Knitting for Tommy: Keeping the Great War Soldier Warm
A guide to popular World War I knits—with 40 patterns for knitting balaclavas, mittens, vests, hats, and other original patterns of the day
During World War I a knitting craze swept across Britain, as women everywhere wanted to "kit out" their Tommies with socks, mittens, balaclavas, vests, jumpers, and all manner of knitwear. Millions of socks were sent from the home front to the front line in a bid to wage war on the dreaded "trench foot," and often seamstresses would tuck a love note or a simple message to the soldier far from home. Knitting circles and fundraisers became a daily part of women’s lives and institutions and charities across Britain, with the Red Cross printing an official guide to how to kit out Tommies with the warmest wear. The craze was not just limited to Britain, as soon as the Americans joined the war; knitting became a national sport there, too. A social and cultural history, Knitting for Tommy explores the knitting craze through magazine adverts, posters, and photographs of the day. Each chapter opens with an extended introduction, followed by pages of images, including people knitting and soldiers in knitted garments drawn from newspapers and other periodicals. In the back of the book, 40 knitting patterns detail balaclavas, mittens, vests, hats, and other original knitting patterns of the day, suitable for all levels of knitters.