During World War I and again during World War II, the American Red Cross launched nationwide, volunteer-driven knitting campaigns to supply soldiers and war refugees with warm clothing. These volunteer knitters belonged to a Red Cross unit called the Production Corps that also produced bandages and sewn garments (such as pajamas) for veterans and civilian hospitals.
Military knitting patterns were designed to be compatible with soldiers' and sailors' uniforms and were required to be knitted in olive drab or navy blue. Production Corps volunteers would also knit from patterns designed for convalescing soldiers, such as the "Walking Cast Toe Sock," the "Cap for the Bandaged Head" and the "Man's Coat Sweater."
Try your hand at our selection of World War II-era knitting patterns from our archives and "knit your bit." (Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader so you can view these patterns.)
View a guide to "Demystifying Needle Size, Gauge, and Yarn," courtesy of the Capital Crocheters & Knitters, Inc.