The Ships Project

Item Guidelines

Colors

Any 'guy' colors are appropriate for the troops, especially:

  • Blue

  • Green

  • Red

  • *Black

  • Red/White/Blue combinations

  • Team Colors

  • Bright, "Crayon" colors.

*Colors for Ground Troops Only.

 

Either solid colors or variegated yarns are appropriate.  Stripes and other color patterns are also welcome!  The darker colors and shades are needed for the troops on the ground, but please us the brighter colors for items going to the ships.

Colors to avoid include:

  • Pink

  • Lavender

  • Pastels

  • White*

  • Neon colors

  • Any camouflage

Brown, Grey, Tan, or Black 

* White is perfectly acceptable as an accent color, such as for patriotic themes, but not as the main color for items, for the simple reason that they do not stay white.

**These colors can be combined with others, but please avoid making an entire item out of them.

Yarn

4-Ply Worsted Weight Yarn (or equivalent) in:

  • Acrylic

  • Wool Blends

  • 100 % Wool*

* If your wool is not superwash, please attach a small label to your items, reading: "100% Wool.  Hand wash in cold water only. Lay flat to dry"

Fabric

Cool-Ties need to be made from lightweight 100% cotton fabric. 

For hats and slippers, soft fleece is needed. 

Styles

All items must be closely knitted or crocheted for warmth. "Lacy" styles are not appropriate for our project, because they are not warm enough. If you can stick a pencil or your finger between the stitches, it is too loose. A number 8 knitting needle, or size H crochet hook, or the size to give you the same gauge, seems to work best for the needs of the military.


Hats must reach the size guidelines of 8 - 10 inches deep and 22 - 24 inches in circumference. In addition, the military can not use hats with pom-poms, tassels, bells,          I-cords, or anything else on the top of the hat. Hats with frilly edges, or brims that fold or roll up, or with an edging made from a yarn such as the Lion Brand Fun Fur are also not useful to the military.  Hats should be made from one strand of worsted weight yarn, or equivalent - i.e. two strands fingering weight yarn.


Slippers must have a cuff, or come up over the ankle, for safety reasons. Frilly edgings, shells, and edgings from yarns such as Lion Brand Fun Fur are not appropriate for the needs of the troops.  Slippers should be made from one strand of worsted weight yarn, or equivalent - i.e. two strands fingering weight yarn.


Even though there are many women in our military today, all items need to be made in styles and colors that will be suitable for men. The women in the military prefer these as well, rather than more traditionally feminine colors and styles.


Items made on knitting looms are not, at this time, useful for the troops. We fully understand that beautiful items can be made with a knitting loom, but every time we attempt to send these items, the feedback from the troops is 100% negative. Thank you for understanding that we strive to send only the items that are useful for the troops specific and unique needs, and that the troops will be proud to wear every single day as a reminder of home.

Hats

Hats can be knitted, crocheted or sewn, and can be made in any of the colors listed above. 

Hats should finish to be 8 - 10 inches deep and stretch to between 22 - 24 inches in circumference.  Patterns that we have found to work well for the troops are available in our "Patterns" section.  Also, please read the "Styles" section for more information about the specific styles needed to meet the needs of the troops.

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Slippers

Slippers can be knitted, crocheted or sewn, and can be made in any of the colors listed above.  Slippers should finish to 10 to 12 inches long. For safety reasons, they must have a cuff that comes over the ankle. Patterns that we have found to work well for the troops are available in our "Patterns" section. Also, please read the "Styles" section for more information about the specific styles needed to meet the needs of the troops.

Cool-Ties

Cool-Ties are sent to the troops during the hot summer months.  They should be made out of 100% cotton fabric.  For the safety of our troops, desert camouflage or tan is required for those on the ground, but other masculine colors are appropriate for the ships.  The red, white, and blue flag-like prints are especially popular for the ships, but please avoid patterns with an exact representation of the Flag, as this violates the military flag code.  

A reliable on-line source for the crystals used to fill the cool-ties is available at this site: http://www.watersorb.com/mainstore.html  For cool-ties, order the medium size crystals.

Instructions for the cool-ties are available in the pattern section at the bottom of the page.  They should finish to at least 45 inches long, and should have the ends finished by tucking in and seaming, with no loose ends or threads.