wrapper would be great) with any delivery of hats, so that they can be properly labeled as an on-duty hat or an off-duty hat. A special Knitting for Our Troops tag, with care instructions, will be attached to every hat.


  • Any soft worsted weight 100% washable or superwash wool yarn that will knit to gauge, such as Cascade 220 Superwash or equivalent.
  • Size 7 or 8 - 16" circular needle (or size to obtain gauge).
  • Size 7 or 8 double point needles (or size to obtain gauge) NOTE: If you knit with loose or medium tension, size 7 needles will make a snug, close-fitting hat, perfect for everyday wear and to fit well under a helmet. Use size 8 needles if your tension is tight.
  • One stitch marker.
  • Gauge:4.5 st/in. in St stitch.

Only 100% wool yarn is acceptable for a soldier to use on duty. Wool is inherently non-flammable and won’t melt against the skin in the event of an accident and is warm even when wet.

Only tan, brown, black, charcoal, or combinations of these colors are allowed by our Armed Forces. Marines strongly prefer darker shades of tan, such as khaki.

With circular needle, cast on 90 stitches. Being careful not to twist the cast on stitches, place stitch marker and join row together.
Rows 1-3: K1, P1 ribbing.
Row 4: Increasing 1 stitch in first stitch, knit around – 91 sts. Continue knitting every round for 4" above ribbing. (Do not include the edge ribbing in the measurement).

Begin decrease:
Round 1: (K11, k2tog) 7 times – 84 sts
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: (K10, k2tog) 7 times – 77 sts
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: (K9, k2tog) 7 times – 70 sts
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: (K8, k2tog) 7 times – 63 sts
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: (K7, k2tog) 7 times – 56 sts
Round 10: Knit
Round 11: (K6, k2tog) 7 times – 49 sts
Round 12: Knit

(Switch to double pointed needles when rows become tight.)

Round 13: (K5, k2tog) 7 times – 42 sts
Round 14: Knit
Round 15: (K4, k2tog) 7 times – 35 sts
Round 16: (K3, k2tog) 7 times – 28 sts
Round 17: (K2, k2tog) 7 times – 21 sts
Round 18: (K1, k2tog) 7 times – 14 sts
Round 19: (k2tog) 7 times – 7 sts

Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread tail through remaining 7 sts. Pull tight and secure.

Knitting for Our Troops Project Feedback

  • My daughter was passing through the Denver USO with her brother on their way to a long deserved vacation together in Alaska and were so thrilled to find the caps.  They each had forgotten head covers.

    I can't thank your organization enough.

    Beverly Search
    - Proud mother of USAF Captain Lindsey Maddox and USAF 2nd Lt. Ashley Maddox

  • My husband Mike is currently deployed to Afghanistan. I recently received caps for him, and 5 of his fellow marines from the Rocky Mountain USO. It is bitter cold in Afghanistan this time of year, and the one thing all of our Marines are asking for is something to help keep them warm. The caps I received will be a godsend to them, when they get them at just about Christmas time. I can't say thank you enough for the support and care that is being shown by the wonderful people who knitted the caps. Just know that the boys will appreciate them more than you will ever know! Thank you again for everything you've done, and God bless you!


Back to top