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Knitting in WWII
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May 21, 2012 00:09:16   #
CharleenR
 
Was sitting with my mom today and the talk turned to knitting. I asked her if she taught my younger sister to knit and she said yes, I did it the same way as with you, by winding little toys into the ball of yarn (think we were both between 8 and 10) So I asked her, who taught you to knit, thinking it would have been her mother, my grandmother who died before I was born. Mom surprised me by saying no, I learned in the Girl Scouts and we made squares to make into blankets for the troups in WWII. My mother is going to be 79 this summer. Anyone else learn how to knit in the Girl Scouts for the same reason??
 
May 21, 2012 01:38:52   #
funkyknitter
 
Yes, my mother remembered the Red Cross giving yarn to the girls in her high school in the 1940s to knit for some WWII related project. I'm not sure if it was squares. She said the girls took the yarn and didn't knit. Well, maybe the mothers were too busy working building ships or planes to teach their daughters to knit.

I believe that most of the WWI and II knitting projects were organized by the Red Cross. I have also heard of something called Knittin for Britain ? Okay UK folks jump in here on that one !
Just fun here are a couple of knitting for the war items. I have also included a hat pattern from WWII that I have used for charity knitting.
http://www.cocoabeachyarn.com/patterns/classicwatchcap.pdf

Beanie No. 212

MATERIALS-- Bear Brand or Bucilla "AA" De Luxe Knitting Worsted, 1 skein, or Bear Brand or Bucilla Standard Brand Knitting Worsted, 1 skein.

2 Pairs (4) Bucilla White 10-inch Double-pointed Knitting Needles, Size 4, Article 3843.

Cast on 96 sts, 32 on each of 3 needles. Join and work in ribbing of k 2, p 2 for 6 inches (about 42 rounds), then work in ribing of k 6, p 2, for 22 rounds. K 1 round plain. Decrease 1 st at both ends of each needle, as follows: * k 1, slip 1, k 1, pass the slipped st over the knitted (slip-k-pass), k to within 3 sts of end of needle, k 2 together, k the last st; repeat from * until 4 sts remain on each needle. Break off yarn, thread end into a darning needle, draw through all sts, twice, tighten and darn in end.








May 21, 2012 03:07:23   #
Aud36
 
I was taught to knit by my Mum in WW2 in the air-raid shelter when I was 7 yrs old. She used to go to Jumble sales buy old woolies and we used to unpick (frog) ,skein ,wash and re knit. We seldom got new wool and if we did it was rationed and on coupons we used to save coupons for shoes and underwear She taught me to knit beacuse it took our minds of the bombing. Scary at 7 years old. We lived in a dock area where the troops and equipment left for Europe so we spent almost every night in the shelter.
May 21, 2012 09:13:01   #
Irma dee
 
brings back memories As a GS also knitted nostly scarfs Leader didn't really know much about knitting..scarf was simple. We had to supply the yarn. Am in mid 80ties.Much co operation among people of our generation back then
May 22, 2012 06:23:15   #
lgood
 
I love to hear these WW11 stores about knitting - keep them coming :O))
May 22, 2012 06:55:13   #
kc018
 
I am a Girl Scout Leader & taught the girls in my troop how to knit. They were between 9 and 11 years old at the time. It seemed like an exercise in futility since you have to practice to get the results you like and there is no instant gratification when you start with your first cast on (unless you are aiming for knots). While my troop is down to only 4 girls (they graduate Thursday), I am still in touch with all the girls. 4 of them are still knitting & their peojects are awesome. 2 of them will put finished items in the county fair this year! Yeay - a new knitting generation:)
 
May 22, 2012 07:02:54   #
Gamquilter
 
Yes, I remember knitting with my 5th grade teacher after school. We knit slippers for the hospitalized vets.....it was a fun way to sit with a great teacher..and friends..I also remember we said the Pledge of Alliegence to the Flag, and sang 3 verses of Holy,Holy, Holy, no matter what religion you were while she pounded it out on the piano.....daily"....the times, they are a changing ....
May 22, 2012 07:13:23   #
elenapicado
 
What beautiful memories, love to read these posts. Thanks for sharing this wonderful bit of history.
May 22, 2012 07:44:14   #
Janell
 
I was a GS leader back in the 60's and I taught my girls to knit. Wonder how many still do it. I know my oldest daughter does. Also taught them to do spool knitting II cord) still have several wooden thread spools with nail in them. Guess kids buy them now
May 22, 2012 07:54:44   #
HandyFamily (a regular here)
 
There was a thread here not long ago bu a UK girl/woman who was finishing some plovers to help an old man who knitted them, but find the finishing touches hard (I don't know why, they were so perfect - maybe eyes or something?) - and he learned to knit as a yang boy when children were send out of London during the bombing... and they were making socks for the soldiers... It was such a touching story...


I've always wandered... why are there separate girl and boy scouts?
May 22, 2012 07:55:40   #
Miminancy
 
My Mom knit for my Dad all throught WWII and I still have many of her pattern books, although the metal needles have rusted and been thrown away.
I learned in Girl Scouts after the War (probably about 1948) and have knitted ever since (am 70 this year).
 
May 22, 2012 08:07:28   #
Carol J.
 
There were separate girl and boy scouts because their projects were geared for boys to do manly things and girls to do womanly things. Girls didn't chop down trees or build boats and boys didn't learn to take care of babies and sew.

My mother received yarn and a book to knit for the military during WWII. I still have the book. Hers included a sweater for a man in bed, it went over the head, had long sleeves and a front, no back. There are patterns for vests, caps, shooting gloves and mittens and socks. My sister and I could knit so we helped by doing the straight knitting when she wasn't working on the project. A lady from England said her mother knit in the shelters at night. Expert knitters don't need much light. School children in rural schools knit squares that were sewn together and while outdoors, collected the fuzz from milkweed to stuff jackets. Everyone helped with the war effort.

Carol J.
May 22, 2012 08:21:33   #
woodart
 
Baden Powell was the originator of the Boy Scout Movement. The girls discovered they were having so much fun that they wanted to join in too - so the Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) was formed soon after.
Cub Scouts were (are) the younger boys and Brownies are the younger girls in the Guide Movement.
Rovers (boys) and Rangers (girls) are the older teenagers.
Brings back fond memories of my own youth and then in my mid twenties (in the 1970s) I set up a Guide Company on an Australian Aboriginal reservation in South Australia and was the Captain for a couple of years but then my husband was transferred back to Adelaide and I had to leave the girls.
A couple of years ago I visited a Craft Show in Adelaide and there sitting at a table giving demonstrations of craftwork was one of the girls in my Guide Company - she's running a craft group for under-privileged youth here in Adelaide. We had a great chat about Guides and how it had influenced her life.
Cheers
Ainslie.
May 22, 2012 08:37:49   #
HandyFamily (a regular here)
 
Carol J. wrote:
There were separate girl and boy scouts because their projects were geared for boys to do manly things and girls to do womanly things. Girls didn't chop down trees or build boats and boys didn't learn to take care of babies and sew.
Carol J.


But, Carol, there are still separate boy scout groups and girl scout groups?
And the children are like 5 - 10 years old?
I wouldn't let a 6 - 7 year old hold an ax and definitely would not put a needle in a 5 year old hand... I just wander why are they now separate? Or do the movies just mislead and feed false information on this one?
Like... there is something called girl scout squirrel cookies? (and are there any squirrels inside the box?..) - but are there boy cookies and mixed gender too?
I'm just puzzled, that's all...
May 22, 2012 08:42:11   #
HandyFamily (a regular here)
 
woodart wrote:
Baden Powell was the originator of the Boy Scout Movement. The girls discovered they were having so much fun that they wanted to join in too - so the Girl Guides (Girl Scouts) was formed soon after.
Cub Scouts were (are) the younger boys and Brownies are the younger girls in the Guide Movement.
Rovers (boys) and Rangers (girls) are the older teenagers.
Brings back fond memories of my own youth and then in my mid twenties (in the 1970s) I set up a Guide Company on an Australian Aboriginal reservation in South Australia and was the Captain for a couple of years but then my husband was transferred back to Adelaide and I had to leave the girls.
A couple of years ago I visited a Craft Show in Adelaide and there sitting at a table giving demonstrations of craftwork was one of the girls in my Guide Company - she's running a craft group for under-privileged youth here in Adelaide. We had a great chat about Guides and how it had influenced her life.
Cheers
Ainslie.
Baden Powell was the originator of the Boy Scout M... (show quote)


And how come no one founded any mixed groups?
Boys and girls tend to play together here... And in my opinion they play (and learn) better in mixed groups than in gender-separate ones...
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