2023 Soldier Hats by Channah Koppel

2023 Soldier Hats

November 2008
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
26 stitches = 4 inches
in k2p2 rib
180 - 220 yards (165 - 201 m)
men's, one size fits all
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This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

OCTOBER 2023: Hats for Soldiers is back!
The pattern, which used to be called “Ribbed Watchman’s Cap” is now available in 5 languages, and outdated mailing addresses and other info have been removed.

As of Summer 2022, the Hats-for-Soldiers project is officially over. My deepest thanks to all who participated over the past 15 years.

This is a pattern I developed when my knitting group wanted to make hats for IDF soldiers. Since then, tens of thousands of hats from around the world have been knit, mailed to me and distributed to soldiers.

This hat can be made either on 2 straight needles or else on one circular needle, in which case you’ll need dpn’s for the last few rounds of the crown.

Gauge is flexible, 26 to 28 stitches per 4 inches/10 cm. Note that the ribbing is very stretchy, so don’t be worried if the hat looks narrow while you’re working it, a hat that’s 14 inches in circumference will easily fit an average male head (about 22 inches). The hat is knit long so it can be cuffed over the ears, giving a double layer of warmth where it’s most needed.

Black, superwash worsted weight wool is the preferred yarn to use (see FAQs below for more info).

Some yarn suggestions: For active men, superwash wool is the best (think Cascade 220 Superwash, Valley Yarns Valley Superwash, KnitPicks Swish Worsted) but a wool/acrylic mix is ok too -- e.g., Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Plymouth Encore Worsted, Patons Decor etc.

Obviously, if you’re not making this for IDF combat soldiers you can substitute any worsted weight yarn you like.

the new addresses for completed hats are:
The Michael Levin Base
4 Eliyahu Mani St.
Jerusalem 9432526
tel. +972-50-257-0035


The Gourmet Yarn Shop
POB 102
111 Ahuza St.
Ra’anana 4337302
tel +972-9-742-7020

  • FAQs

Can I crochet a hat?
Sorry, not for this project. Many crochet patterns have been tried but due to the nature of crochet the end result is always a hat that’s much bulkier, heavier and less stretchy than a knit hat. Also, the commanders prefer that their soldiers all get the same thing. So knit hats only please.

Can I knit in a green yarn?
I would strongly discourage you from doing so. Only a very specific shade of khaki is allowed, and only in some units, so you will probably be wasting a lot of time and effort. Please knit black hats, which all the troops are allowed to wear. Thank you!

Is acrylic yarn allowed?
As far as I know, yes. I know the U.S. army prefers all-wool, the IDF doesn’t seem to have a thing about that. Superwash naturally has the advantage of being less likely to melt, as well as being softer so if you can afford it and/or have some on hand that might be preferable but my understanding is that man-made materials are acceptable as well.