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Knitting nuts to kit out guards in Afghanistan

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 4th January 2013
Cartoon by Ronnie Neville.
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PD34245 The Helmet Pattern 1 of 1

Troops serving in Afghanistan will be kept warm at night with balaclavas knitted by Cawthorne Mothers' Union.


The group decided to hand knit dozens of open-faced balaclavas so that the Coldstream Guards, based in Doncaster, can put them under their helmets to keep their heads warm.


At night the temperature can drop below freezing.

Cynthia Hindley, a member of the MU, said the idea came about after speaking to other groups.


"I was told various things had been knitted in the past to support the Coldstream Guards, so I got in touch with their base in Doncaster and asked if they needed anything and said 'yes 'to balaclavas.


"We started last month and we're only into the dozens but we're hoping it will be hundreds.


"Then all we have to do is send them over to Doncaster and they get put into parcels and sent over."


One of the knitters, Audrey Smith, 66, of Barugh Lane, Barugh Green, has supplied the pattern for the balaclavas.


"The soldiers have metal helmets so the balaclavas help keep them warm.


"It's an old pattern we're using and it was my cousin's who knitted it for her son, and he's now 50," she said.

"It's just ordinary double knitting wool that we're using and they are being done in two colours - khaki and a sandy tawny type colour.


"They are doing very important things out there and we just want to do our bit to help, that's all that matters."

Audrey said it takes her 'a fair few hours' to knit just one balaclava, but added: "It depends really on how fast you can knit. I can get one done in two evenings but if the football is on TV it can be quicker than that."

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