Operation Gratitude Handmade Drive

kylewilliam's picture

I'm calling on my knitting friends to help me collect 100+ hats, scarves and neck warmers for our troops.

More information can be found on my blog:


The items should be mailed to me no later than September 30, 2010

Feel free to repost, and thank you in advance for your participation!

Operation Gratitude.pdf82.92 KB


michaelpthompson's picture

Just finished two scarves to

Just finished two scarves to go with the hats. Hope the soldiers like them.

HuskerChub's picture

Kyle, thanks for taking this

Kyle, thanks for taking this on. As I was surfing around looking for patterns I ran across the following. Just an FYI but looks like the military will not be accepting hats, helmet lines and neck gaitres...booooooo hissssssss. However they WILL take them till Nov 1 so we will get ours in before the deadline. I'm going to see what I can whip out on the machine quickly.

This is what I found...
After we profiled Operation Helmetliner in February (“Enlisting All Knitters: Help keep a soldier warm in Afghanistan”), many of our readers stepped up to help. Last week, Citizen S.A.M. — which runs Operation Helmetliner — announced that it is ending its program. Why? The U.S. military is now issuing its own helmet liners.
Additional information as of August 17, 2010: Citizen S.A.M. will continue to accept handmade wool scarves. It is the helmet liners, neck gaiters, and stocking caps that it will no longer be allowed to ship to our troops after November 1, 2010.

kylewilliam's picture

thanks for the note! We are

thanks for the note!

We are not working with Operation Helmetliner - we are working with Operation Gratitude, and they are very much accepting hats! Please read the flyer I attached - it outlines what we can gift. Believe me - neck warmers, hats and scarves hand knit or crocheted will be treasured by the soldiers.

There are lots of groups who do different types of charity - I think of Operation Gratitude like a soldier getting a care package from home - and I'm happy we are all going to be a part of it!

all the best,


RednVA2's picture

If anyone needs a hat

If anyone needs a hat pattern for this project, the website operationcaregiver.org has one posted. They are a group that also collects items to send to US troops who are posted in far away places. They are not limited to knit items. They also supply other items for daily comfort. Have a look.

TheKnittingMill's picture

I'm on it Kyle! I'll try

I'm on it Kyle! I'll try and get done all I can in the next few weeks until the deadline. Your altruistic nature has always impressed me and fills me with hope! You're GOOD PEOPLE!!!

michaelpthompson's picture

OK, I've already got one hat

OK, I've already got one hat done. I think I'll do a couple of hats and a scarf. Here's a photo of me wearing the hat. I'm using it as my profile picture for a while.

It's really great you're doing this Kyle.

kylewilliam's picture

Thank you, Michael - but

Thank you, Michael - but it's not me that's doing it... it's YOU and the rest of the men on here... and my other online knitting friends.... I'm just providing a catalyst for all of us to act with the goodness that we have inside ourselves...

we're all pretty awesome... and while I can't know how much it means to the soldiers to get a hand knit item when so far away from home, I do know how meaningful it is when people send goodies my way - and when it's just because we care, it has even more meaning!

Thank you - your hat looks fantastic!


michaelpthompson's picture

My son liked the hat so well

My son liked the hat so well I had to make him one. I'll make another tomorrow, then start on the scarf.

michaelpthompson's picture

Well, I made my son a camo

Well, I made my son a camo hat like the first one I made for Operation Gratitude, then I made this one with a different yarn.

I made these on a Knifty Knitter loom. I was going to do it with circular needles, but I remembered I made hats before on the loom and it's a lot faster. The loom pegs are fairly widely spaced, making pretty big stitches. For that reason, it specifies pretty hefty yarn, or you can double up on regular yarn. For the camo ones, I had two skeins, so I pulled from both while I was making them. This last one I made from a yarn called "Shaded Browns" and I had only one skein, so I pulled one strand from the center and the other from the outside. I didn't purposely line up anything, but the color strands stayed pretty close together, and were just enough off from the circumference of the loom that I got these really cool shading patterns. I'm very pleased with the way this one came out. Hope one of our soldiers likes it as well.

rjr585's picture

I'm on it. Happy to do this

I'm on it. Happy to do this for our troops.

michaelpthompson's picture

Looks like a great idea

Looks like a great idea Kyle, and I'm always up for doing something to support our troops. But I'm wondering where these people are stationed. A lot of our troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it would seem like the last thing a person serving in 110 degree heat is going to want is a hat or scarf. Can you clarify a bit?


Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
I let Kyle answer that for you, but what I can tell you is that the winter in these areas can be very cold at night and they are in the mountains so there is snow. They won't be using a wool scarf in the summer, that is for sure, but I am pretty sure this is for the Winter Season. Your question is good as we think of this areas as arid and hot.

WillyG's picture

Temperature is relative. The

Temperature is relative. The word I've heard is that in very warm climates, there are still days of occasional cool...and when those days/weeks hit, the people tend to be very grateful for any cold-weather apparel. When my sister visited Cote d' Ivoire, for instance, when the usual 120-degree weather dropped down to 90 at night, some people were piling on the blankets.

As for the project, I dug out all my neutral and dark worsted yarns, and noticed that I've been avoiding them, haha. So I have plenty of fodder. Right now, I'm working up a little hat. Woot!

kylewilliam's picture

thanks guys - it's important

thanks guys - it's important that we do our part and I know that we'll be able to get a bunch of items together for our troops. One other thing I think of (and it might just be my fantasy of what it might be like to be lonely and deployed)... it seems that someone far from home in a terribly foreign and military land might like to have something cozy and soft to sleep with - sort of like a blanket.. even just having my hand on something knitted makes me happy and more calm; it might do the same to folks who are on tour.

Whatever the reasons, they asked, and I am hoping we can respond in a big way - be sure to write a note to the troops... and thank you! - I look forward to the packages beginning to arrive!!

Happy knitting (and crocheting!)


WillyG's picture

Kyle, are you suggesting we

Kyle, are you suggesting we knit a blankey-type thing?

purlyman's picture

The Denver Public Library

The Denver Public Library sponsored a project like this and the web page included this:

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.

I imagine it might get pretty cool at night in Iraq and I'm certain it gets extremely cold in Afghanistan during the winter. In fact, the first time I saw snow was in Kabul when I was a kid. Check out these pics of Afghanistan in the winter. I think a wool cap would be much appreciated!! :-)

WillyG's picture

Gosh, Frank, those pictures

Gosh, Frank, those pictures are just a little bit ... overwhelming!

Doesn't it get awfully cold

Doesn't it get awfully cold at night in mountainous terrain?

steve kadel's picture

i have something for you i

i have something for you

i picked a terrible day to give up sniffing glue

Gregory Patrick's picture

I'm on it, man. Will start

I'm on it, man. Will start on something this weekend.

WillyG's picture

Sounds good! I think I have

Sounds good! I think I have the perfect yarn at home!