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Hand-Made

Knit your bit.

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Mrs. Robt. [Robert] Lansing's sewing circle working to aid the Red Cross (Mrs. Lansing, wife of the Secy [Sectretary] of State, seated on the extreme right) (1-9-1918), Digital ID 117248, New York Public LibraryFingers fly in World War I homefront.

Every crafty person has probably been asked to help with, or perhaps has organized, charitable knitting projects: blankets and warm hats for the homeless, caps and scarves for children in need, and fancy goods for sale at fundraisers. What we don’t do so much of today is knit for the troops. But in World War I and World War II, the knitting of wool sweaters, hats, gloves, socks, bandages, and other items was a common activity that kept fingers flying on the homefront.

NYPL has many books and pamphlets from these wartime eras that guide the knitter in what to make and how. The Red Cross’s World War I Wartime Manual offered guidance to “what you can do at home.” Two others are the Khaki Knitting Book, printed in 1917 by the Allies Special Aid, and Knitting and Sewing: How to Make Seventy Useful Articles for Men in the Army and Navy, published in 1918. World War II resources include Knitting for the Army, published in Great Britain in 1941.

Additionally, check out the online Red Cross Museum for more wartime knitware patterns and history. One of their promotional posters promoting wartime knitting commanded, “Knit Your Bit.”

 

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Knit your bit - the muffler

Delightful to find this mentioned here! I knit the muffler for a friend a few years ago (we met working for the Red Cross) using a bluish-green wool. I'd almost forgotten about it until I saw your article. It's nice to see there are a few new patterns posted since I last looked at the site. Maybe I need to get out my needles again?

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