These instructions and photograph appeared in the pamphlet “Columbia Yarns for Army and Navy Relief Work” Columbia Yarns of New York published these instructions for women throughout the United States to use when making knitted “Articles officially recommended by the American Red Cross.” These knitted goods would be distributed for the comfort of American soldiers serving overseas, in the First World War, by the Red Cross.
These instructions are for a “knitted helmet” which was also known as a hood or balaklava.
Columbia Worsted Knitting Yarn, 2 hanks
5 Steel Knitting Needles, English No. 10 or US No. 3
Cast on 48 stitches, knit plain for 5 inches, this completes one cape; work another piece to correspond, now slip all the stitches on to 4 needles, having 24 stitches on each needle, knit 2 purl 2 for 4 inches, leave 28 stitches in the center of the front cape for the opening of the face, and on the remaining 68 stitches knit 80 rows or 40 ribs, bind off 22 stitches at each end and on the remaining 24 center stitches knit 52 rows or 26 ribs, bind off, sew to the side.
Take up all the stitches around the face on three needles, knit 2 purl 2 for 20 rows, bind off.
WW1 Knitting Pattern Conversion
The needle sizes listed in these knitting instructions are for the old or “English” style needles. If you wish to use modern sizes or “American” needles use the following information to convert from English to American sizes.