Knit Your Bit
When war broke out in Europe, women across the globe took up their knitting needles to provide sweaters, socks, scarves and mittens to the fighting forces. When the United States entered the war in April of 1917, American women armed themselves with their knitting needles and got to work. It became commonplace to see women and girls knitting in automobiles and trolleys and on front verandas. One Hartford Courant article reporting on Hartford residents who were “summering” at the shore listed the typical activities of the crowd as “bathing, fishing, riding, knitting, sailing, dancing and tennis.”
The Comforts Committee of the Hartford’s Admiral Bunce Chapter was one of many women’s organizations to take on the promotion and coordination of getting knitted articles made and distributed to the troops. Headquartered in the old City Hall (Old State House), Navy League volunteers were available on weekday mornings to give knitting lessons and sell (at cost) wool and knitting needles. The American Red Cross also publicized the need for knitted items and had knitting rooms set aside on the first floor of their headquarters on Farmington Avenue.