One of the most astounding aspects of our digital world is the ease with which we can connect and stay connected. Melanie Smith of Boise, Idaho, who loves to share her passion for all things fiber through teaching and designing, illustrates this perfectly in her article in the January/February 2015 issue of PieceWork. Here’s a portion from her article, “Tell Them of Us: Knitting Vintage Garments for a World War I–Era Movie”:


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Cast members of the World War I–era movie Tell Them of Us costumed in handknitted and handcrocheted garments made by needlecrafters around the world.
Photograph by John Bennett.



As World War I (1914–1918) broke out in Europe, relief organizations issued a call to knitters and crocheters to make warm garments for soldiers both at the front and in hospitals. The call appeared in newspapers and magazines.


Nearly a hundred years later, in July 2013, WAG Screen, a nonprofit film group in Lincolnshire, England, used today’s social media—Twitter, Ravelry, and Facebook—to recruit volunteers to knit or crochet hats, mitts, shawls, sweaters, and baby clothes from period patterns to help costume its World War I–era movie Tell Them of Us. From the Orkney Islands to Boise, Idaho, more than 200 of us volunteered our time and talents. Not surprisingly, WAG Screen crowdfunded the cost of its production. The movie premiered November 8, 2014, at The Venue in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England.


Tell Them of Us, told from the perspective of an actual family from the village of Thimbleby, was planned as a tribute to all those who went to war and didn’t come home. Brothers Robert and William Crowder, of the village of Thimbleby, were just ordinary men willing to serve their country. Much of the movie centers on Robert’s letters home from the front, letters that still survive. Just as William was leaving to join him in 1917, Robert was killed in France. He was twenty-one.


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   Melanie Smith crocheted this motor cap for the movie Tell Them of Us. The movie was made in 2014 to commemorate the beginning of World War I in 1914.
Photograph by John Bennett.

Melanie’s article is just one of the fascinating stories and projects featured in PieceWork’s 9th Annual Historical Knitting issue. The print issue is mailing to subscribers this week; it will be on sale on newsstands starting January 6. And because we are so connected, the issue will also be available in the digital world for iPads and Kindles and through Zinio!


Let’s stay connected!