As you can probably tell from how long it’s been since my last post (the exception being the photo I posted a few days ago of finished socks), my inspiration for this blog has been feeling a little shot. I’m still knitting away, because, well, there’s a pandemic and what else am I to be doing with my spare time? But the thought of sitting and writing about what I’m working on just hasn’t really grabbed me. It feels like a show and tell that I really don’t want to write about. Please don’t get me wrong – the show and tell posts are AWESOME, but personally, I just haven’t had the oomph to sit and write it.
So, instead, to try and kick start my inspiration for posts and content, I turned to the archive of the Globe and Mail. First started as The Globe in 1844, it isn’t Canada’s oldest continuing newspaper, but it’s certainly up there. I’ve always enjoyed writing any of the posts that deal with history, and far and away they are my best performing posts on this site. My goodness, did my stats ever explode in December 2019 after the Little Women movie showcased fashionable historic knits! But I digress. I turned to the Globe’s online database to see if any articles would grab my interest.
Enter the Knitter’s Ruler Bag from 1942. The Second World War was well underway at this time, and many articles talk about knitting efforts for the soldiers. The Globe and Mail gave instructions on how to make your own knitting bags which, they boasted, “are not only the last inch in smartness, they are convenient for measuring the progress of a garment, and can easily made at home.” Being honest though, to this novice sewer, their instructions sound rather complicated and not as easy as they claim!
The bag is made of “bright floral fabric which can be used for both the outside and the lining.” Cool. Easy enough. Fabric. Floral. Bright. Following along so far.
“Then get twin rulers to use as the frame.” Ok. With you in theory. “Evenly spaced holes should be drilled through the bottoms of both rulers and bright red cord threaded through these holes to sew the rulers to the bag.” This is where I’m lost. Sew them where? The bottom? Along a side? At the top? I don’t think they mean along the sides, because otherwise, you would need four rulers, two for each side, right? And how many holes? Sure, I know what evenly spaced means, but, more context please!
The instructions finish up as follows:
A button at one side of the bag with a looped cord coming over the top from the other side will close the bag securely. Bore more holes at the top ends of the rulers to which bright heavily-corded handles can be attached.
Wait a minute now. ‘Top ends of the rulers?’ Now I’m thinking that there needs to be a ruler along each side and not sandwiched together at the bottom like I was originally envisioning… Because if you’re attaching the handles to the rulers, they need to be by the top. That is how bags work, right?
It would have been helpful to have a picture of the Ruler Knitting Bag accompanying this set of instructions, but alas, there was no such picture included. If I’m able to borrow my mother’s sewing machine and get ahold of some ‘bright floral fabric,’ I might just try my hand at making my own interpretation of this knitting bag, because, ultimately, they were right in saying how convenient it would be to have rulers handy for measuring your knitting as you go along!
The instructions for the Ruler Knitting Bag were published in The Globe and Mail, 2 Oct 1942, page 11.