Mothers' Union knits balaclavas for Afghanistan troops

Mothers' Union knits balaclavas for Afghanistan troops (Thinkstock/Stocktrek)

A Mothers' Union from Doncaster has come up with a crafty way to help troops keep warm while serving in Afghanistan.

Cawthorne Mothers' Union has chosen to hand knit dozens of open-faced balaclavas for the Coldstream Guards, Barnsley Chronicle reports, allowing the soldiers to slide them under their helmets.

This will help the Doncaster-based force to cope with the night time temperatures in Afghanistan, which frequently drop below freezing.

The woollen head coverings fit snugly over the head and ears, tucking under the chin and leaving the face open so that the troops have full visibility while working.

Speaking to the local newspaper, Cynthia Hindley, a member of the group, explained that the idea came about after speaking to other groups in the area.

"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," Ms Hindley explained.

"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," she went on to add.

But rather than making up their own knitting pattern, the group chose to use an old one which had been tried and tested.

Audrey Smith, 66 was given the pattern from a family member and thought it looked perfect for keeping soldier's heads warm under their metal helmets.

"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," Ms Smith said.

She admitted that it can take a few hours to knit a balaclava, although this really depends on how fast people can work and whether there's any good TV on to work to.

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