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1939-45  • Make-do and mend Knitwear

Unpick & knit again • Garments handknitted from salvaged yarn •
Chapter heading from 'Make do &mend' bookletChapter heading from 'Make do &mend' bookletChapter heading from 'Make do &mend' bookletChapter heading from 'Make do &mend' booklet
Old knitwear was unpicked and reknitted. Often jumpers would have contrasting hoops, panels or sleeves, where two or more garments were made into one.
The collar of the left hand harlequin jersey below has at least three colours.In both photographs the sleeves are a different shade to the bodice or yoke. Both are trimmed with with a darker colour. This style of jersey would have been typical school wear for a girl during the thirties and may have been knitted from such a pattern.The use of recycled wool typically produces an uneven texture in the plain stocking stitch.
If bought from a shop, a jersey like this would use at least 5 clothing coupons, the same as a rayon utility dress. If it weighed more than 10 ounces 300 grammes it used 8 coupons, which was more than a pair of shoes. Well worth knitting.
Wartime Jersey

From June 1941 clothing was rationed.  Each person was only allowed a few items. So that everyone had a fair share.
Two ounces 50 grammes of knitting yarn took one precious clothing coupon. Posters and advertisments encouraged people to "make-do Put up with what they already had and mend".

Wartime Ladies Jersey
Leftover balls of yarn in varied shades could be made into "Fairisle Patterns" either a simple toothed pattern as shown below or one of the more traditional Scottish patterns.
Knitwear which needed resizing were given "fairisle" inserts where there was insufficient unpicked wool to complete the item in the original colour.Growing juveniles tend to need longer arms and trunk without necessarily increasing in girth.
Not every hooped or 'harlequin' jumper you will see was a wartime reknit but every one is a contender. Patterns with holes and lacy designs use less yarn than plain knitting.

Top left photograph by Wells of Lancing -(name Moore in pencil)

Booklets & magazines gave tips for knitting from salvaged yarn but there were no patterns as such.