Whitby Town Council Needs Your Knitting and Stitching

Can you help to Knit, Stitch or Crochet for Whitby?

Thanks to National Lottery players, Whitby Town Council is running a National Lottery funded project "Out of the Darkness", to commemorate the Centenary of the ending of the First World War.

Working with local young people to explore the impact of the First World War on clothing design the Town Council will be running a series of research, design and making workshops. These garments will be presented in a World War One themed fashion show and display.

During the First World War there were many people who were unable to join the armed forces but who still wanted to "Do Their Bit" for the war effort.

Women, children and men unable to serve in the military contributed in many other ways, including making knitted and crocheted gloves, scarves, balaclavas, cardigans and socks to include in "comfort packages" which were sent to the troops.

If you love knitting or crocheting please help us by Knitting for Whitby.

We need your help to produce scarves, mittens, ear warmers or balaclavas for our young models to wear in the First World War themed Fashion Show.

If you are beginner do send us your knitted or crocheted squares to be made into bunting. Or you could embrace the ethos of re-using and re-making to create similar items, such as making arm / leg warmers from the sleeves of old jumpers.

If stitching is more your thing then we would love people to embrace the First World War ethos of re-using and recycling old fabrics, to make bunting to be displayed at the Fashion Show.

Fashion project Coordinator Rebecca Riley said "We are using First World War ideas for a 21st Century fashion show so please don't feel the need to find authentic colours, we would love you to use up old balls of wool, or even recycle knitting that is no longer worn."

Please send your finished garment or bunting squares to Pannett Art Gallery, Pannett Park, Whitby, YO21 1RE or just drop them in at the Gallery reception desk.

If communal crafting appeals more than solitary knitting or crocheting or you need a little inspiration then bring your knitting along to a craft session in the Pannett Art Gallery on Saturday 20th October, 10.30am – 3pm where you can also see a selection of First World War patterns and designs.

Make Do and Mend in the First World War

The idea of promoting reusing, recycling, repairing and saving was first introduced in the First World War and included a diverse range of imaginative activities and processes.

Although it did not become a propaganda slogan until the Second World War domestic households were encouraged to follow the ethos of Make Do and Mend to help counter shortages or to avoid hunger.

The Government and the media promoted all kinds of enterprising activities. People were encouraged to mend, remake or refresh clothes with remnants and netting as well as to find ingenious ways to make their limited food supplies go further.

This attitude was embraced by people living at the time and activities ranged from using fig leaves as a dye for funereal silk to making "butter" from mashed potatoes, keeping chickens or donating waste to feed pigs.

Not all these ideas worked and some food replacements were inedible, whilst others were regularly included in a weekly menu.

Knitting in the First World War.

Many people spent the war years turning out thousands of socks for soldiers they didn't know.

If they didn't know how to knit before the war, once the call came out for socks many people learned. Beginners would start with simple squares which were stitched together to make blankets.

People came together in groups to knit, helping people to feel less isolated, but also continued at home, on the bus, at meetings, in fact wherever they could, people were knitting.

Children were encouraged to help and were taught to knit at school or in Girl Guide and Boy Scout meetings.

Knitters sometimes tucked a message into the finished garment for the soldier who would receive it, to remind him that he was in their prayers.

Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.

Posted: Wed, 26 Sep 2018 13:13 by Lisa

Tags: Out of the Darkness, News