Remembrance Day makes one think
of war and the impact it had on so many lives.
Besides those who were active participants in the
forces, there were those at home – the families
and friends who waited at home, not knowing where
a loved one was or how he/she was faring. Every
day would have been agony.
But they had to keep on with
"normal" life – maintaining the farm, trying to
make do during times of food and gas shortages and
reduced family income. Over 1,000 women's
organizations, long time or newly registered,
helped in different ways with the war effort.
These organizations and many businesses found ways
to make those at home feel that they were
assisting in the war effort. Thousands of women
knitted warm garments for those in service, for
refugees and victims of war.
In 1941 Monarch Yarns published a
pattern book of hand knits for men and women in
service. It included patterns for pullovers,
jerkins, socks, mitts, ladies knickers, skull
caps, seaman's socks, turtle neck tuck-in, helmets
and much more. The book specified what colour to
use (khaki or grey for the army; navy blue or grey
for the navy) and style (sweater with sleeves –
v-neck for the air force, crew neck for the army).
The Canadian Red Cross Society
published a compact booklet of "Knitting
Instructions for Army, Navy, Air Force and
Civilian Garments for Women and Children". (The
latter were for women and children bombed out in
Britain.) This booklet gave very specific
instructions. A Steel Helmet Cap "is worn under
the steel helmet and it is most important that it
should be very finely knitted and of very soft
wool." It was noted that Seamen's Stockings were
very much needed.
The Consumer Branch of the
Wartime Prices and Trade Board published guides
where women were given instructions on how to
mend, make-over and make-do using worn-out,
outgrown or outmoded clothes. The first rule was
"Buy as little as possible".
These booklets are a quick peek
at the time and effort of Canadian women in
helping win the war.
designs were approved by the
National War Service Committee of
Imperial Order Daughters of the
small (3½" x 6") booklet was given
locally with compliments of Onoway
Creamery Association. M. S. Johnson
how to make a child's underwear from
Dad's old underwear. A pair of socks
turns into a toque. A man's shirt
becomes a young girl's dress.
Sock to Beanie
hole-y pair of socks was re-purposed
into a toque – so easy when you know