Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Ruffled Scarf and Some WWII Reading

The ruffled Scarf In A Scarf is finished. I received it as a monthly Knit Crate subscription. You can see the kit here.



 The silk scarf is slipped through attached I-cord loops, which were very easy to do. I have never seen this technique before, but I can imagine there are patterns out there using these loops on childrens' coats as they would make great toggle loops.






 It is never easy to take a 'selfie' of your knitwear!

Another project on the needles at the moment is a gift for Cuddlepie's 4th birthday in June. Just making sure I finish it in time!


I don't know if you have Peppa Pig in the US, but Australian and British readers will know her. She and George and a big hit here. I normally shy away from character items; they are just not something we have in our house. But this is cute and I know will be well loved.




This is Peppa's dress so far.

Reading this week is Mrs Miles's Diary: The Wartime Journal of a Housewife on the Home Front.
The British stiff upper lip is always so evident in reading journals from World War II. For example, when talking about the air raids on Britain in 1940:

'Two lots of bombs last night - one lot disagreeably near us.'

Disagreeably?! I should think so!
And it was interesting how quickly food and other shortages occurred. By October 1939, Mrs Miles's is noting that soap is hard to get, by mid 1940 there was no fish at all (particularly due to the German occupation of the Channel Islands) and she had to stop writing her journal for a time due to lack of paper.




After watching the movie The King's Speech and seeing how King George VI struggled throughout his life with his speech impediment, it was strangely disarming and a bit sad to read this comment (dated 3 September 1939) about his first speech after the declaration of war:

'The King spoke on the radio, curiously slow and sad and with much lack of vitality. Better far that the Queen had spoken.'

Possibly the British public did not quite understand the King's problem when the above entry was written as there is a later entry (Christmas Day 1939) which seems more understanding:

'The King's speech was painfully delivered, but he got through it better at the end than the beginning. I wonder if his speech specialist, Mr Logue, was by his side.'

Poor King George!

As Mrs Miles's lived in the countryside, children from London were evacuated to her village very soon after the declaration of war. In an entry dated 29 August 1940, she talks about feeding the children in a canteen set up for this purpose.

'They all seemed very little and shabby and held their spoons in a firm grip. "No cabbage!" cried so many of these tiny mites. I said severely to some little girls, "You will never grow up pretty and get big unless you eat cabbage." One looked up and said: "Shall I grow pretty if I eat cabbage?" "Yes, indeed," said I. "Then I don't want to be pretty," she replied firmly.'







I cannot even imagine the heartbreak of mothers who had to send their children away for the duration of the war. The propaganda against keeping children in London was quite strong and it would have been difficult, even if you wanted to, to keep your children with you.








Joining in today with Yarn Along at Small Things.

And please join me every Sunday, starting from this week, as I begin a new vintage journey in knitting, sewing, embroidery and other crafty goodness, with some recipes and other information thrown in for good measure.



It is all based on these lovelies and will begin with the earliest one I have - February 1933, Issue No 5.
Hope to see you there!

33 comments:

  1. Greetings!
    So glad I popped in~your scarf is lovely, very unusual. I have not come across that type of pattern before. I love your vintage patterns and would love to knit one of the sweaters too, I believe you call them jumpers? I loved seeing all the pictures of the children, how heartbreaking for the mums that sent them away. I will never forget telling my children about this piece of history when we first watched Narnia and there was the scene where the children were sent away. Mine couldn't understand how this could happen until I explained how London was being bombed daily and how dangerous it was for them. How serendipitous to find another Tasha Tudor admirer! I am touring her house in June and we are having a grand tea and dolls fair to celebrate her 100th birthday this year. I run a facebook page called Take Peace and we are coordinating this-going to be so much fun! Do stop in and join our FB community-we share so much about Tasha there. You may also like Michelle's blog, "Remembering the Old Ways, she is in the UK , too and share some lovely things.
    Blessings,
    Suzanne
    www.blueberrycottage.org

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping by! I would SO love to tour Tasha's house, and a high tea and dolls' fair. I just love all the wondrous dolls she made and the little letters and doll catalogues. She truly was an amazing woman.
      I will come by all the places you mentioned - always lovely to 'meet' some new like-minded friends.
      Hope to see you again soon!

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  2. What a beautiful scarf! I love that concept. Very cool vintage signs. I like the one about not wasting paper. I have something similar in my office (although not nearly as cool and vintage as that!).

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    1. It is a clever scarf - not like anything I have ever seen before. I just love anything vintage!

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  3. What an interesting scarf! How fun! Your book sounds intriguing and more appealing to me than historic fictionalized accounts of war time. Very interesting about the King's speeches, as I am a speech therapist and I have a brother who stutters. Lovely post! I also wonder how mothers could have handled their children sent away!

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    1. If you haven't seen the movie, you really should. It is fantastic. I just find books like that fascinating as they really were there. It is simply amazing to think about.
      I don't think I would have coped with sending my children away at all!

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  4. That scarf is fantastic! I love the idea of using attached i-cord that way, and the silk scarf threaded through is lovely. Thank you for the brief review of the book. I'll see if our library has it.

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    1. Thank you! I think it looks quite effective.

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  5. hello jayne,
    what a beautiful scarf. i love it!! the books sounds very interesting.
    greetings from germany,
    regina

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    1. Hello, wie geht's? Danke for visiting me! I studied German all through high school and used to be able to converse and write fluently. So much seems to be gone now though!

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  6. Oh! Pippa will be adorable and well loved.:)
    I so enjoyed reading your tidbit about your current book. I too enjoy reading about that time frame--especially about England. Your sections regarding the Kings Speech are especially meaningful to me as I have a son who stutters. My daughter Sarah, commented above, and she is a speech therapist! I cried through most of that movie--
    xoxoxo

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    1. I found that movie to be a real eye opener too. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for the King to be such a public figure. It would be difficult enough for anyone in 'everyday' life. Sarah is your daughter? Small world!

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  7. That scarf is adorable! And your book sounds fascinating! Do you think it would be suitable to read in part with children?
    I was cracking up over your post because my husband gets totally freaked out by Peppa pig and her two eyes on one side of her head! Grown man scared of cartoon pig... it is hilarious. Well... he happened to glance over my shoulder while I was in the middle of reading your post... ahhh you just made my day!

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    1. That is hilarious! You will have to apologise for me that I scared him! I am not a fan of Peppa Pig - I personally think George is very spoilt! And yes, the eyes are totally wrong as well. But hey, Cuddlepie and all his friends love Peppa. All the other little kids have a plethora of plastic Peppa junk, but this is as far as I will go.
      I think the book would be suitable for children. There are no really scary descriptions. Probably too dry and boring though. You would have to just read sections maybe. I like it for that reason - that it is just so matter-of-fact about all the problems of the war, like the air raids, rationing, etc. I am still only up to March 1941 though.

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  8. Those quotes are just wonderful. I love the cabbage one! I'll be looking into some of the evacuee stories soon, and those pictures are so moving.

    That scarf-in-a-scarf is very clever - love the technique.

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    1. The evacuees' stories are very sad. Even more so, the stories of the children that were sent from Britain to Australia, supposedly for 'their own good'. There are some terrible stories of children who never saw their families again.

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  9. Jayne, I love visiting your blog! :) I am putting The King's Speech on my Netflix queue right away, and I can't wait to read your book recommendation, as well. I am already an Anglophile, but studying about Britain during WWII causes me to be so all the more. I have such respect and admiration for the strength displayed by your country. I am so looking forward to your vintage series! *hugs* :)

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    1. Thanks so much - you've made my day with your lovely comment!
      Please do drop by for the Stitchcraft project - first post will be this Sunday.

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  10. Hi Jayne, I absolutely love the scarf you knitted. I was puzzled when I had read "scarf in a scarf" but it's really stunning. I'm sure it was a fun knit too. How interesting to see the old photos and read the story of the young children during the war. What sacrifices were made by their dear mothers. I'm looking forward to your Sunday post. Have a great day.

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    1. I love the way the scarf turned out. It is such fun to just get a monthly subscription that is a total surprise as it makes me knit things I probably wouldn't choose myself.
      I would love to see you Sunday - I'm so excited, I've already written the post. Just waiting to hit Publish!

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    1. Thanks! It is blue, with green and purple through it. Not sure it shows up completely in the photo.

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  12. I really like your scarf. I loved the movie The King's Speech, but there has long been a large prejudice against those who stutter. Such a shame. It is so wonderful that the King eventually found Mr. Logue. I am sure that giving a speech was never a pleasant experience for him.

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    1. No, I can imagine it was always stressful for him to give a speech. It said at the end of the movie that Lionel Logue was with him for every speech he ever did, so he must have always needed that support to cope.

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    2. No, I can imagine it was always stressful for him to give a speech. It said at the end of the movie that Lionel Logue was with him for every speech he ever did, so he must have always needed that support to cope.

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  13. The scarf in a scarf is lovely and such a fun idea! When I read about what you were doing, I had NO idea what it was like but it's terrific!
    I love reading about that period in history. I absolutely cannot imagine sending my children away. There is so much that happened in the war that I just can't fathom. It's such a good reminder of how lucky we are!

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    1. Thanks! I l think it turned out well and luckily the kit I was sent was in just the colours I like.
      I cannot imagine sending my children away. So much endured during wars - you think humankind had learned by now. I certainly think we don't really understand how lucky we are.

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  14. So much good stuff here. I love the scarf yarn and technique. Looks fantastic. I'm looking that book up now because it's exactly the sort of thing I love to read. I'm not in to branding either but you know what I approve of Peppa Pig. I think it's a pretty good show because it's very relatable to a young one.

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    1. It is amazing how they all seem to love Peppa Pig! I'm nearly finished the book now, really interesting.

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  15. Oh I love WWII reading! I will save this book! Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by! It is an interesting book, I enjoyed some of the little snippets about the home front.

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  16. I've popped over from the Yarn Along.
    My maternal grandmother grew up in Oxford with a dozen siblings. We went to England with her a few years ago and got to spend time with her remaining siblings while we were there. They spoke about the war over dinner one night. One brother mentioned that the Council had given them a Norris (?) shelter (because they didn't have a basement), and their dad couldn't see the point of having this large thing at the end of his garden sitting there unused. So, he put chickens or rabbits in it. They also spoke about rationing and getting chocolate from American servicemen.
    My grandmother was the first woman in her factory - she helped assemble Manchester bombers. It was such a great visit.
    Oh, and one of my mother's cousins was one of the children sent to the "country" from London (he was sent to Oxford to stay with family). His mother couldn't bear to have her children away from her, though, so she went and brought them back with her. He joked that he had the only mother in London who kept her kids in the middle of the bombings. This was obviously from a place of comfort - 50+ years after the fact. But yes, those separations were very hard on families.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing all that family history. What an amazing time you must have had in England, learning all about your family. I've read lots of stories of people using the shelters as chicken coops or rabbit hutches. And why wouldn't you, when food was so scarce, especially meat? I loved reading all your family memories.

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