Knitting to commemorate the First World War


Book of Patterns from the Film is Announced

The web page for Centenary Stitches is now on line, and you can pre-order it here. It costs £20, or $30. All the details of P&P are on the web page.

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The book has about 70 patterns for all the family, all of them wearable today. Garments come in a wide size range (typically 30 to60″ bust/chest for adult garments). Most of the accessories are sized for toddlers to plus sizes, and many of the shawls can be adapted to different sizes and yarn weights.  There are photos of more of the garments on the web page.

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The book will be launched in Lincoln on 9th November 2014, Remembrance Sunday, and will be shipped in the second half of the month.

First Knitting Patterns Released

Over the coming months, various folk will be releasing some of the patterns reinvented for the film. The first few are now available.

We decided each of the designers would write up the patterns in their own style, but that we wanted a banner which would be used on all the patterns. Judith Brodnicki was asked to produce one, and this is her brilliant design:

Centenary Stitches Header by Judith Brodnicki

The first pattern to be released was the Vest Scarf, knitted and adapted by Judith herself.

Vest Scarf by Judith Brodnicki a

This is available on Ravelry.

Now two more have been made available under the Northern Lace name, again available on Ravelry. The first is Violet’s Jacket….

Violet's Jacket by Elizabeth Lovick

,,, and the second is a Dutch hood with matching scarf and fingerless mittens.

Dutch Hood by Elizabeth Lovick

There are more details of these two on the Northern Lace blog here.

Knit-In, London, Royal Festival Hall Riverside Cafe by BBC Radio 3 pop-up studio

Join Jane Lawrence for a WW1 Knit-In at Royal Festival Hall Riverside Cafe by BBC Radio 3 pop-up studio. London.

Date:                    Monday 24th March

Time:               From 1.30 p.m.  Hope to continue until 6.30 so we catch In Tune with Sean Rafferty who has helped promote the WW1 knitting project

Bring:                Needles if you have them, any wool in muted colours

Beginners:      There’ll be people around who can get you started with knitting

Cardigan by Cassy Dominick, tam by Su Bonnett and scarf by Many Lyne
Cardigan by Cassy Dominick, tam by Su Bonnett and scarf by Mandy Lyne

Anyone is welcome to drop in with their knitting for this highly informal session of knitting, chatting, listening and watching the presenters at work.  Headphones are provided for listening to the broadcasts.  Beginners are welcome and Jane has prepared several sets of needles with the beginnings of a garter stitch scarf ready for people to have a go.   We do appreciate that this is very short notice but if any of you can make it, that would be great.  The RFH is 6 minutes from London Waterloo  and just across the river from Charing Cross Station.

Details of the Southbank Centre:

For those unable to come, you can catch the broadcasts via the Radio 3 website:

WW1 Film Trailer

A taster of the film based on just the first two days filming. Spot knitting by Elizabeth Lovick, Sheila Cunnea, Judith Brodnicki, Juniper Askew and Liz rogers and crochet by Alison Casserly.

Shawl no.2

The shawl I have bee knitting came along quite quickly towards the end, I added a few extra rows at the end to fit with what we had in mind, when I say ‘we’ that is me and my knitter in crime! (you know who you are!)

Finished the knitting part
Finished the knitting part

last night I sat and cut up pieces of yarn for the fringe, I was very overcome with this feeling of just how many little pieces of yarn I would need and then to attach!! I worked out it was around 600!! and goodness did some of my fellow knitters know about it, I had a good old moan but everyone was supportive!

I wrapped the yarn around a ruler, it was quite a thick one, I did it length ways snipping the top and bottom to get the right length, and I had a nice little heap by the end!

yarn for fringe
yarn for fringe

Then the long drawn out task of putting them all on….

The thing that surprised me the most was that it did not take me long to cut the lengths of yarn at all, in fact it was all done quite quickly, and after attaching a few bits of fringing it became apparent that it wouldn’t take too long, I was originally dreading it but found I quite enjoyed attaching all the yarn…I also miss judged quite how nice it was doing this part of the shawl, it was rather relaxing and quite snug and warm having it on my lap! I will be more than happy to do it again!

And as if by magic….because it had gone so quickly I had one snug and warm shawl!

vintage Victorian shawl with frigw ww1 film



Here is the shawl/scarf that I have been knitting, I had hoped to keep you all up to date – ball by ball, but that went out the window! a shame really but our house was struck down with flu so not much time for blogging…I had hoped to have it finished a lot sooner but it made it there in time so I am happy!

vintage shawl WW1 film

It took a little under a month for me to knit up (with flu) so not bad going really.

I used 10 balls of 4ply yarn (50g) and it measured around 5’5″

4 balls in!

and here is the finished item…before sending it off…


My favorite part to knit was the boarders, each end took 30g of wool (60g for both ends) to knit up and as it was lace work I really got into it.


I did one end while I was really feeling ill, very sleepy so it was nice to be able to knit one scallop then have a nap and do another and nap…..and soon it was done

marker holding the stitch to drop
marker holding the stitch to drop

when casting off the boarder the pattern tells you to drop a stitch…all the way down to the end (1st row) I have to say I found the idea of this very scary even before I picked up my needles! one of my thoughts was, ‘what if I accidentally drop the wrong one!’ it was just waaaay out of my comfort zone and it felt as if I was going against everything we are taught as knitters!

as I was knitting it up dropping the stitch didn’t seem like a good idea, it just didn’t make sense to drop it on that stitch, maybe a few higher, above the scallops, but not were it was suggesting! I checked, and double checked but it was the stitch the pattern said so with a deep breath and some faith I dropped the stitch…

not a great picture but you can see the dropped stitches
not a great picture but you can see the dropped stitches

….well I think my faith was misplaced!! it doesn’t look much like the picture I had! the two scallops on the left and the ones with the dropped stitches, and the ones on the right are the ones that were not dropped! my instincts were right I shouldn’t drop the stitch….at least not there… so I ran to Annie (Knitsofacto) to double check what was right, and to my relief she agreed, so I took to it with a crochet hook and began picking up the dropped stitches…. I have to admit before I did this I thought I would have to rip back the 3 scallops I had already dropped, but to my great relief it was fairly easy to pick up!

so their we have it, a quick run trough of the scarf, I do have more pictures of the progress but I wont bore you with all of them, here is one that I took and realized just how long it was getting!

after 6 balls (i think!)
after 6 balls (i think!)

after this I had to start taking pictures along the back of our sofa as it was getting too long!

The Bendy Knitter x


Grace’s jacket Part 2

Once I had the back of the jacket on the needles, I continued to look at the photo closely.  Many details were visible on that one picture, but there were some places where I just had to guess!  One of these was the exact shaping at the waist.  I decided to use a band of ribbing to bring the waist in and to make the decreasing of the stitches less obvious.

 I had already worked out most of the maths for the fronts.  Only the pockets needed placing.  The photo shows they are placed very low down, and well towards the side seams.

003 front waist

The sleeves were straightforward but the collar took a bit of time to get right.  Parts of it looked like stocking stitch, parts like ribbing and parts like garter!  The edging was definitely garter stitch, like the edges of the rest of the jacket and I finally went with ribbing for the main part.

 005 collar

 Once the knitting was finished and the jacket was sewn up, there were just the fastenings to do.  Pauline Loven had sourced some buttons which fitted very well.  The button loops are done in blanket stitch over a couple of strands of yarn – just as my grandmother taught me before I went to school!!

 007 button holes

 My final job was to take some photos before I packed the jacket up and sent it down to Pauline.

009 3 views sm

(For a longer, more technical version of this post, see Liz’s Northern Lace blog post here.


When WAG Screen decided to make a film to mark the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we had no idea that we would meet with so much generosity and love. I can think of no better way to mark such a poignant anniversary. We now have a team of over 250 knitters offering their expertise, knowledge, knitting time and even dipping into their own stashes to help. We also have wool donated from Rowan Wool, Texere, Jamiesons of Shetland, Frangipani aka and Blacker (thank you all). However, just as we had no idea that this wonderful knitting project would blossom from our original plan, we hadn’t budgeted for it either and the postage alone is considerable! Please help us either directly or by posting the link to our Kickstarter campaign. Thank you xx

Tell Them Of Us Kickstarter Header


Knitting designer Liz Lovick has modernised the 1918 pattern below for today’s knitter, with all the extra information required as well as yarn and needle sizes. We have made it part of our Kickstarter fundraiser:  Check out the updates there for more. £15.00 donation is all that is required.

Bryony 3

Knitted Shawl

I am a fair way trough knitting a shawl now, I love this and will feel a little sad to say goodbye to it, I love shawls and this one is right up my ally! With this pattern there seems to be some disagreement as to what size needles you should use, now with shawls sometimes it really doesn’t matter what yarn you use it just means you change the needles depending on the weight and this pattern is one of those, I am using a DK yarn and the pattern says ’8bell gauge’ needles so I researched this and it is apparently a modern 4mm..however the shawls that have already been knitted have used either 5mm or 5.5! so what do I use!?

The pattern was written in such a way that any beginner can understand it which is great however I found it a little too wordy so have rewritten it, I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea at first but then I decided the only way to find the right needle size was to do a few ‘swatches’ of the pattern so was glad I wrote it up as it was much easier to knit without all the words in between!

here are the different samples I knitted up







I have to say I am leaning more towards the 4mm, which is great because I have already started knitting with the 4mm! I know it will take longer but it will look nicer, and it really wont take that much longer, I think as a knitter that is the first thing that goes trough your head when you go down a needle size!? before I did the samples I asked the people in the know, and had decided to knit it up in different needles while I awaited the decision, after all it may have been needed and it would give me peace of mind that it is right!

And the reply to this was to do it in the 4mm which was my original thinking’s,Phew I have done more than enough ripping back in the last few months and relieved that i did not have to do more! It did seem that the size needed has been debated more than a few times but it just seemed right to me that it would be in the 4mm, really should have learned by now to trust myself, I think I was worried about getting it wrong and having to do over once finished!

So Glad I Didn't Have to Frog It!

So Glad I Didn’t Have to Frog It!

It is coming along nicely now and can’t be too far of finishing the main part, can’t wait to add the stripes!!

Juniper x


Recreating a Jacket

(written by Elizabeth Lovick, Northern Lace)

As I am frequently looking at old photographs and recreating knitwear based on them, I was delighted when Pauline sent me the photo of Grace in a jacket she had probably knitted herself and asked me whether I could copy it. The photo is clear, and the way Grace is posed means that all the important parts of the design are visible, so my answer was Yes!

Grace original sm

Before the yarn arrived I looked hard at the photo to work out the details of the jacket’s construction, then worked out the stitch pattern. I narrowed it down to two possibilities on paper, then knitted them up to see which was right. After only a few rows I realised the first one was wrong, but the second one was right.

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When the yarn arrived I worked out what needle size to use. The yarn chosen, donated by Rowan, is almost exactly the same thickness as the yarn Grace used for her original jacket.

swatch and yarn

The actress playing Grace is Victoria Rigby.  I had been sent her measurements so the next job was doing the maths to make it exactly the right size for her.


Now I have started knitting the back. Some tweaking will need to be done as I go along, but the harder parts of the design work are done.

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If you would like to see a more detailed account of the process, go to my blog, Northern Lace.