Brits Knit Their Way Through A War…..

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.. personally I am not so good at knitting being a needle woman and crochet fan, that said I can knit, just at a glacial pace!

Having one of those creative, insomniac nights in the week that I am sure you are all familiar with, I got bored pf pacing about with a head full of ideas so flicked the tv on at stupid o’clock just as company really.

As soon as I switched on, the tv was set to BBC Four and a programme was just starting called Fabric of Britain, Knittings Golden Age.

From the outset I found it so very interesting I knew immediately this would be my Sunday blog. Yes! Rather a wander away from my usual sewing and vintage fabric ravings but just really wanted to share it with you. I have set a link for you and I soooooo hope that international readers can access the programme as I am sure you too will find it fascinating.

A host of interesting and highly knowledgable crafts people interjected with some totally cool older folk talking about the importance of knitting. How for 60 years it dominated the UK and then fizzled away in the 1980’s only to now be reborn HOORAH!

The thoughts of the commentators were that in our highly wasteful and consumable age there are the beginnings of a fight back… why waste? why be a consumer sheep, following the crowd? why not try to make it myself?

I can attest to the fact there has been a rise in knitting, almost every High Street has a knitting shop or department again. We even get news of Urban (it’s not urban darnit, just can’t think of the word right now)  Knitters who rather like a flash mob but for knitting. The population go to bed at night, wake up in the morning to find wonderful little knitted critters tieds to lamp posts, bridges, door handles and the likes.  How wonderful and generous of these people to use their wool and TIME to then leave their creations for the population…. bringing a smile and colour into otherwise very mundane lives (probably).

Anyway, I digress (what’s new I hear you mutter), I was fascinated to see big burly guys knitting away through WW2 years, how families sat and unpicked old jumpers and rolled them up for use again. We think we are getting a handle on recycling! We have a long way to go.

Of course for the Brits it was an absolute necessity as we were rationed within an inch of our lives so the Make Do And Mend campaign was essential.

The documentary tells of how the ladies of the 1920’s were quite frankly sick of being trussed up in corsets and rigid clothing so when Coco Chanel favoured jersey knits she started an absolute revolution that from that day to this changes fashion forever. GO Coco!

I have put together a little slideshow that I hope translates as I sat in front of my little kitchen tv, ipad clutched taking screen shots….. it only occurred to me part way through hence the slideshow is not the best representation of the programme SORRY!

Very poigniently there is a section in the documentary where a lady from the V&A museum show pullovers made by POW’s and how they had make shift knitting needles made from Red Cross boxes. Not only did these men have the inginuity but the skill to do this. I felt rather humbled if I’m honest.

I hope you enjoy the pictures, even more I hope you are able to view the programme as I simply cannot do it justice here. If however, you are not able to access it I will make an effort to document as fully as possible the show should you want me to.

Knitting needles at the ready …… bet some of you are clever enough to knit and watch tv at the same time, not a skill I have but have seen it in action with my Nan who clicked her way through many a conversation, radio airing or tv show without dropping a stitch  WOW!  Happy Sunday everyone 😉

Ultimate Vintage Upcycle

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Geraldine
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 18:13:48

    What a great post!

    I’m a big fan of knitting and yes, I CAN knit and watch TV at the same time, unless it’s a complicated pattern.

    It’s so true about the resurgence in interest for all the yarn crafts in recent years, especially knitting. I think Debbie Stoller was a big part of making that happen, with her books and the Stitch and Bitch groups. After that, it was hip to knit, not just something for grey-haired grannies anymore. Knitting to me is for everyone. It’s one of the best crafts I’ve ever learned.

    I can totally relate to waking up with a head full of ideas in the middle of the night. Maybe not the best timing but definitely good to have that creative vibe happening. 🙂

    Happy Week and Hugs from BC, G

    Reply

  2. CurlsnSkirls
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 22:12:58

    Really found this post fascinating, but can’t view most BC programmes here, across the pond. They won’t even allow me to take their surveys! Am not much of a youtube viewer, so don’t know what magical things they may now have on offer… but if one of them is being able to see BBC things like this, I’d be willing to pay-per-view, provided its a reasonable fee!

    Am glad you were able to see this & hope you didn’t mind too much watching it so late. Perhaps it was the silver lining in your insomniatic cloud.

    I can knit & perl, but because I taught myself one is backward & most knitters go crazy when they see me knit. So I don’t, except when I feel like a shawl & then I do my own thing. Prefer crocheting, which was learnt “properly” from my Scots granny.

    Watched all your screen shots & was surprised & pleased to see Kaffee Fassett, a former Californian. The W.I. Life magazine had an interesting article about him. I love the phrase, “uninspired by the structured teaching at art school.” Unfortunately, it is so true. http://www.thewi.org.uk/wie-and-wi-life/look-inside/kaffe-fassett
    Thanks again for such a great post!!! xxxx del

    Reply

    • oursewingpatch
      Nov 17, 2013 @ 22:22:11

      Am going to email BBC and ask how internationals can get to see selected programmes… the BBC brag about the unique way they are funded. By us paying a TV licence fee each year, huge fines for not paying so as a licence payer if I want for my friends to be able to see a BBC programme I feel totally justified in a moaning minnie e mail 🙂 xx

      Reply

      • CurlsnSkirls
        Nov 17, 2013 @ 22:56:07

        Thank you, Lovely One! There are so many great programmes that ne-vah get shown on BBC America or our P(ublic) B(roadcasting) S(tations).
        xx

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