There are many different ways in which art benefits people. Some visual art is so stunning that it simply lifts a viewer’s spirit. Other art is sold and supports the very livelihood of the artists who create it. Music is a form of art that is not only enjoyable to listen to, it is also therapeutic, and many music therapy recipients are becoming healthier in both body and mind. There’s no doubt that art in general has benefitted humanity in countless ways. During World War One, knitting was an art form that proved itself to be beyond beneficial.
During the first World War, knitting was far more that just an art — it was a cause. Between 1917 and 1918, women and men all over the United States were encouraged to knit garments for U.S. soldiers. These soldiers were often in pitiful condition, stuck in freezing trenches and icy weather with nothing to insulate them. As a result, many soldiers took sick and even died from cold weather-induced illnesses. The efforts of American knitters literally saved the lives of many soldiers.
Since knitting was sweeping the country in the early 20th Century, it was not at all uncommon to see people engaging in the art during church and school. The Red Cross issued a request for knitted garments, and much of the knitted goods collected during the war were produced by Red Cross volunteers. Many people from Seattle and other parts of the country also contributed to the war effort.
The primary knitted garment that was called for by the Red Cross during the first World War was the sock. American soldiers’ boots were neither comfortable nor warm, so wool socks made their job a little more tolerable. Besides knitting socks, Americans spent thousands of hours knitting sweaters, wristlets, and mufflers. The art of knitting was certainly shown to be invaluable during the perilous years of World War One.
In the days of World War One, Americans saw knitting as not only a way to keep soldiers warm and well, but also to make them feel comforted during a very traumatic time. This is an excellent example of the importance of art in society. Furthermore, this proves that a simple art like knitting has the ability to accomplish a great deal of good. Surely art is endowed with powers to lift the soul, comfort the spirit, and even preserve the body.
Coming soon: Do you know how easy it is to tie die your own garments? If not, you won’t want to miss our upcoming post!
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Interesting topic… Do you knit Mark? 🙂