HMS News Page
HMS' very own Jen Kaines reviews Joyce Meader's new book on 'military knitting'...
Joyce Meader ‘Knitskrieg: A Call to Yarns!’ 2016 Unicorn Publishing Group 144pp £18.99 ISBN 978-1-910500-33-0
"I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy of this new book. As a reenactor of Royal Navy though the ages as a member of the Historical Maritime Society, a knitter, crotcheter and lover of all things historic I was really looking forward to this volume. Billed as ‘a history of military knitting from the 1800s to the present day’ this covers the period I am most interested and knowledgeable on.
This hardback book of nearly 150 pages is divided into five sections: 19th century wars, 20th century wars, 21st century warfare, anti-war and peace movement in knitting and knitting patterns. Each section is a good mixture of text, illustrations in full colour, original adverts, patterns, knitwear made by the author from original patterns and knitting songs! There is a real sense of the author, her personality and passion.
The role of women often left at home ‘doing their bit’ while men go off to war and the importance of knitting throughout military history is very much highlighted through the book. Knitting items for the troops was not only seen as a woman’s patriotic duty, but had a practical application in delivering multiple pairs of socks for example in WWI, but also very much a moral boosting role for both the knitter and the recipients. Even in the latest conflicts where there is no real material need for knitted items the role of the sentiment behind a hat or scarf can not be underestimated, neither can the act of knitting itself which is discussed in the Iraq and Afghanistan section and shows knitting is not just for women. The section on anti-war and peace movement brings the book right up to date and shows the campaigning and subversive nature of knitting.
The knitting patterns included in the last section have a good spread from the periods covered and adapted for modern needles, yarns and modern body sizes, all quite simple and would be manageable by most levels of knitters.
Joyce obviously has an extensive collection of patterns which she has drawn on for this book. She has provided both advice and garments to museums, TV and film productions, has an interesting website at www.historicknit.co.uk and delivers talks and presentations to various groups across the country. She must also be a very accomplished knitter as the adaptations of the patterns and the reproductions in the book are all hers.
With my interests and research I did know much of the contents of this book, but there are many nuggets of information that are new to me and there is plenty of interest for anyone who likes knitting, its significance in the social and military history of past centuries."
Jeff Cuff recommends this event at The Kymin - non Naval but there is a Nelsonian connection at the venue which Jeff has involvement with.
From Sara Szwer, the promoter;
"Please find attached a poster for our forthcoming free event at The Kymin.
If you could print and display I would be most grateful. This is a quality event that should be most enjoyable for all ages. There are home-made tea and cakes available both days.
Please get in touch if you have any queries."
Manager – The Kymin/Rheolwr-Y Kymin
t National Trust/Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol
Brecon Beacons & Monmouthshire/Bannau Brycheiniog & Sir Fynwy
"The French ship Embuscade engaged HMS Boston 31st July 1793. Both of them were frigates and they highlighted the role of their ship type. Such frigates would become a mainstay of the era..."
The weekend of 19/20th March is to be a make and mend session - work to complete the outer hull of our new boat AKA 'Little Tich' and maintenance and survey of 'The Blue Launch' and 'Geoff's Fabulous Uncle Archie'
This will all happen at our top secret inland naval base in central England.
Members who can make themselves available should contact Chris Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
Accommodation and victuals will be available , for a modest contribution, courtesy of The Miggins'
Having built a replica of one of the more unusual WW2 raiding /reconnaisance craft - the Mark 8 Cockle Canoe - HMS has now moved to 'arm' it, albeit with an authentic-looking Vickers 'K' Gun (opp.)
This is a 'gas-firing' replica which will be mounted ahead of the new season.
Below is an image of a powered Cockle canoe variant, out in the Far East during WW2, with a Vickers K gun mounted.
'Little Titch' milestones
A short but sweet session on the boat ended with the ENGINE IN and the CAULKING FINISHED - the team being VERY pleased with those outcomes...
The engine is yet to be fully secured and commissioned, the decking purchased and the hull painted etc.
Well a hardy few made the best of wet and windy weekend in Liverpool, this being due to the (very) late cancellation of our scheduled event - 'Flag Down -The Surrender of the SHENANDOAH' which was to have taken place within the docks but circumstances outside of HMS' influence dictated the outcome.
Tom and partner Mary, Jean , Bevan, Neil ,Rob, Lynne, Chris , Ron and Jen stayed over at The Nordic Church - not too far from the Historic Docks and Museums.
Following an impromptu architectural tour of the city (!) we took in the Walker Art Gallery - where, incidentally, the meaning of 'Art' was discussed and subsequently determined - and the 'Weeping Window' remembrance installation (left), which featured some of the ceramic poppies from last year's Tower exhibit.
We conducted the AGM and headed for home....
Lots to get involved in over the winter - watch this space.
HMS subscriptions being due
We have ongoing financial commitments - not least insurances that cover us at events as well as for our major assets, so do please bear this in mind.
A new form along with relevant addresses will be available on the HMS website page shortly: