How to knit a quick and easy hat for the troops in Afghanistan


Share a little bit of heartfelt and practical warmth with the troops in Afghanistan with a handmade, knitted hat that will help to keep away the cold during the severe winters that country experiences. The hat is simple to make and requires very little previous knitting experience, just a basic understanding of some easy stitches. Even as a novice knitter, you can complete the hat in about an hour.

Things You'll Need

  • U.S. No. 8 knitting needles
  • 3 ounces of 4-ply yarn
  • U.S. No. 9 knitting needles
  • Yarn needle

Knit the Hat

  • Cast on 86 stitches to the U.S. size 8 knitting needles.

  • Work the first row in ribbing. Knit the first stitch and then purl the next. Continue across the row in this pattern.

  • Repeat the above ribbing until the work measures 1 inch. This creates the bottom brim of the hat.

  • Switch to the U.S. size 9 knitting needles. Knit this entire first row. Purl the next row. This is a stockinette stitch. Repeat this until you have created six inches in this stitch. End the stockinette stitch with a purl row.

Shape the Hat's Top

  • Knit three stitches and then knit three stitches together by sliding the needle through three stitches at the same time -- this is abbreviated K3tog. Continue this pattern across the row. This pattern creates the domed-shape top of the hat and gradually reduces the number of stitches on your needles.

  • Purl the next row.

  • Knit three stitches on the next row and then K3tog. Repeat across the row. Purl the next row. Purl the next row. Repeat the knit three, K3tog row and then a purl row until you have six to eight stitches remaining on the needle.

Finish the Hat

  • Measure out 12 inches of yarn from your final stitch. Cut the yarn here.

  • Thread the yarn through the remaining stitches on your needle and then slide the stitches off the needle. Pull firmly to gather the top of the hat.

  • Fold the hat so the sides lie together. Thread the 12 inches of yarn onto a yarn needle and sew a straight stitch along the side of the hat. Start at the top of the hat and work toward the bottom.

  • Tie a knot at the bottom of the hat and cut off the excess yarn. Flip the hat right side out, and your creation is ready to keep a deserving service member warm.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stocking or beanie hats, slippers, and socks can be made and sent to The Ships Project for the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Please read labeling directions on the Ships Project site. Packages for our military service men and women can be sent the 1st through the 7th of January, February, and March.
  • Please send only colors suitable for a male soldier, no i-cords, pom-poms, etc. on top. All hats should be close-fitting for warmth and fit under a helmet. Please do not use jungle camouflage colored yarn. It is no longer used in the military.

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  • Teach Yourself Visually Knitting; Sharon Turner
  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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