The lovely old book I have on knitting, published seventy years ago, may see quaint in some ways, but it is a really interesting glimpse into life just after the war; for seven years people had to be economical and careful in all aspects of their lives, shortages and rationing meant that even materials to make your own clothes were in short supply. This would continue for many years after the cessation of hostilities as rationing continued well into the 1950’s.
‘Knitting For All’ focuses on what is fashionable, useful, practical and not wasteful; there are sections on how to reuse old woollen clothes, there are even suggestions on how to use old socks and underwear (woollen underwear is something I can’t really get to grips with!)
Here is the introduction to clothes for young people; as ever mothers were trying their best on what they could afford to make sure their children were well-dressed – we might think some of the clothes hilarious now, but then, most children would have been wearing the same.
“… and keeping them in clothes!” You’ll hear mothers say with considerable feeling in their voices.
Well, keeping children in clothes is a problem, especially in these days, and so in the section of Fashion for the Under-fifteens there has been an attempt to meet the problem from the economic and “suitable” angle, for, make no mistake about it, children are extremely clothes conscious these days.
To make things s simple as possible, the patterns are given in various sizes and two shapes are given for some of the patterns, for example, a jumper and a cardigan. In this way it is possible to make a range of garments from one set of instructions.”