My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Hats for Sailors

Last night I got an email from Lynne (aka Shanti’s mom) about the Hats for Sailors project:

It’s that time of year again.  Last year at about this time I launched a project to provide a hat for each of the sailor’s on my daughter’s ship, the USS Decatur.  It was an amazing success in that we provided not only a hat for each of the Decatur’s sailors, but also for three Coast Guard Cutters guarding Iraq’s only remaining oil terminal, and the international troops that staffed that terminal … British, Australian AND Iraqi military personnel.  Talk about extending a friendly hand.  Last year’s hat project brought hats from all over the country, and from England and Singapore.

This year one of our knitters, Sandra Berglund, took on the project and created a Ravelry group called Hats for Sailors.  We were hoping to collect enough hats over the year to cover the heads of at least one more ship.  So far we’ve collected only 64 hats and will need a lot more to meet our goal.  Soooooo, I’m coming back to the tried and true knitters from last year … asking you once again to warm up your knitting needles and start making hats for sailors once again.

The requirements are the same.  All hats must be 100% washable wool … no synthetics due to the fire danger.  You can use any pattern you want, any color you want … we encourage you to be creative.  You can go to the Ravelry’s Hats for Sailors group for free patterns.  If you haven’t registered, do so … it’s free and easy.  When you are ready to send your hats, contact Sandra for mailing information.  Please remember to attach a little note of encouragement to each of the hats you send.

I am hoping that those of you who have blogs of your own will forward this on to your readers and encourage them to participate in this year’s efforts to bring love and warmth to our wonderful sailors.

Thank you all, in advance, for your efforts for this year … we even have a few fun prizes for some of our knitters.


Thanks, Lynne, for passing on this information! I’ve got a hat ready to go. 🙂

Meanwhile, my knitting progress is not terribly exciting. I’m almost done with the front my my current lace pullover.

Sleeve knitting will ensure soon!

But I have a question for you all. Can anyone point me in the direction of knitting resources for a pre-teen knitter (a 10-year-old girl in this case). Any knitting website or books with information geared towards young knitters? Thanks in advance.

And look at this:

Eeeeeeeek! Headless kitty! Headless kitty!



  1. Definately Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. I learned from that book.
    Liz R´s last blog post ..Edward M. Kennedy 1932-2009

  2. Well, I don’t have a specific book to recommend although I did buy one for my granddaughter when she was 10. It looked great but I didn’t get much feedback from her. However, I did find out that Ravelry has groups with tweens. All I did was search using and I got several that popped up.

  3. I am 15 and I got The Chicks With Sticks book a few years ago and it really got me back into knitting. There are three books and they are all great!

  4. So glad that I Stumbled upon this post about Hats for Sailors! I’m a Coast Guard Mom and will be linking this to our USCG MOM Facebook page momentarily. If I know my MOMs you’re going to have a ton of hats coming your way very soon!

  5. I always thought that the Knitgrrl series by Shannon Okey was a great “tween” resource. Lots of great pictures and explanations – and it doesn’t talk down to a kid. It’s got some funky projects, as well, to keep her interested.

  6. My 13-year old loves all the patterns in the book Vampire Knits by Genevieve Miller.

  7. There must be a head in there somewhere – I can see an ear!

  8. I’m knitting hats for sailors. It was so rewarding to see the photos of the guys and gals on Shanti’s blog last year.
    Jane´s last blog post ..Preguntas Más Frecuentes

  9. The “learn to knit” kit from knitpicks…. I got it for my daughter and she used it to learn to knit with very little help. She was about 10 at the time. The yarn and needles are very nice and right now it’s on sale for $9.09!

  10. I don’t know about pre-teen resources, but I think that if I’d had “Stitch & Bitch” when I was about 12 or 13, I probably would have caught on to knitting a whole lot sooner. The diagrams actually helped where my grandmother’s efforts…didn’t…
    Maire´s last blog post ..Disordered

  11. Knitting for Children by Claire Montgomerie – available on Amazon.

  12. Your timing is perfect! I have not yet selected my holiday charity knitting project, and saw this today, so I think it’s the ideal project this year.
    As for pre-teen kid’s knitting…
    I have an almost 9 year old. She learned to knit (really learned, not just pretend) at 7. We tried younger (I was 5 when my Grandmother taught me to knit), but it didn’t work for her. At that time, I bought her “Kids Learn to Knit” by Lucinda Guy. What I found was that just by leaving her needles and a nice squishy soft ball of wool laying around for her to pick up and fiddle with as she pleased was the most effective way of “teaching” her to knit. She watched me often enough (and knitting is ALL OVER the house), and was interested enough, that she just sort of figured it out. The book didn’t work. The lessons from Mama didn’t work. She just sort of learned by osmosis. And she’s still doing only garter stitch, but she’s pretty good. She knows when she’s made a mistake, and rips back and starts over. And she’s very proud of her accomplishments, and she enjoys it. That’s the best part. 🙂

  13. Knitting hats for sailors is a great idea! Hope you get tons of them!

    Love those kinds of pictures of Lucy—can’t tell where she begins and ends!

  14. Gigi Knits and Purls

  15. I have 3 teenage daughters, all of whom have dabbled to various degrees in both knitting and crocheting. This book was popular with them: though it may be beyond your girl’s skill level. There are several little booklets available at Hobby Lobby/Michaels/Joann Fabric/whichever you have locally such as this one: . My girls have several of these preteen/teen booklets and those stores usually have several of them to choose from.

  16. I was just scrolling down to recommend Melanie Falick’s Kids Knitting, and I see that someone beat me to it! So, multiple votes for that one. It is famous in my circle because the instructions are among the best learn to knit written instructions we have seen. It would be perfect for a preteen, but really I recommend it to everyone who wants to learn.

  17. Melanie Falick’s Kids Knitting is great. If she is a Harry Potter fan, then I would also recommend Charmed Knits by Alison Hansen. Good luck!

  18. Alice Moisen says:

    Sunny’s Mittens

  19. Excellente initiative les chapeaux pour les marins !
    Dorothée´s last blog post ..Des marguerites pour mon homme

  20. I love the teen knitting club book and my middle schoolers like it so much, they stole my library copy!
    LaLa´s last blog post ..Episode 76 – A Day to Remember

  21. Sunny’s mittens! I second that book!

    Felted bag patterns are great for kids, too….bug, loose knitting, great practice, felt, and size doesn’t matter, and you end up with really cool bags for gifts!

  22. Headless kitty? I think not. Surely that’s a lovely fur purse?

  23. I have been working with a pre-teen girl since February and she loves Ravelry. I taught her how to narrow her search by choosing difficulty level, category, etc. She searched the internet for videos (she is left-handed!) and also learned by watching different people knit and crochet. The other key thing – she wasn’t afraid to rip out if necessary!
    Cathy E´s last blog post ..It’s Been a Long Time!

  24. Christienne says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the Hats for Sailors info with us! Last year I was involved with a local hat donation program in NJ but it would be nice to do a little more outreach.
    As for the pre teen knitter, I will be searching the responses as we have a family friend who will be turning 10 after the holidays -I’m curious to know what’s out there to distract her from boys!!! 🙂
    Holy cow – I thought only my fluffy brats did the headless kitty trick!! 🙂
    Have a great one

  25. Does this apply to crocheted hats too? I’ve tried knitting many times and I’m terrible at it. I can do wonders with crochet though…

    As far as resources, I found the easiest ways for me to learn anything was by watching youtube videos. I really only learned to crochet last year and the videos did an amazing job of teaching me the basics of what I needed to know. I have a few books but my tried and true reference is the internet. And they don’t cost anything 🙂

  26. How about Knitting with Gigi? Amazon link:

    My grandfather gave me the book since the woman who wrote it was local, and he thought I’d like having it on hand. It’s pretty basic, but that’s what you want.
    Faith´s last blog post ..A Weekend to Remember

  27. I wish you luck on this project. I am unable to work with wool, so I won’t be able to help you out. I do know that someone took the time to make the sailor a hat means a lot to those men and women. For some of them, this will be the only thing they get from “the States” while they are deployed.

    I can’t tell you if crochet hats would work since this isn’t my project, but an option to look into would be knooking a hat. Knooking is actually knitting using a modified crochet hook. You use knitting patterns and you can’t tell the difference in the end result.

  28. Melanie Falick’s Kids Knitting

  29. There was a book out a couple of years ago for teen knitters, “It Girl Knits” by Phoenix Bess. She’s a teenager herself and also had out some other teen-oriented patterns (leggings, I think).

    Looking for some yarn for a hat or 2 and Gunnar says hello :^)


  30. Is it ok to copy/paste the Hats for Sailors section of your blog on to my blog? Lynne mentions “forwarding” the info on and I’d rather spend my time knitting a hat than retyping the info.

    I’d also vote for the Melanie Falick book, although as I recall, the items created were pretty childish. Great instructions though.