Sunday, 25 January 2015

Knitted Scarf and Cap

From The Lady's World Fancy Work Book, January 1915.

A Knitted Scarf and Cap for Soldier or Sailor

So many comforts have been knitted for soldiers, but we fear comforts for sailors are being overlooked, and we would remind the home worker of the need of scarves, sweaters, stockings, mittens, etc., that is experienced by the men in the North Sea at this time of the year.  If we would just let our imagination run to the sea coast on a cool summer day even, how gladly we would turn to the warm woolley jackets and scarves, which have been stuffed in to the holiday box for occasions of emergency, and think how much worse it must be out at sea on a cold bleak wintry day, and with feelings of sympathy occupy our spare time in giving a little of it and our work to the comfort of the brave sailors who are guarding our shores.  With this need in view we are publishing a few articles which will give real warmth and comfort to the man at the helm or the nimble sailor at the mast-head.
At the present moment we are working a scarf with the very nicest and softest wool which can be obtained, as we do not consider that comforts for either soldiers or sailors should be knitted with anything but the best wool.  This particular scarf is knitted with Faudel’s A.A. Peacock Quality Fleecy Navy Blue Wool and a pair of No. 2 wooden knitting pins.

When the work is grasped in the hand it feels like a ball of fluff, and the working of it is so easy that even the little school girl cannot fail to make a nice job of it. When the scarf is finished it is one long tube of knitting two yards in length.  The casting off end is gathered up and a large button sewn on.  The casting on end may also be gathered up and a loop put there. Now this scarf may be worn twisted round the neck several times, of course, or the tube may be utilised by folding part of it under and popped on the sailor's head, the button part at the top. The long end which is hanging down, is wound round the neck as often as it will go, and the end with the loop, fastened to the button at the top of the head.  Imagine to yourselves anything more cosy than this, it answers the purpose of a helmet coming well down over the ears, and will keep every breath of air away from the chest where comfort is needed.  Now for the working of this wonderful scarf.

The length of a strand of wool allowed for this purpose depends, of course, on the number of stitches required, but even though more than one attempt has to be made at the beginning, little or no damage is done to ordinary wool.
Take the wool in both hands, with the length allowed for casting on hanging on the left.  Hold it firmly between the finger and thumb of the right hand, grasp it within the clenched fingers of the left hand and slip the left thumb under the wool.  Twist the left thumb under the wool a second time while holding the wool taut on the right, and it will be found to be crossed on the top.  Next, take one knitting needle, insert it under the loop on the outside of the thumb, and after passing the wool held by the right hand round the point of the needle, bring the needle forward through the loop, slip it off the thumb, and draw the stitch up tightly. Repeat, taking care to have the stitches close together.

Cast on 56 stitches loosely, turn, put up the wool as if you were going to purl and insert the needle in the first stitch, slip it off, don't knit, and put the wool back. Knit next stitch, wool forward, again insert needle as if for purling, slip off next stitch, wool back, knit next stitch, wool forward, again slip the stitch off, wool back, knit, continue until the end of the 56 stitches.

Next row: Wool forward, slip off one stitch, wool back, knit one, wool forward, slip one, wool back, knit one and so on to the end of the row. Continue doing this until your scarf is two yards long; and in the fleecy wool which I have mentioned, you will require 9 ozs. In Faudel's Double Knitting Wool, which is not quite so fleecy, but is a very nice wool, 8 ozs. will be required.

[The Lady's World Fancy Work Book was a quarterly publication, that mainly dealt in crochet fancy work, but in January 1915 had several patterns as well for soldiers' and sailors' comforts.  The only illustration to the instructions for the cap-scarf combination shows a rectangular piece of knitting still on the knitting needle, so is not very illuminating.  The instructions for casting on appear to be describing what we now call long-tail cast-on - not a well-known method at the time, I suppose. The rest of the instructions describe knitting a tube using the double-knitting technique.  You end up with a double thickness flat scarf, with the two layers joined together at each end by the casting on and casting off.    Except that you then gather up the cast-off edge and sew a button to it, and optionally  gather up the cast-on edge and sew a loop to it.  When it comes to wearing the result, wrapped round the neck and also worn as a cap, imagination fails me. 

More information on the other contents of the magazine can be found here. ]

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