Knitting to commemorate the First World War

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Kickstarter

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 Guernseywool.co.uk 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

5.5mm

5.5mm

5mm

5mm

4mm

4mm

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.

measurements

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.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:01:18 --- Save - Overwrite --- resize

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

Time Travelling with Knitting!

Seeing the items knitted anew from old patterns is a little like time travelling. Sheila Cunnea knitted this beautiful cardigan using a 1918 pattern and Rowan Creative Focus Worsted wool.

Cardi pattern

Bryony 2

The 21st century model is Bryony Roberts.

Bryony 4 Bryony 3

I Am Getting More Back Than I Put In!

**firstly I had a big typo in my title as it was originally going to be different I have corrected it now and apologies because it did not sound too nice!**

One of the things I love about knitting is that there is always the chance to learn, I have spoken to people who have been knitting for decades and they still find new things to learn even now.

This is one of the reasons I am so happy that I am involved in knitting for ‘Tell Them of Us’ the world war one film, I have picked up a few new techniques by chatting to people and am thank full for this.

But more importantly I have had the opportunity to learn about the history behind it, the people involved, loved ones children even animals doing there bit!

I have learnt a lot about fashion at the time,colors, the way patterns were written, and the food the way of life, I have learnt a little about legal matters such as copy right, the list really could go on! for such a short space of time I have learnt so much!  the opportunity to learn never stops!

We don’t learn about these things in school and I really do believe we should make the most of learning new things all the time! I love researching things, some of my friends will know that if there is something that needs some research than I will do my up most to find what is needed and along the way I love picking up other interesting bits of information, this has certainly been the case when researching knitting patterns, picked up loads of patterns I like that came before and after the period in which the film is set.

For all of us knitting for this film our time is voluntary we are provided with yarn or if we have some in our stash we can use that for some bits, I am very grateful for this as we do not have extra money to spend on yarn, most of mine is stashed away for xmas pressies otherwise I am not sure I would have much, without the yarn being provided i am not sure i could be apart of the project so I really do appreciate it.

But the thing that has really been great about this is not only that opportunity to learn, but the friends made and the way a community can come together even though it is spread around the world.

The people involved in making this happen have put so much time and dedication in to it, it is amazing! They are always busy organizing things and making plans, researching the period and matching yarns we have now to ones around in the early 1900’s and they still find the time to organize us knitters and answer our questions, I am always very grateful for this.

The time we are all putting in is giving back a lot more not only to us but also to the village that this is based upon, the church in the village needs some restoration, the spire has already had to be taken down as it was unstable, he church also holds a commemorative stain glass window of one of the characters (no spoilers!) as this is a true story he was a real man who fought fr us in the war and the church will receive funds for it’s much needed restoration from the film.

As a community we can all lean on each other to chat about our excitement, the yarns we might use and any problems we might encounter, we are now a big and growing community of knitters and I think that we may lean on each other for years to come. Bonds and friendships have been built and I would have thought if most of us were asked to do something like this again we would jump at the chance!

I know I would!!

The Bendy Knitter xxx

Progress on the Vest Scarf

8177 Progress
I’ve been battling some kind of upper respiratory nonsense so I’ve not made as much progress as I had hoped on this pattern. Still, I am working on the right shoulder shaping and will soon work the right armhole. This Rowan yarn (Rowan PureLife in black tea colorway) is absolutely heavenly to work with. I love how soft it feels in my hands — such a comfort when the rest of me isn’t feeling well.

Hmmmm. . . I wonder whether knitters of the past found as much comfort in working the wool?  I am reminded that there was a nasty epidemic of influenza during WWI.  Would those who worried about loved ones have taken comfort in the meditative process of knitting or other needlework?  Was knitting a comfort to them as it is to many of us now?  I wonder.  I with I could speak with some of those knitters of the past.  I’m sure they would have a laugh at our need for this kind of leisure.  What was for them a necessity is for us a hobby.  Our lives have changed so much in 100 years.

My row gauge (supposed to be 6 garter ridges, or 12 rows to the inch) hasn’t held as well, but I think that’s because the stripe pattern isn’t completely in garter stitch. It causes me to wonder whether the numbers in the schematic were accurate. Still, I worked to the center back as directed (8 stripes from the armhole, then then next purl row was the center back) even though it measures about 2 inches longer than specified. I was afraid that if I cut it short the fronts would be out of proportion since they are worked in the same stitch pattern. Stitch gauge is holding well, I’m happy to say. Well, garter stitch was going to stretch out at any rate.

Remembrance day is about war!?

I have heard people say remembrance day is about war, is it really?

Whatever I feel about war itself, I do believe that people do their best to protect us and without troops fighting for us in WW1 and WW2 I hate to think where we would be now!

My grandma grew up in Singapore in world war two and she often talks about being occupied by the Japanese, it does not sound nice at all and I now feel lucky that we did not have that in the uk, that is mostly thanks to the men who fought for our right to freedom!

I often question weather we need war these days, no one really wants a war at all but again we are trying to protect those who need it and that is something that takes great courage.

In all wars people are just doing what they feel is right at the time often protecting their own family’s and children, in WW1 and WW2 I am sure that everyone did their best to keep the fight as far away from their own family’s as possible, but as soon as those men left their home, and in the run up, the war was felt in every home, watching loved ones leave and not know if they would return must have been hard! in ww1 few returned home and in ww2 it hadn’t been that long since a lot of people had seen boys leave and not return from the war, they must have felt that history was repeating!

But they swallowed the pain and put their energy into doing all they could, taking the jobs and making clothes, keeping the land and the country running.

I do respect all the troops that fight for us, I may not agree with war but I respect all who fight for us they deserve our respect and not our judgement! and all the mothers wives and children left behind also deserve our thoughts, life cannot be easy for them!

I have learnt a lot in the past few weeks about WW1 the amount of knitting that was done to provide for the soldiers from the tiniest of children sending out socks to the grandmother knitting jumpers and the wives knitting for their husbands that may not come home…this really pulls at my heart strings!

So is remembrance day about war!? NO it is about people! at home and at war!

I will share this again, my thoughts after joining “Orkney to Omaha!” knitters, part of a post on facebook

“…i will not only be remembering the men who gave there lives to make a better world for us to live in but the people at home keeping them all supplied even though for some their hearts were breaking as they worried about their close ones!”

keep them in your thoughts

The Bendy Knitter x