How to Knit Helmet Liner (Wool Pulleys for Soldiers)

Knit helmet liner
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Helmet liners have been around for a long time. They are primarily used underneath helmets for soldiers in the military. They are also known as "wool pulleys". They can be worn on their own, and their looks have evolved over time. These helmet liners would be great even for people who don't wear helmets, especially those who live or work outside. They come in handy during the cold months and help keep you warm, not to mention they offer protection from the sun.

This pattern for helmet liners, also known as "wool pulleys" for soldiers was provided by Linda Swinford of Auburn, Illinois via Ravelry. The original pattern is by Bonnie Long and appears here along with modifications made at the request of soldiers who have received the liners.

Materials Needed

  • Cascade 220 or any soft wool yarn that will knit to gauge; Approximately 175 yards (5 hanks of 220 will make 6 hats)
  • Size 8 to 16" circular needle, or size to get gauge
  • Size 8 to 16" double point needles
  • Size 6 to 16" circular needles for the ribbings.
  • One stitch marker

Gauge

4.5 st/in. in st st.

Pattern Instructions

  1. Neck: With smaller circular needle, cast on 84 stitches loosely. Place marker. Join in round and knit 2x2 rib for 6 inches.
  2. To make hat portion: With larger circular needle, knit 32 stitches off the smaller needle. Leave the smaller circular needle in rest of the stitches. Cast on 59 additional stitches, place marker to mark beg of round, join in round, K even for 4".
    1. 1st dec row: *K 11, K 2 tog*, repeat to end of round.
    2. Next row: Knit even.
    3. 2nd dec row: *K 10, K 2 tog*, repeat to end.
    4. Next row: Knit even. Change to DP needles when necessary.
    5. Continue decreases as established until K2, K2 tog. After this, decrease every row until 7 stitches on needles. Cut yarn 8" to 9" long, feed through remaining stitches and weave in.
  3. *Ribbing around face: With the smaller needle still in neck portion, PU stitches around face. Join in circle and K in 2x2 rib for 2 inches. On the first row of ribbing, decrease several stitches one inch before and after angle where the neck attaches to the face. In the last row of ribbing, decrease in every other set of purl stitches by P2 tog. This will pull the ribbing in close to the face. BO in ribbing and work in tail. BO around the face can be snug.

Designed by Bonnie Long, Knit Wits, 3419 Chatham Rd., Springfield, IL 62704. 217/698-6100. Revised 1/19/05. All rights reserved. Copies may be made only for the purpose of donating helmets to our active service personnel. In any case, design attribution must remain.

*Revision for Ribbing Around Face

Based upon feedback from soldiers, please use these instructions entirely rather than those given above for ribbing around the face.

  1. With the smaller needle still in neck portion, PU stitches around the face.
  2. Join in circle and K in 2x2 ribbing for 1 inch.
  3. On the last row of ribbing, decrease in 8 sets of purl stitches by P2tog (4 sets on each side of the face, i.e. 10:00, 2:00, 4:00 and 8:00). This will pull the ribbing in close to the soldier's face.
  4. BO in ribbing and work in tail. BO around the face can be snug.