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Knitting in WWII
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May 30, 2012 17:15:36   #
Cheryl_K
 
Grammy Toni wrote:
If you have an opportunity to look through any old (1900's through the '40's)copies of scouting books, you would see how society has evolved! The boys did indeed do "manly" things. The girls did fantastic things back then like learning how to do all the things pioneer women needed to do. Of course many of the girls then lived in rural settings where they had to know how to manage without electrical appliances, pre-cooked or store bought foods, cooking over wood stoves or campfires, making their own soaps etc. I know many of you on this forum still do many of those things today, but many of us are "citified" and would have a struggle if we were left in the open without our cellphones at least to look things up lol! Also, it's interesting how the books were written - fine print, few pictures, no color, and the level of reading was much more advanced than the more recent ones I've seen.
And my two cents on gender mixing? I attended both in high school and I saw how much more actual learning took place in separated class rooms - especially for the boys. And if I had a little boy nowadays I think I'd want him in an all boys school, at least in his early school years, so he would be able to act like a boy and not expected to sit still for hours and not have regularly scheduled play time or at least breaks where they have to do calisthenics in between subjects to get rid of excess energy. Most girls are able to sit still for longer periods of time and most schools are geared towards them - unless there is a teacher who sees the value in the kids standing up and doing jumping jacks - if they can sneak them in between their scripted teaching. (scripted teaching - where teachers are given strict instructions on how and what they teach in strict blocks of time regardless of whether the children understand what is being taught at any given time!!!!!!)
If you have an opportunity to look through any old... (show quote)

Well said!
:thumbup:
 
May 30, 2012 17:54:34   #
MarilynKnits (a regular here)
 
When I got out of college in 1957 I got a teaching job at a grades 7, 8, & 9 all girl school in upper Manhattan in New York City. I was a home ec major, and the job I got was to teach millinery. The assistant principal who supervised had me write elaborate lesson plans. Those children were as interested in hat making as they would have been in growing feed corn on the roof. I taught them how to balance a check book, how to look for quality when shopping for items for the home, nutrition, and other aspects of living that they could use. They and the few parents I saw at back to school night appreciated what I was trying to do. One of the other assistant principals made it a practice to stop in and "observe" to let me know when the other one was on her way. The kids whipped out their hat frames and looked busy until she was well down the hall. All these years later, these girls are in their 60's now, I am proud of myself that I risked the job to teach something meaningful. I remembered that when my daughter had to do quadratic equations and dissect a frog. She is a welder now and teaches shop safety. Hasn't cracked a math book in over 20 years and is doing fine. We do kids no favors pushing everyone into college. Society needs fulfilled crafts people who can change a washer or wire a switch and make a living doing so more than they need another professor droning on about something useless to more than half the class.

I left teaching after 5 1/2 years to raise children, and then became a customer service clerk. What I learned from an amazing high school English teacher (I bless the memory of Miss Florence Dahlberg) served me better than any other aspect of my formal education.

Sorry about digressing from the main topic, but we need to do better by our kids in school.
May 30, 2012 18:30:39   #
woodart
 
WOW! Great message - couldn't agree more!
I'm in my late 60s and am active in our church craft group as well as being a woodsculptor and potter. (the pottery has 'sort of 'lapsed' but I still have clay and all the gear to resume whenever the muse takes me!)
These days my creative energy has been directed to dressmaking and pattern design and construction as well as spinning merino/alpaca and any other interesting fibre I toss into the mix!
My grandmother started me off with crochet, knitting and tatting when I was about five years old. I seem to have spent all these years with a needle of some sort or other within easy reach and just wish my daughter had more spare time in her busy life as musician and teacher to learn - creative pastimes are just so wonderful as a relaxant for the soul!!
Cheers
Ainslie.
May 31, 2012 01:43:00   #
valj46
 
MarilynKnits wrote:
When I got out of college in 1957 I got a teaching job at a grades 7, 8, & 9 all girl school in upper Manhattan in New York City. I was a home ec major, and the job I got was to teach millinery. The assistant principal who supervised had me write elaborate lesson plans. Those children were as interested in hat making as they would have been in growing feed corn on the roof. I taught them how to balance a check book, how to look for quality when shopping for items for the home, nutrition, and other aspects of living that they could use. They and the few parents I saw at back to school night appreciated what I was trying to do. One of the other assistant principals made it a practice to stop in and "observe" to let me know when the other one was on her way. The kids whipped out their hat frames and looked busy until she was well down the hall. All these years later, these girls are in their 60's now, I am proud of myself that I risked the job to teach something meaningful. I remembered that when my daughter had to do quadratic equations and dissect a frog. She is a welder now and teaches shop safety. Hasn't cracked a math book in over 20 years and is doing fine. We do kids no favors pushing everyone into college. Society needs fulfilled crafts people who can change a washer or wire a switch and make a living doing so more than they need another professor droning on about something useless to more than half the class.

I left teaching after 5 1/2 years to raise children, and then became a customer service clerk. What I learned from an amazing high school English teacher (I bless the memory of Miss Florence Dahlberg) served me better than any other aspect of my formal education.

Sorry about digressing from the main topic, but we need to do better by our kids in school.
When I got out of college in 1957 I got a teaching... (show quote)


The primary school i went to we learned to knit at five [soon after we started school]the boys done raffia ,At 8 we were taught sewing ,when we went on to secondary school at 11 we learned dress making & had cookery lessons but now all that has stopped ,no wonder kids are so obese they do not know how to cook unless mums interested in cooking & shows them to cook from scratch & not a frozen ready made meals,burgers,chips,take away meals etc.
May 31, 2012 01:50:38   #
BEChristianson
 
HandyFamily wrote:
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...
quote=woodart Baden Powell was the originator of ... (show quote)


They did, it's called 4-H.
May 31, 2012 01:52:51   #
BEChristianson
 
Aud36 wrote:
I can remember that a German bailed out and landed in a field not far from us the women rushed to the scene after he had been taken away divided up the parachute to make clothes out of it. My Mum mad me a party dress. Bliss


Your stories are amazing! Thank you for sharing.
 
May 31, 2012 02:01:15   #
MaryMargaret
 
HandyFamily: I love your perspective. As an American I don't think it would have occurred to me to ask why Boy and Girl Scouts are separate. Surely it would have been more fun.

The Girl Scouts have a long tradition of selling "Girl Scout Cookies" as an annual fundraiser and it's an icon of American life. People groan when cookie season rolls around because they want to support the girls but the cookies are fattening to the max.

I love these WWII knitting stories! I was a Girl Scout and learned nothing useful. Wish I had learned to knit.

But I probably would have been hopeless. High school girls in my day took "Home Ec" (economics) and learned to crack eggs and use a sewing machine. The teacher despaired of me and my dressmaking project, which I didn't finish until the night before the "fashion show." "Mary Margaret, time means nothing to you," she would say.

Later as I cranked out lots of clothes for my kids and loved it, even made fancy party dresses I wore to officer's club dances, and satin bridesmaid gowns, my mother would say "If only Virginia Bell could see you now."

So I was a late bloomer (as I was reminded by family members over and over) but my mother and grandmother sewed, knitted, embroidered, and crocheted prolifically and wonderfully.
May 31, 2012 02:08:41   #
MaryMargaret
 
Aud36 wrote:
I can remember that a German bailed out and landed in a field not far from us the women rushed to the scene after he had been taken away divided up the parachute to make clothes out of it. My Mum mad me a party dress. Bliss


What a story! Better than historical dramas on TV. And crocheting with parachute cord!
May 31, 2012 02:13:33   #
MaryMargaret
 
lostmountains wrote:
As a female leader in the Boy Scouts of America, there are many reasons for keeping the two groups seperate. Boys and girls learn at different paces and they enjoy different activities.(None of the boys that I have worked with over an 18 year period have been interested in painting their toe nails.) The programs are suited to the interests of each gender. Yes some girls and some boys like to camp, make fires, etc but most boys are not interested in the girly things like make up and hair and most girls are not into bugs, knots and sleeping under the stars. There are also a lot of youth protection issues that can be problems with mixed gender groups(like how does a girl pee in private on the trail with no outhouse in sight with an audience of 15 boys? Sleeping, changing and other femine issues are not things all male leaders want to deal with. At age 14, both genders can join a verture crew that has a specific theme such as emt, police, fire, snow sports, video gaming etc. I am currently working on crocheting amigurumi rectangle dolls that look like each member of the troop in BSA uniforms. They will be given to each boy on the last night of camp.
As a female leader in the Boy Scouts of America, t... (show quote)


This is very interesting information but if Girl Scouts are now painting toenails and doing makeup as an official activity, it's degraded even from the pitiful weinie roasts of my day. Yuk!

Given half a chance many girls would love bugs, frogs, knots, sleeping outdoors, and making a fire with two sticks.
May 31, 2012 02:18:09   #
MaryMargaret
 
FUNKYKNITTER:

Thanks for posting those old WWII ads! Where did you get them?
May 31, 2012 02:27:49   #
MaryMargaret
 
valj46 wrote:
Aud36 wrote:
I can remember that a German bailed out and landed in a field not far from us the women rushed to the scene after he had been taken away divided up the parachute to make clothes out of it. My Mum mad me a party dress. Bliss


i had dresses made from parachute material just after the war as things were still on ration untill 19 51/52, they were blue ,a German plane crashed in our village too a family who were all women at the time as the men were away fighting hid the German after a few days sent him on his way fed & rested just hoped he made it ,they looked on it as some mothers son as the pilot was so young , not that this story has anything to do with knitting only that they might have given him warm jumpers or gloves to help him on his way
quote=Aud36 I can remember that a German bailed o... (show quote)


My gosh, these wonderful stories!!!
 
May 31, 2012 05:32:01   #
mavisb
 
In England we didn't have girl scouts. We had boy scouts, brownies, girl guides, and girls life brigade. I belonged to the latter. The children in England were sent to the country where the bombs weren't falling to keep them safe. My mum worked in a factory to help the war effort. During the war my Mum insisted her neighbour join them in the air raid shelter not far from their homes. This lady had a baby so she went to the shelter only to find her home was flattened. My nans wall was blown out by a bomb. The rest of the street, next door down were demolished by the bombs. My mum was not taught by her mother to knit, my nan only knit socks.
May 31, 2012 10:16:34   #
tricilicious
 
mavisb wrote:
In England we didn't have girl scouts. We had boy scouts, brownies, girl guides, and girls life brigade. I belonged to the latter. The children in England were sent to the country where the bombs weren't falling to keep them safe. My mum worked in a factory to help the war effort. During the war my Mum insisted her neighbour join them in the air raid shelter not far from their homes. This lady had a baby so she went to the shelter only to find her home was flattened. My nans wall was blown out by a bomb. The rest of the street, next door down were demolished by the bombs. My mum was not taught by her mother to knit, my nan only knit socks.
In England we didn't have girl scouts. We had boy ... (show quote)



In London our neighbours house was flattened by bombs. Their pregnant daughter had visited and they were all killed. The little dog ran out the alive. Fortunately I had been evacuated to Worthing during the blitz but back in London it was common to watch the dog fights between the Germans and the English in their Spitfires. Great little aircraft.
May 31, 2012 20:26:48   #
Cheryl_K
 
Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading all of the posts in this thread. I love history and especially WWII and WWI history. There's a little book I check out of our local library from time to time which is a reprint of a book published for little girls in the early part of the twentieth century (around 1915 I think). It's called The Mary Frances Knit and Crochet Book. In the last chapter, there are some of the original patterns for Red Cross Knitting for WWI. It's just so cool to think that knitting has been such a vital part of life.
May 31, 2012 20:35:14   #
MaryMargaret
 
Cheryl_K wrote:
Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading all of the posts in this thread. I love history and especially WWII and WWI history. There's a little book I check out of our local library from time to time which is a reprint of a book published for little girls in the early part of the twentieth century (around 1915 I think). It's called The Mary Frances Knit and Crochet Book. In the last chapter, there are some of the original patterns for Red Cross Knitting for WWI. It's just so cool to think that knitting has been such a vital part of life.
Just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading all... (show quote)


How precious! Amazon still has it and its companion The Mary Frances Sewing Book: Adventures Among the Thimble People.

Thanks for the alert...it would be fun to have that to share with a child.
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