So who were the handknitters?
Well, it was practically everyone – women, men and children. During the extremely stressful times for the people on the home front, knitting was a great way to relieve the anxiety of waiting for a letter from your loved one. But at the beginning of the war, we weren’t very good at knitting, so the Red Cross would hire people to ensure quality control, making sure that the toes on socks had been grafted properly and knots removed. Can you imagine the blisters if this wasn’t done! Thankfully, as the war went on, quality improved through practise. Children were taught to knit, ( I suspect many of our Let’s Talk readers learned at a very early age), and prisoners in mental institutions were taught too. And while waiting for their shattered bodies and broken limbs to heal, wounded servicemen in hospitals were taught to knit - the therapeutic aspects of this go without saying.
Bus drivers and London cabbies knitted and even the Royal Family took up knitting. Queen Elizabeth and her two daughters, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, knitted for their troops.