A close family friend recently sent me a very wonderful gift, a two page typed letter that possibly could have been sent out to the Red Cross Chapters entitled “Suggestion to Knitters”, revised August 1931, N.H. 113.
I have to say I was quite thrilled to receive such a wonderful piece of knitting history that seems to be centered around knitting for the Red Cross.
When I started reading the information, I had to chuckle as it appears that even eighty-one years ago, gauge was an issue when it came to knitting, as well as dealing with novice knitters.
I thought it would be fun to share what the first paragraph had to say and possibly give you a chuckle as well. I’m also excite that this type letter also includes directions for a “Slip-On Sleeveless Sweater” that includes the ability to add sleeves using 1 pair of Red Cross needles No. 3 and about 3/4 pounds of 4/10 wool, which appears to be a “heavy-weight” sweater. When I’ve finished all my current projects, I’m going to attempt this pattern!
I’ve not changed a word of the typed letter, keeping the information accurate as received … enjoy!
It is quite impossible to write directions or give suggestions for knitting that will always overcome the handicap of poor wool. Equally impossible is it to give directions that will always overcome the handicap of inexpert knitting. But correct needles for certain articles may always be obtained by using the correct gauge.
Red Cross quotas to Chapters in these days are small, consequently the knitting given out to workers should be given only to competent knitters, knitters who know how to use directions. Wool at present varies in the market, both in weight and quality, and quantities that Chapters can afford to buy is small.
Therefore, knitting should not be given to beginners for experiments. It is important that the director in charge of knitting know not only how to knit but to interpret directions. Some people never can learn to knit an “elastic stitch”, they are tight knitters and they must of necessity use a needle a trifle larger than size mentioned in directions. If after knitting a given number of stitches, the work does not measure the number of inches specified, one with “knitting sense” will know they must either use a larger needle or more stitches.
If anyone has any ideas to what N.H. 113 is in reference too, I would love to hear from you.