It was 1917. The Corticelli Yarn Book, “Lessons in Knitting and Crochet” published by the Corticelli Silk Mills in Florence, Massachusetts provided “instructions to help the women throughout the country who are at this time utilizing every available moment in the making of warm and comfortable garments for the boys who have responded to the call of our country in its present crises.” Women were cautioned to knit in either “gray (Oxford) or khaki” or “light Oxford” for the Navy. Corticelli supplied patterns for a sleeveless sweater (above), a “sleeping cap,” two different wristlets, a muffler, an “abdominal belt,” a “cap for convalescents,” a cap and scarf set, socks, bedsocks and a helmet liner (below). A “comfort set” would be the sleeveless sweater, wristlets and a muffler (scarf). “The knitting should be done evenly and firmly and drop stitches should be avoided. The stitches should not be cast on too tightly. The garments should be free from lumps and knots, especially the socks, as they are liable to blister the feet.”
Today, Ship Support is “supporting America’s troops deployed in the War on Terror–one stitch at a time.” The items need to be “closely knit or crocheted for warmth,” knit in colors suitable for men. “Women in the military prefer these as well.” Land’s End has teamed up with the Sailors’ Society to have us knit wooly hats for chilly sailors. Knit for the Navy is looking for afghans. Knitters are busy knitting glommits (a combination glove/mitten) and gauntlets (shooters gloves) for soldiers in Afghanistan. The need continues and those who chose to knit for soldier and sailor relief organizations knit because they care.
Does this young one look too ready for the wars to come? He modeled for Corticelli in 1917.
I actually really like the knitting in the last picture. Have you ever read the Anne of Green Gables series? The description of how to knit for soldiers reminds me a little of a scene in the last book.
I agree with you, Becki, about the sweater that the young boy with the gun is wearing. It looks very comfy and timeless. No, I have not read the Anne of Green Gables series–so I’m not familiar with your reference.