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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Socks, Sütterlin, & Other Musings

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Short Stories about Socks

During the war, knitters from around the world made millions of socks and other garments for soldiers serving at the front. Today, two assumptions about this work dominate the popular view: firstly, that knitting was the exclusive purview of women and girls; and secondly, that socks were knitted one at a time by hand. However, the truth is more nuanced. The need for socks was so great that two-at-a-time sock techniques, crochet, knitting machines, and men were drafted into service to supply them

knittinganddeath

knittinganddeath in Knitting

How to Knit a Perfect Sock for a Soldier

During the war, women knitted millions of socks for soldiers. The task of ensuring the quality of these socks fell to organisations such as the Red Cross. To guarantee "a perfect standard of sock for our boys," they faced more challenges than you might imagine. “The best reason for knitting for the soldiers is that it is hardly possible to make an uncomfortable hand-knitted sock,” wrote a Canadian journalist in 1915. In fact, as anyone who has ever knitted a sock (or attempted to knit one)

knittinganddeath

knittinganddeath in Knitting

Germany's "Knitting Battalions" of the Great War

During World War I, knitters from Allied nations produced millions of socks, caps, scarves, and sweaters for military use. American Red Cross volunteers knitted nearly 24 million garments; Australian knitters sent 1.3 million pairs of socks overseas. These efforts are often described as “knitting for victory.”   German (and Austrian) women also knitted for their soldiers. Given the course of history, one cannot say that their work served the cause of victory. Perhaps for this reason, t

knittinganddeath

knittinganddeath in Knitting

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