Helmetliner Pattern for Standard Gauge Machine

By Lynn Christensen, , of Verona, Wisconsin




This helmetliner is a good practice piece for double bed techniques plus the use of your garter bar and transfer carriage.  The techniques included are 2x2 ribbing stitch increases, no-holes transition from 2x2 ribbing to Full Needle Rib (FNR), decreasing with the garter bar, and transferring up FNR to the mainbed  (I used the transfer carriage). The three things I found helpful in knitting this pattern were 4X magnifying glasses; good lighting (above and below – a lamp below my machine plus my daughter’s camping head lamp); and a dental pick tool which saved many of my stitches and helped me pick up the increase stitch.   All but one of these techniques are included in your manuals and I have provided the instructions for the no-holes transition technique which I found on Danis McWest’s website http://www.danis.org/    If you find that you are having trouble with any of these techniques or need more information please write to me or post your question on the list.






Please let us know if you have a variation on this pattern to share!














The helmetliner is knitted in two parts and joined together after knitting the inch of lower face ribbing.  Doing this remedies a problem the troops identified where the face ribbing is sometimes too “floppy” on the sides.  This face ribbing is knitted in two mitered parts and then seamed on the sides.

The head of the helmetliner is knitted in full needle rib for extra warmth on the head and ears plus the stretchiness allows a nice fit for a large variety of head sizes.  The 2x2 ribbing is a little tighter around the face and looser on the neck. 



Yarn used was 4 ply Forsell pure wool.  This is a bit itchy so a softer wool would be better.

Acceptable colors are black, charcoal, brown, tan, olive drab.


Gauges: (sample done on Brother 970)

Full Needle Rib (FNR) @ Tension 4/4 - 7.5 stitches per inch, 11 rows per inch.

2x2 Ribbing @ Tension 5.1/5.1 - 9.75 rows per inch.

Stockinette @ Tension 7 – 12.5 rows per inch.



Measurements of Helmetliner:

Do not worry about being exact – “close enough” is good enough!!  Your helmetliner will fit someone!!


Length of Neck Ribbing – 6 inches

Length of FNR – 4 inches

Length of Stockinette Decrease Top – 2.7 inches

Length of Face Ribbing around face – 1 inch of ribbing all around face.

Circumference of FNR – 20 inches

Circumference of Neck Ribbing (slightly stretched) – 18.75 inches






Knit the 2x2 Ribbing Upper Face Portion while increasing stitches on edges to miter sides of ribbing for closer fit around face.

Note:  When increasing put the new stitches into the 2x2 needle configuration (ie 2 needles on mainbed, 2 on ribber, etc).


Ready needles 9-90 (on righthand side of bed) for 2x2 (2x2 needle arrangement) ribbing with 2 needles on main bed on both ends (i.e. 8,9 and 89,90). 


Cast on for 2x2 ribbing.

Hang 2 large weights.

Set row counter to 0.


Row 1: T 3/3 Knit 1 row

Increase 2 stitches (1 on each edge – since both ends have 2 stitches on mainbed, both new stitches go onto ribber)


Row 2: Knit 1 row

Incr 2 stitches


Row 3 & 4: T3.1/3.1 Knit 2 rows.

Incr 2 st


Row 5: T 3.2/3.2 Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st


Row 6 & 7: Knit 2 rows

Incr 2 st


Row 8: T 4/4 Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st


Row 9 & 10: Knit 2 rows

Incr 2 st


Row 11: Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st


Row 12: Knit 1 row






Prepare waste yarn rag for 52 stitches to hold live 2x2 ribbing stitches that will be put back on machine later.


Make sure ribber needles are in work with stitches in hooks.

Pull out only the mainbed needles to hold.

Put ribber bed down one notch.

Thread up waste yarn, taking out main yarn if need to.

Change ribber coupler to main bed sinker plate.

Put carriage into Hold.

Cast on 52-1 on main bed only using EON cast on (so needles do not have to be in E position such as for weaving cast on) with waste yarn. Hang cast on comb onto the 52 stitches.

Knit 10-20 rows – ending with carriage on the right (COR)

(Optional and I think easier – last 3 rows – one row ravel cord and last 2 rows with a bright smooth yarn for easier stitch pick up later)

Transfer stitches so they are ready for 2x2 (2x2 needle arrangement) ribbing.


Turn off hold

Replace sinker plate with ribber coupler.

Put carriage on the righthand side.

Push ribber back up

Connect ribber carriage to mainbed carriage

Thread up main yarn.  Make sure that yarn is securely in coupler!!

Tension 5/5

Knit 2 rows making sure to pull on cast on comb underneath for a little extra weight on waste yarn rag.



Join between 2x2 ribbing and Full Needle Rib – makes a nice no-holes transition - from Danis McWest’s  website

We need to get all the needles into work for full needle rib. Bring all NWP (non-working position) needles between the WP(working position) needles into WP ( working position.)

Set the pitch to H

Set the carriage for circular knitting.

Tension 0/0

Knit 2 rows. COR

Rack to 6

Change tension to Main Tension – 4/4

Change slide lever to Center position. (Why – I am not sure, but I did)

Set carriage to normal (turn off the parts buttons used for circular rows)

Knit 1 row*  COL

Rack to 5

STAY AT HALF PITCH for Full Needle Rib.



*First few rows of FNR will be tough but get behind that carriage and think of it as an isometric workout for your stomach!


Full Needle Rib   4 inches


Knit 44 rows (4 inches) at tension 4/4. Transfer up stitches to main bed (Transfer carriage makes quick work of this – just follow the picture instructions on the carriage)


Decreases in Stockinette at Top of Helmetliner


Push ribber down all the way

Put on ribber covers

Pull needles out to hold.

Take off weights and extra combs (leave long ribber comb on)

Pull knitting over ribber to make it easier to pull knitting onto the garter bar.

Replace coupler with sinker plate.

Replace ribber comb with claw weights all across work – this makes it easier to get underneath the knitting to pull it onto the garter bar, but be careful, those little weight prongs are killers if they scrap the inside of your wrist!

Row counter to 0.

Tension 8.1  (loose tension to make the transition line less noticeable)

Knit 1 row

Tension 8

Knit 1 row

Decrease (with garter bar) every 15th stitch across.

Tension  7.2

Knit 3 rows

Decrease (with garter bar) every 14th stitch

Tension 7.1

Knit 3 rows

Decr every 13th stitch

Tension 7

Knit 3 rows

Decr every 12th stitch

Tension 6.2

Knit 3 rows

Decr E 11th stitch

Tension 6.1

Knit 3 rows

Decr E 10th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 9th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 8th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 7th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 6th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 5th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 4th stitch

Knit 2 rows

Decr E 3rd stitch

Knit 1 row

Decr E 2nd stitch

Knit 1 row.

Row counter should read 33.


Another way to keep track of decreases – in chart form:



2     Decr every 15th stitch



5   Every 14th stitch



8  Every 13th



11  Every 12th



14  Every 11th



17  Every 10th


19  Every 9th


21  Every 8th


23  Every 7th


25  Every 6th


27  Every 5th


29  Every 4th


31  Every 3rd

32  Every 2nd



Take off the stitches with a separate piece of yarn so later you can pull the hat top tight and tie off.





Knit the 2x2 Ribbing Lower Face Portion


Ready needles 9-78 (on righthand side of bed) for 2x2 (2x2 needle arrangement) ribbing with 2 needles on main bed on both ends (ie 8,9 and 77,78).  Cast on for 2x2 ribbing.  Hang 2 large weights.


Set row counter to 0.

Cast on 2x2 ribbing.


Row 1: T 3/3 Knit 1 row

Increase 2 stitches (1 on each edge)

Row 2: Knit 1 row

Incr 2 stitches

Row 3 & 4: T3.1/3.1 Knit 2 rows.

Incr 2 st

Row 5: T 3.2/3.2 Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st

Row 6 & 7: Knit 2 rows

Incr 2 st

Row 8: T 4/4 Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st

Row 9 & 10: Knit 2 rows

Incr 2 st

Row 11: Knit 1 row

Incr 2 st

Row 12: Knit 1 row



Join pieces - Rehook 2x2 ribbing you scrapped off


Turn scrapped off 2x2 ribbing so the right side is facing you and the upper face ribbing is on the left. 

On needles 52-0 pick up and hang the row of bright crochet yarn.  Pull out ravel cord so that there are still the 2 rows of the bright crochet yarn waste yarn.  Hang some claw weights on piece.


This is the picky part.  I learned that there is no easy way to get 2x2 ribbing back onto the machine.  I just poked my tool into the main yarn stitch and put it on the main bed needle and unraveled the bright crochet yarn from that stitch.  Once I got all the stitches on the main bed I picked out any remaining waste yarn.


Optional: Move piece over 1 needle and overlap the two pieces to make join less obvious.  Then you will only have 3 needles in the center rather than 4 needles. When finished it is hard to really tell there are 3 purl stitches rather than 2 but 4 may be more noticeable.


Take your garter bar and move the stitches on 52-0 over to 51-0-1 (You will be overlapping the end stitches and there will be 3 consecutive needles on the main bed in the center instead of the usual 2 needles for 2x2 ribbing.  All other needles will follow the normal 2x2 needle arrangement except the centermost 3 on the main bed.) 


Transfer stitches for 2x2 ribbing except for the center 3 that will remain on main bed.


Knit neck ribbing- 6 inches


Note: This neck ribbing needs to be stretchy and not too tight fitting.


Knit 1 row.

(Optional:  For a better-looking seam, I increased one stitch on each side. I increased a ribber stitch on the left (now the 3 leftmost needles are on ribber bed) and I increased a main bed stitch on the right (3 rightmost needles are on mainbed). 

Knit 1 row.

Hang ribber comb.  It is a little hard to do because there are 2 other combs hanging from the work but I just shoved the long comb up there and hung it on.  Hang three large weights.   As you knit make sure the combs are not getting hung up on your stand.)


Knit 8 rows gradually increasing tension from 5/5 to 6/6

Knit 48 more rows. – 58 rows total.

Latch tool bind off around gate pegs – alternate the number of gate pegs you wrap the yarn around – I did two bind offs around 2 gate pegs then 1 bindoff around 3 gate pegs then 1 bind off around 2 and 1 bind off around 3.   Whatever sequence you want as long as this edge is stretchy(!!) so the helmetliner edge lies flat when worn.



Seaming Together


Sequence I used:

Seam together FNR and stockinette.

Tie off top.

Seam together neck ribbing.

Seam mitered edges on face ribbing (edges are a little raggedy so just do the best you can).



We have the “Made Especially for You by WI Mknitting Guild” helmetliner tags which you can sew into your helmetliners.  Just send a SASE to Barbara Grettie, 1422 Keough Springs Road, Mineral Point, Wisconsin 53565 requesting the # of labels you need.


Please send completed helmetliners to

Citizen SAM
P O Box 10565
Peoria, Illinois 61612
[email protected]

where they will be sent directly to our troops.