Saturday, December 29, 2012


It didn't seem necessary to blog anything before this because the information is already out there on the blog.  However, I, and thousands of others, received a group e-mail from indicating that we should spread out the number of boxes we send off as well as the size.  Why?  When things go to an FOB, there is very little room to store pantry items or medicinal stuff.  So, from what I could gather from that group e-mail, the best size box to send to an FOB particularly, is the large (which isn't really that large) 'anything that fits' box at the Post Office.  Also, the suggestion was that boxes be spread out and sent all year long because the plethora of Christmas boxes can be over-whelming in certain hard to reach areas.  So, in case you didn't get this information, I thought it best to pass it on.  As always, check out, which is a most wonderful website to get names of military personnel who would like boxes of goodies and supplies.  The individuals will blog what they need and would most appreciate.
   On another note, much to my surprise, I received an answer from one of this holiday season's recipients: a First Lieutenant.  He was amazing in that he took the time and effort to write.  He said that it warms the hearts of his men to receive even just cards! So, all that folks are doing does do a great deal of good for our military personnel.
   My husband and I wish you all a wonderful and HEALTHY 2013!  If you are reading this, you won't forget our military that stands watch for all of us - the 99% who are not on the line.  GOD BLESS THEM ALL. 

Adria, Mama-Schu, General Mama and the Wool Warriors

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Spring and summer represent the time that my friends and I knit like crazy to prepare for September mail-off of boxes of both knitted items and goodies for soldiers we find on  The rules are the same: always use WOOL; always use CAMO COLORS - olive green, light brown or black - and knit balaklavas (helmet liners and connected neck warmers ) OR separate them and knit the neck warmers and the wool helmet liners (caps).  We follow a pattern we found several years ago at MICHAEL'S CRAFTS; however, here are the simple instructions if you wish to just separate the two. 
   NECK WARMERS:  cast on 96 stitches and use either a round needle or four needles knitting with the fifth.  Just go around and around, KNIT TWO, PURL TWO until the neck warmer measures 9 inches. 
   CAP OR HELMET LINER:  Once again, cast on 96 stitches.  Use round needle (#9 or #10) or four double point needles, knitting with the fifth.  KNIT 2 PURL 2 for THREE INCHES and then just go around and around in the garter stitch until the cap measures 4 inches.  Then you may start to decrease beginning with knit 6 decrease 1 on the 7th stitch all the way around.  ON THE NEXT ROW, DO NOT DECREASE; JUST KNIT.  Then on the following row, decrease on the 6th stitch all the way around.  Always do one solid knit row with no decreasing in-between the decrease rows.  When you get to the last stitches, decrease two at a time, leaving no more than 9 stitches.  At that point, pull the yarn through the remaining stitches and weave or darn it on the wrong side. 

WHY SEPTEMBER?  It takes at least a month for the boxes to arrive.  Afghanistan and Iraq are blisteringly hot in the summer and spring months; freezing cold in the winters.  So, the neck warmers and helmet liners are needed in the winters.
WHAT HAVE THE SOLDIERS REQUESTED LATELY?  The always need baby wipes because showers are not always available.  They want HOT SAUCE, DRIED FRUIT, BEEF JERKY, PEANUT BUTTER, INSTANT COFFEE, RAMEN, SOUPS THAT ONLY REQUIRE BOILING WATER; NON SCENTED HAND CREAM FOR THE COLD; CHAPSTICK; INSTANT HOT CHOCOLATE.  The dried fruit is important because they don't get a lot of fresh fruit in any season.  Soldiers and Marines are also asking for school supplies to hand out to the local children: pencils, pens, paper, colored pencils, little school pencil sharpeners, etc.

Let's not forget 'our' kids!  They are so appreciative.  If you cannot send boxes of goodies, the knitted items are always appreciated.  Also, the military personnel are so grateful for even cards, notes and caring drawings from children who have them in their prayers.  There is always something we can do.  REMEMBER TOO:  THERE IS A DISCOUNT AT THE POST OFFICE FOR ANYTHING WITH AN APO ADDRESS!

Let's knit!


General Mama and the Wool Warriors

Friday, January 7, 2011

Keep knitting!

Hi Everyone,
I don't know if you are really out there, but if you are, keep on knitting and sending camo colored beanies, neck muffs and balaclavas to our soldiers. Get your names off of and remember that their website is supported by donations. Every little bit helps keep them going and also, the main point, is that every little bit helps our military big time.
Jeff and I sent off 8 large boxes of supplies and goodies before Christmas. The boxes also included knitted items done by myself and volunteers. Things to remember: The Post Office gives a reduced mailing rate to APO addresses; the best way to mail things off is with FLAT RATE BOXES at the Post Office; read the profiles of the military personnel because different situations require different items in their goody boxes.
If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. I will respond. Thank you for helping our military.

Friday, November 26, 2010

It has been a long time since I have blogged for two reasons: the summer months in AFghanistan and Iraq are not times when knitted things are needed for warmth; my husband had knee replacement surgery. So, I've been busy BUT I have been knitting.
The platoon we have been sponsoring was rotated out of combat duty so we now have to adopt new soldiers via We encourage folks to do the same. Winter is here or rapidly approaching, so neck muffs and balaclavas are needed. Please remember to use camo colors and always wool because wool does not burn. You can also use silk yarns, but they are pricey. The cold and the biting winds in Afghanistan particularly, chap the faces of our military who are on duty at all times of the day or night. These are welcome items.
Once again, I like to remind everyone who mails items off to soldiers, that the U.S. Post Office gives a discount on itmes mailed to a military APO address.
In addition to warm knitted items, our soldiers need baby wipes (many do not have showers all the time), ramen products that require only boiling water, pop corn and dried fruit. It is difficult for them to secure fruit on a regular basis, I've been told.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and I will answer. Until such time as I may hear from you, we send you best wishes and blessings all the time, but most especially at this season of so many holidays - all of which are protected for us by our military.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010: SPRING & SUMMER SUPPORT!

Hi there everyone,
I have decided not to blog unless it is an important reminder; daily blogs are not necessary as you can see. However, I wish to remind you that there are lots of ways to support our troops during the Spring and Summer months. Iraq is blistering hot - often with sand storms. Afghanistan, as noted before, is mountain weather which can be very hot during the day but chilly in both early mornings and nights. Having said this, it is clear our troops don't need the warm neck muffs during these months. HOWEVER, and I stress this, there are TONS of ways in which we can SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. Depending on budgets, here are some suggestions. My husband and I are about ready to send off boxes that include the always popular POPCORN that can be done in microwave ovens; long fruit rolls or dried fruit (they don't get much fresh fruit); beef jerky in any number of flavors; just add boiling water Ramens or Mac and cheese servings, etc. Stay away from items that can melt because often, these boxes go through some pretty tough heat. WHAT ABOUT KNITTING? Of course we should keep knitting and building up an inventory of balaclavas, neck muffs, warm slippers or watch caps so that when Fall and Winter months arrive, we have plenty to share with our troops.
Please also keep in mind the special needs of FEMALE MILITARY PERSONNEL. They are very present in both Afghanistan and Iraq! Check out specifics with female personnel as found on - a wonderful website that has been my anchor for directions to our troops in both places: Afghanistan and Iraq. We also sent some foods specific to religious celebrations to our big base in Germany. Think ahead..
There is also a big push for both SCHOOL SUPPLIES and children's VITAMINS. This is never mentioned in the media, but our troops walk that razor's edge of protecting our country and helping the 'locals'. They donate school supplies to local schools. Any children's vitamins are given to their medical personnel who distribute them to local children. My husband and I are sending off a box filled with: composition notebooks; pens; pencils; colored pens, etc.
In this same vein, I have had Marines ask me to knit warm things for the local children, using indigenous colors and only wool. They want to give out caps and scarves to the children who are cold. Does this warm your heart or what? We raise caring and decent 'kids' in our country. Even when their lives are on the line, they reach out to be kind.
Lastly, but far from least, is the constant need to just send cards and letters to our military personnel. This is, as they have said to me over and over again, "money' to them. It warms their hearts and gives them hope and spirit in the down times. This costs only a U.S. Stamp, as ANY MAIL IS BASED ON U.S. CONTINENTAL COSTS FOR STAMPS OR FLAT RATE BOXES, ETC. In short, with an APO address, any card or note may be sent with just a .44 cent U.S. Stamp. MEMORIAL DAY is coming up, so send those cards and letters off early so they get theirs in time. Sad to say, all of our military personnel will have some emotional memories of comrades lost in battle. Also, I've been told that along with the beautiful weather of Spring, comes increased TICS (troops in combat). Mail-call can help to heal the wounds that can not be tended by medical folks.
So this is the message for now; won't bother you with daily blogs. Just keep on SUPPORTING OUR TROOPS with ACTIONS and not just words. Mushy e-mails asking to support our troops or pray for them are very nice; but our troops need more than that as signs of support. One dinner out at a fast food restaurant can represent a nice box mailed off with goodies. Think about it. Most of all, keep knitting and praying with every single stitch! I thank you and so do they.

General Mama and the Wool Warriors

Thursday, March 25, 2010


My husband and I send boxes of goodies throughout all of this time; not just the knitted items. We will send more boxes of goodies and toiletree items. I'll continue to knit and encourage you all to do so as well. Just build up an inventory to start sending out again when it gets cold. Iraq is very hot in the Spring and Summer; neck muffs are not needed at that time. Afghanistan is in the mountains, so picture the weather patterns of Mammoth Lakes and the High Sierras: cold in the mornings and nights, but very hot during the day. So I don't see the need as much at this time of the year.
Contrarily, they can always use nice camo colored slippers. They are easy to knit. If you want a quick pattern, contact me through this blog and I will provide it. In the meantime, HAPPY EASTER, HAPPY PASSOVER and be well. Keep sending notes, cards and boxes of goodies. They are so appreciated. Once again, I call your attention to the addresses on the fabulous website called:


aka General Mama

Friday, February 5, 2010


Hi there,
This is an important PROCESS reminder for old timers or 'newbees'. If you need GENERAL MAMA & WOOL WARRIOR TAGS, CONTACT ME HERE ON THE BLOG AND I WILL GET THEM TO YOU. We attach them to finished product.
We get the names of soldiers to support off of - a most wonderful website. You can do that on your own or work through us; either way. We DO have some established soldiers that we support.
We send things off INDIVIDUALLY, using the FLAT RATE BOXES at the Post Office. They are free and substatially less in postage than regular boxes. You may also want to check out the prices on UPS. At the U.S. Post Office, the FLAT RATE BOXES are further REDUCED if you are using an APO address. For example, the largest FLAT RATE BOX that they have is $14.50 to mail off; it is $12.50 for an APO address. APO address means it is a military address. Once the box arrives at the APO or military address, the military takes it to the addressed destination.
We use only WOOL in our group and only CAMOUFLAGE COLORS. Wool is NOT flammable; acrylic is flammable. Some groups use it and are doing a great job in their efforts; we use wool. Usually, we buy our WOOL at either MICHAEL'S CRAFTS or JOANN'S CRAFTS. We use merino wool with colors approved by the military: dark olive, sesame, black, charcoal gray. We use PATON'S MERINO WOOL or we use only one brownish color by LIONSBRAND wool used for Aran Irish sweaters. Some people are going to neighborhood yarn shops and purchase merino wool there; some shops give discounts. Check it out.
We also send CARDS, LETTERS, DECORATIONS FOR HOLIDAYS. Believe me, the smallest item is gratefully accepted! We also send GOODY BOXES filled with snacks, foot powders, chapstick, etc. Check with me if you need further information on this. Thanks for your support.

General Mama