BOISE -- The response is incredible of people wanting to help an Idaho mother-daughter team make helmet liners for soldiers who will soon be serving overseas.

Bea Mitchell and her daughter Janet Thaldorf are trying to knit 2,700 caps for the men and women of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team before the group deploys in September.

In an e-mail Bea sent to KTVB Thursday, she said about 800 caps have been made so far. When our first news story on the women's project aired Monday, they had made just 56.

Bea said their phones have been ringing off the hook. People looking to help are calling from not just Idaho, but from Oregon, Washington and even Montana.

The knitted caps keep soldiers warm during the winter, and if soaked in water, cool in the summer.

In the beginning, Bea thought she'd knit a dozen or so until a commander told her how many soldiers from the 116th will be fighting in Iraq.

He said at the time I need 2,700 so we can put a cap in every soldiers pack when they leave in September, said Bea.

The caps need to be made out of 100% wool. For the safety of the soldiers, the wool caps must be earth tone in color, such as dark beige, black, dark green or brown.

Find the soldier helmet liner patterns by clicking the following links:

PDF version

Word Document version

There are several drop off sites where you can pick up copies of the pattern or drop off your caps and Janet or Bea will pick them up on a regular basis.

Drop off sites:

  • Fuzz, 605 S. Americana, Boise
  • Knit Wits, 8850 W. Fairview Ave., Boise
  • Michaels Arts & Crafts, 8633 W. Franklin Road, Boise
  • Michaels Arts & Crafts, 16474 N. Marketplace Blvd., Nampa
  • The Yarn Shop, 127 E. State Avenue, Meridian
  • JoAnns Craft Store, 2255 SW 4th Avenue, Ontario, OR
  • White House Yarn & Fiber Shop, 323 W. Idaho Ave., Ontario, OR

You can also call Bea Mitchell at (208) 642-1528 or Janet Thaldorf at (208) 362-5276 for more information.

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