Knitting for Victory: Transatlantic Propaganda in WWI & WWII

Service Woollies

'Service Woolies for Sailors, Soldiers, and Airmen' knitting pattern booklet

Wartime woollies

This Bestway Knitting leaflet featuring Sirdar wools offers knitters the chance to help soldiers look as dapper as the model pictured on the cover.  The booklet offers a variety of patterns designed to outfit a soldier from head to toe with a hat, balaclava, scarf, vest, sweaters, gloves, and socks.  Once again, the image of a trim, tidy, clean-cut soldier is used.  This is the type of image that women at home see before their son, boyfriend, husband, father, or neighbor go off to fight in the war.  Unlike other types of knitting patterns of the era, which often show garments being staged in their intended contexts (i.e. an apron being worn in the kitchen), these war related patterns do not include images of the garments in use on the front lines, not even in a sanitized and simulated scenario.  This omission highlights the efforts that were used to co-opt those on the domestic front into supporting the war effort in a manner that reflected the comforts of home and created a visible and public show of support, while shielding those at home from the horrors of war.