Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Calgary Knitting 1939 pt 3

UNFORTUNATELY the difficulties of the conveners do not end with teaching women how to knit socks and sweaters so that they will not only be wearable but comfortable as well. There has been and still is a shortage of wool. Since early in September it has become increasingly difficult to obtain enough wool to keep the knitters supplied. Shortly after organization began 1,000 pounds of wool were ordered from a large wholesale house. More than a month later the wool was still unavailable and 25 pounds were offered as a substitute for the 1.000. All the wool on hand was being held to make underwear and uniforms. Within two months the Red Cross has issued nearly a ton of wool.
Since the groups are made up largely of women who have homes and families to care for, weekly meetings are not always possible. Some groups meet only every two weeks, with the hope that they will be able to manage a weekly meeting after the Christmas season is past. At the various depots, however, someone must be on duty all day and every day. It is to these depots that the knitters come when they get into difficulties over the turning of a heel or finishing off of a toe. And at these depots there is always someone who can show them the best and easiest way. These volunteers work in relays. Each staff of four or five has its one day a week to spend where its services are available to women who want wool, staples or instruction.

Everything that the Red Cross makes or is given is turned over to the government for distribution. It does not and never has sold anything. The Red Cross aims to give the soldiers the little extras that make camp life more healthful and more comfortable. "They are supplied by the government with the crude essentials," declared one member. "But the work done by the Red Cross is absolutely necessary. I had enough experience during the last war to know what I am talking about."

By Elnora Bailey,
The Calgary Herald, November 25, 1939

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