Friday 11 August 2017

Knit one, post one

Bletchley Park the home of codebreaking, were asking knitters earlier in June to contribute items to their Knit one, post one campaign to help with set dressing their historic site. Hand knit garments and accessories from authentic 1940's patterns such as cardigans, hats, mittens and gloves were required. 

Items were to be used in a variety of ways:

1. Part of seasonal displays in the set dressed areas of the park, such as the Huts and the Mansion.

2. By Bletchley Park Education Team for public outreach programs.

3. For wearing as costumes by Bletchley Park staff for live interpretation or living history events, such as 1940's weekends.

As a thank you, a free season ticket was being offered to each knitter who contributed to the campaign.

I''ve always had a interest in the history and mistique of the WWII codebreakers. The oportunity to contribute and receive a free ticket to visit Bletchley Park seemed a good offer and an interesting knitting project to research and make.

Due to the shortage of time available, a set of mittens were my quick knit option. I asked the help of Barbara the Publications Curator at the Knitting and Crochet Guild (KCG) Collection for some assistance selecting a suitable 1940's knitting pattern.

Bestway and Femina are a couple of the brands available from the era and are held in the KCG archive. 

Eventually I settled on this Bestway pattern for a Fair Isle design set of mitts. 

1940's patterns were generally knit with 4ply and few used thicker than double knitting. In order to keep the character of the pattern I decided to use a 100% wool yarn called Spindrift by Jamieson's of Shetland

I happened to have some grey (Granite #122) Spindrift available and ordered a contrast green (Verdigris #772) to go with it.  This pattern has a fairly bold fair isle design on the back with a small repeating motif on the palm, a solid strip around the edges and an after thought thumb.

These are the finished mitts ready to wrap and post to Bletchley.

Once I've scheduled a trip south for a visit, another blog post might be in order with an update and pictures of the 1940's knit wear at Bletchley.


  1. What a lovely idea. And your mittens are just perfect!

  2. Very nice. I love many of the older patterns I just haven't gotten up the nerve to try them. Your mittens are Lovely. Great colors.

  3. What a neat project to participate in! Love your mitts!

  4. You did a beautiful job and your choice of colours seems in keeping with the period. I've never visited Bletchley Park, but I've long been interested in its history. I hope that you enjoy your visit.

    1. Thanks so much, looking forward to the visit and finding out more about the history, hopefully in the not too distant future...

  5. Hello Julia,
    I found your blog through Michelle and Anne at Crochet Between Worlds.
    How exciting to participate in the Bletchley Park project. One of my favourite things is to find vintage pattern books. How did you go translating the older patterns? Some people say the descriptions in vintage instructions are very different to today's and hard to follow. My mother and grandmother were always knitting when I was growing up - I wonder whether that helps to make following patterns of all descriptions second nature? I would love to know your perspective on that, especially after using the 1940s books. Have fun when you go on your visit and I hope you are able to share it with us here.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I've only recently become acquainted with the lovey blog Crochet Between Worlds. This vintage pattern for the gloves was very easy to follow and well written. It's the first old pattern I've followed and hopefully not the last. It would be interesting to try other patterns, only so many hours in a day though...


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