Knitting to commemorate the First World War

Posts tagged “History

shawl/scarf

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…

shawl/scarf
shawl/scarf

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.

Edging
Edging

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

 

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Veteran’s Day Brings Odd Memories

Grandpa and Dad

November 11 in the USA is celebrated at Veteran’s Day.  It was originally proclaimed Armistice Day in 1919, but in 1954 was changed to the current title in order to honor all those who died while serving in the US military.  While working on my knitting project for this film, it occurred to me that we’ve had a huge effort in the last few decades to remember and celebrate the veterans of WW II.  Perhaps it was because comparatively few people remain who remember that war and that time, and we have had at our disposal a great many options for recording their images and their history.  It spurred me to look a bit into my own family history.

Alas, I found very little.  My paternal grandfather, Otto, has a draft card on file for WWI, but I could find no record of his service. It’s possible that, being in his 20s, he was considered too old at the time, or else he was rejected for a health reason.  Grandpa Otto died in August 1959, just 2 months after I was born.  I never knew him.  In fact, about all I ever knew of him was that he died of a massive stroke.

My dad was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes at an early age; thus, he was never eligible to serve in WW II as his brothers did.  He did his part, however, as a mechanic of some kind working at a local Air Force base (well, it was the Army Air Corps then).  In fact, I have a job now in which I work for a defense contractor on that base.  I joke with my workmates, many of whom are retired military, that I am a congenital civilian.

My dad died on Veteran’s Day in 1979.  It seems a tenuous connection, I’m sure, but every year when this date rolls around I am reminded of him, of how he played “Taps” at the various memorial services our little town held to commemorate those who served and those whose lives were lost.  For a man who was never served a day in uniform, he did everything he could from the sidelines during the war and after it.  I expect that was something he learned from his father.

I was just 20 years old when my dad died.  I barely knew him, really.  He was so ill in those last years of his life, in pain from various surgeries to try to correct all of the genetic problems he was born with.  I like to think that he sees me now, along with all of the grandmothers and grandfathers who did their part at home or on a battle field, knowing that I am doing what I can to knit their love and memories into a film project that will bring to life a few people from that era.  They worked hard; they sacrificed much; they left behind so many little lessons for us, among them how to make do when a bit of yarn and a basic pattern.  We will remember them by the work of our hands.


Children knit now and then

I have been thinking,dangerous I know! during world war one children knitted a lot, they were so accomplished and could knit without looking!

I know a little miss j who is just like this, she makes me smile because she wants to learn to knit without looking now, at 8 years, so she can always knit when she is an old lady…

so I have been feeling for a few days that she should be involved in this project and could knit something up just like the children did during the war, today I ran it by the group and it will be great for her, and I am sure for other children to get involved, am heading out soon and hope to ask her 😀

The Bendy Knitter