Scarves and Hats for Operation Gratitude
Here are answers to the questions we are most often asked about our knitting/crocheting project for the troops.
Is there a pattern for the scarves and hats? There is no specific pattern that we ask you to follow so feel free to use your own. We do recommend that you keep them simple and perhaps use slightly larger needles (sizes 11-13 are good) so more scarves can be made! If you would like, please feel free to use one of the patterns posted below.
What size should the scarves and hats be? It is important that you keep your scarves within our size restrictions (5-7” across and 48-50” long) so they fit into our care packages. No fringe please (except perhaps a small amount for fleece scarves). There are no size restrictions for the hats, but we recommend that you use a human head as a model!
What colors should we use? While we accept any color, it is best to keep the colors on the subtle side–blues, browns, olives, grays, maroon, and black would all be excellent choices for both males and females. The troops always appreciate military colors.
What fibers are acceptable? We will accept scarves and hats made from wool, acrylics, or non-flammable fleece materials. Try to avoid scratchy fibers, since the items will be worn next to their skin. The softer the better! Due to potential allergies and/or Military uniform restrictions, please list the fiber content on your “Made With Love” note that you attach to the scarf (see next paragraph).
Should I attach a letter or note? Definitely! Operation Gratitude would like all hand-made items to include a short note and an e-mail or mailing address so that the troops can respond, if they have time. A brief note is very important and will make your gift even more special for the recipient. It could be as simple as “Hand-made with love” OR a note or letter telling him/her about yourself—whatever you’d like! If you are uncomfortable including your own e-mail address please feel free to use ncknit.com. Attaching a personal note is totally optional!
Simple Knit Garter Stitch Scarf:
Using a “bulky” yarn, often indicated by the number “5″ on the label, cast on 14 stitches using size 13 needles. Be sure to cast on loosely so the stitches don’t pull. Work in garter stitch (knit all stitches) for the entire length of the scarf until the yarn is almost gone; bind off loosely. Weave in ends to finish. Finished scarf will be approx 5-1/2″ wide and approx 46″ in length.
Simple Knit Ribbed Scarf
Size: Approximately 48″-50″” Long and 5” Wide
Approximately 300 yards of worsted medium weight yarn (16-20 stitches over 4 inches).
Needles & Notions
Size US 9 needles (or size recommended by yarn).
Scissors and tapestry needle to trim sew in ends.
Gauge: 4-5 stitches/inch
Cast on 32 stitches.
Every Row: K2 P2
Continue until scarf is 48″-50” long.
Bind off loosely.
Instructions for Knitted Hat:
-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.
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.
Instructions for Crochet Scarf:
To start crocheting, you need to make a chain stitch. Tie a loop in the yarn end, and place the crochet needle in the loop. With the needle, loop the yarn around the needle once and pull through the starting loop. That’s chain 1. Loop the yarn around the needle again, pulling it through the loop that is on the needle, that’s chain 2. Continue until you have the amount of chains you need.
Single crochet (SC) is the same motion, only now you have a chain to connect to. So the first SC will occur by putting the needle through the back loop of the last chain that you just completed, loop the yarn around the needle, pull through the back loop. Now you have 2 loops on the needle. Then, loop the yarn around the needle and pull through both loops on the needle, leaving 1 loop on the needle. Insert the needle in the next chai (back loop). Loop the yarn around the needle and pull through, leaving 2 loops on the needle. Loop yarn around needle, pull through both loops, leaving 1 loop on the needle. Continue. Chain 1 at the end of each row to allow for the next row up.
The easy stitch that I use is single crochet. If I want to crochet lengthwise, I will chain 120 stitches. (that gives me about 42″ long. I crochet loosely, so if you are just starting, you may crochet a little more tighter and may want to measure for length) Then, turn and SC in first chain, but only in the back loop. Continue across to the last chain. Chain 1 (allows for the next row up), turn, and single crochet in first stitch,( back loop only) continuing to last stitch. Chain 1, turn. Continue for several rows until it measures 5-7″ wide.
Crocheting in the back loop gives a ridged pattern
To crochet for width, I do the same thing, starting with 15-16 chains to give me 5-7″ (measure, depending on the size of your stitch) Turn, crochet in the first chain,( back loop only), across to the end. Chain 1 (allows for the next row up) turn, and crochet in first stitch,( back loop only), across to the end. Chain 1, turn. Continue until the length becomes 50″ long.
Instructions for Crochet Hat
Materials Any soft worsted weight 100% washable or superwash wool yarn that will knit to gauge, such as Cascade 220 Superwash or equivalent.
Size G or H crochet hook or any size to obtain gauge. Sizes: Average Adult Gauge: 7sts. = 2”. Pattern Stitch: Half Double Crochet (hdc).
Instructions: Chain loosely 71 sts Join with slip st., hdc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch around, (70 hdc), join with slip st in first hdc., ch.1. Next Row: Work 1hdc in each hdc around, join with slip st in 1st st, ch1. Repeat last row until hat is 4 1/2” above starting ch. Decrease Row: * Work 1hdc in next 5hdc, pull up hdc loops in each of next 2 sts (6 loops on hook ), yo and draw thru all 6 loops, (1 st decreased). Repeat from * around row. (10 sts., decreased. Next Row: Work 1hdc in each hdc around . 2nd Decrease Row: * Work 1hdc in first 4 hdc, work 1 dec in next 2 sts. Repeat from * around row. Next Row: Work 1hdc in each hdc around. Repeat last 2 rows, working 1 st less between decrease sts each decrease round, with last dec row worked on every 2 sts. Fasten off, pull tail of yarn thru to under side and tuck in, repeat for starting yarn tail.