If you have found Life of Angst because of a tag on a hand knit hat you received, thank you for your service! I hope that the hat let you know that someone back home was thinking of you! I have written an open letter to our active duty service members that you can read by clicking here.
I spend a lot of time knitting. Most of my creations are bigger projects, so sometimes it is refreshing to knit something you can start and complete in the same day. Hence, hats. I can make a top-down cap in a few hours. The ”hat drawer” in our mudroom is overflowing with knit hats, so I started making hats to send to service members serving overseas.
If you are interested in making hats to send to American service members, here is what you need to know.
Knit or crochet your hats. Some people even sew them out of fleece. I generally knit mine. I have created a post about how to knit or crochet a hat, if you are looking for a pattern.
Most people use machine washable fibers, but I prefer to use wool. If you plan to use a fiber that needs special care, I recommend tagging the item so that the recipient knows how to take care of it. I get various tags on Etsy. My favorite by far are these leather tags from MannandCoHeritage. I have a logo on one side and “100% wool” on the other, but you can have the tags say whatever you’d like.
Donate Your Hats!
Now you need to send your hats to active duty service members. There are a lot of ways you can do this. Many people send their items to Operation Gratitude to be sent out to troops in care packages. I have sent many hats through Operation Gratitude. You can also find a specific person or unit. I have used Any Soldier for years. There are other organizations, too. You can browse the list at Charity Navigator and find an organization that suits you.
Don’t forget about your local active duty service members! Ask your friends, relatives, church members, and everyone else if they know someone who is deployed. You will be amazed at how many members of your local community are on active duty somewhere in the world.
Do It Again, and Again!
Once you start making hats for our men and women in uniform, you won’t be stopping any time soon. Giving is addictive!