everybody has a story to tell about their life


Joan Murray and Yvonne Cleave, 2013

YC: Aunt Sue, well they all did it and Granny Brown, they used to make mens’ socks. Well they knitted mens’ socks, they knitted right up to the knee. And the feet would wear out first. And when the feet wore out they cut off the feet, pick up the stitches and re-knit the feet.

JM: They only had 4 little needles.

YC: That’s right.

YC: A large knitted cardigan or jumper, that was worn out at the sleeves or whatever. They would cut off the worn out part, they would rip up the jumper or cardigan, and wind the wool from the elbow to the hand (gestures), put a weight on the bottom of the wool, wash the wool, hang it up to dry and re-knit it for children.

Caroline: who was it was telling us at the lunch about when they were given jobs to knit the jumper, they would knit then so they would get an extra ball for the family.

YC: Oh yes…. They used to do knitting for firms. And the firm would want Guernsey’s and long sea boot socks. And every time they knitted either a Guernsey or a sea boot sock, they would try to keep a ball for themselves so that when they had finished perhaps half a dozen they would have enough to knit one for themself or for their husband or child.

They were only paid about two shillings.

Caroline: What would you have to do? Knit tight or loose for that? Cos if you knitted tight you’d use more wool?

YC: I suppose they knitted it on bigger needles.


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