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Airman’s Neck Muff

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Cover of a vintage world war two military knitting booklet

from “Guide to Knitting for the Services” by the Australian Comforts Fund, 1940


  • 6 ozs: Sports Wool. Note from Sarah: Due to the size of the needles I suspect this may be used double and can be substituted for worsted weight or aran yarn
  • Shade – Light Navy Blue.
  • 1 pair of UK No. 6/5mm/US 8 needles
  • 1 set of four UK No. 6/5mm/US 8 needles.


No gauge is stated in the original pattern but I suspect a gauge of 20sts to 10cm/4″ is correct



Using the pair of needles, cast on 30 stitches.

First Row: Knit plain into the back of stitches.

Second Row: K1, increase once in the next stitch, knit to the last 3 stitches, increase once in the next stitch, K2.

Third and Fourth Rows: Knit plain.

Repeat the last three rows until there are 60 stitches on the needle. Knit plain until work measures 11 inches.

Next Row: Knit 14 stitches, turn. Work on these stitches for the shoulder, as follows:

First Row: K1, K2tog, knit to end of row.

Second Row: Knit plain, repeat these two rows twice more (11 stitches).

Cast off.

Place the next 32 stitches on a spare needle and leave for the neck ribbing.

Join on wool and work on the last 14 stitches for the other shoulder.

First Row: Knit plain.

Second Row: Knit to the last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1.

Repeat these two rows twice more.

Knit one row plain Cast off.


Knit another piece exactly as for the front, but 2 inches shorter.

Sew shoulder pieces firmly together.

Neck Ribbing

With front of work facing you, join on wool at right side of neck.

Using the set of four needles: on the first needle K 28 stitches across front of neck; on the second needle knit the remaining 4 stitches of front neck, pick up and knit 10 stitches a cross shoulder, and knit 14 stitches from back of neck; on third needle knit remaining 18 stitches of back neck and pick up and knit 10 stitches over shoulder.

Work k1, p1 rib for 9 inches. Cast off.

The original publication of this pattern is in the public domain, however this modernised and clarified version is copyright Sarah Bradberry, May 31st 2012. All rights reserved.

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