KNITTERS from Northwich will be keeping soldiers warm in Afghanistan as they make hats for heroes.

Crafty Stiches, in Witton Street, has already sold 80 balls of wool as staff and customers ‘get the beanie bug’ in a Royal British Legion campaign.

Each ball of wool will be knitted up into a camoflage-coloured beanie hat for the troops to wear under their helmets during the bitterly cold Afghanistan nights when temperatures plumit to freezing.

Joan Hubbard, who owns the shop, said: “It just seemed silly not to join in with the campaign.

“There’s been quite good support so far with the amount of balls taken and hats are coming back now.

“But also we have people who can’t knit and they’ve bought a ball of wool, brought it back and we will knit it for them or find someone else to knit it.”

The hats have to be made from 100 per cent pure wool so that they are safe and comfortable for the soldiers to wear.

Crafty Stitches is selling £4.99 balls of wool at the reduced price of £2.99 for the campaign and each ball comes complete with the simple beanie hat pattern.

Lousie Hubbard, Joan’s daughter, said: “It’s doing something, keeping a hobby going and being able to do something extra for someone who needs it, rather than just putting £3 in a pot.

“One ball can do one hat in one night.”

The shop itself is no stranger to helping customers knit items for soldiers.

Joan, who has worked at Crafty Stitches for 27 years, said: “This shop has been open continuously as a wool shop since before the Second World War and I still occasionally get a lady coming in now with a very old pattern from war time for soldiers’ balaclavas.

“The wool then would have been itchy.

“I’ve seen one pattern this year that I have never seen before it’s that old.”