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Nancy Mitford's endless purple scarf.


 827999. New York Public Library I've just begun reading Nancy Mitford's essay collection The Water Beetle and have learned that this author's name can be added to the list of notable needlewomen who contributed to the World War I effort.

In "Blor," the first essay in this collection, she recollects how she crocheted for the cause: "I was soon sitting like a tricoteuse, on the balcony of Grandfather Redesdale's house in Kensy High Street, crocheting an endless purple scarf while the troops marched by on their way to France. (There was no khaki wool to be had so early in the war--you took what you could get.)"

Soon after, she apparently obtained a supply of khaki yarn: "I fell in love with Captain Platt in my father's regiment, an important General of the next war, and crocheted endless pairs of khaki mittens for him--I am not sure that they were inflicted on him. In any chase, all this crocheting was the nearest I ever got to killing an enemy, a fact which I am still regretting."

In 1914, Nancy Mitford would have turned just ten years old. To learn more about the life of Nancy Mitford, you can read books about her that the Library has at the Schwarzman Building or those available for checkout at the branches.


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