Friday, 19 October 2012

Knitting for the RAF

What could be more perfect than this little treasure for the girl that loves both her knitting and the RAF? I can think of nothing... actually I can, but you'll have to wait till next week to see it! Still, this little booklet is quite hard to beat and just by owning it I feel a level of 'completness' in the service knitting pattern leaflet department.(still have a lot of civvy knitting patterns on my wish list mind you).. In my eyes this booklet is the tops when it comes to knitted comforts patterns!

 The cover of said booklet...
There were many schemes during the war to help aid knitters in producing the much needed 'comforts' for the serving troops. This one, however, was produced specifically for and by the R.A.F (hence it being shown today!)
The first two pages...
(they should be in the other order, but I couldn't get the pics to do what I wanted!)

These two pages explain everything you need to know about the Comforts Committee.
Registered working parties were eligible to obtain coupon free wool, and this was to be used for committee comforts and nothing else... you hear me, NOTHING Else. So it was a great boon for the avid knitter to join a registered group, as you could do your bit for the chaps and do all this knitting without touching your precious clothing coupons!
I especially like the idea of 'The Personal Acknowledgement Scheme'- I always like the stories told about the lucky recipients finding the hidden messages and writing back, sometimes with photos being exchanged on both sides too!
"In order that the individual member of the Royal Air Force who receives a gift made by a working party my be in the position, should he so desire, to send a personal acknowledgement, the R.A.F. Comforts Committee are prepared to supply parties, free of charge, acknowledgement slips similar to the specimen below to be sewn to the garment sent to their depot.
The Committee feel that under this arrangement a more personal contact between Working Parties and the members of the Royal Air Force would be introduced and maintained"
Forget the name of the working Party and address of the committee, I'm putting my own name and address down. I'm not letting my working party take all the credit of all my hard work. (perhaps not the right attitude?! hehe!) And anyway, I like receiving post!

(Copied from my book)

A RAF Comforts Committee badge from my collection- It's a rubbish photo and reads:-
"R.A.F. Comforts Committee- Voluntary Worker"

The Comforts Committee badges were only issued to registered parties, with one given free to each. If individual members of each working party fancied their own, then they had to apply for one enclosing a 1/- (1 shilling) payment.
Rather interestingly, the book states....
" the number of badges issued to a party will in all cases be related to the amount of work received.
Heads of parties are urged to assist the Committee to maintain a high standard for qualification. it is suggested that this might be taken as 100 hours of work for the R.A.F. COMFORTS COMMITTEE (not total work performed for all the services), with a suitable reduction for children under 14 years. "
So even within the party, you had to earn the right to wear your badge!
The booklet holds not only the usual essential knitteds, but is also filled with the most amazing illustrations you ever did see (just look at them!), and it is these little jewels that really do make the book quite special. The patterns are pictured plainly, nothing fancy about them, but the illustrations take over each page, depicting both humour and their relevance to the pattern. All pages have an illustration running along the base, whilst some pages also include illustrations of R.A.F personnel wearing their knitted comforts. (See above picture)
Please scroll down to see all the illustrations.
There are a lot of these, so brace yourselves....
(They were all too lovely to leave any out!)

 Tell me these aren't cute- just look at the dancing couples and the chap at the piano!
The two middle strips make me giggle!

The illustrations in the W.A.A.F's section

 And last, but not least... The back cover
The wonderful artist is a one Mr. Laurie Tayler or Laurence B Tayler (By the way Laurie is one of my favourite names for a chap -I say it's a sign!) and was Australian artist, born in 1873. Unfortunately I’m unable to find much information about him, but I do know that he moved to England in 1913 and was rather enviously proficient in different styles and mediums- do a quick search and you will find some gorgeous Edwardian oils too!

So that’s my ‘Knitting for the R.A.F.’ for you. Quite a little treasure, eh!

I still haven't knitted anything from it though (its all stocking stitch which I hate doing!). I might try one of the W.A.A.F's knitteds at some point as I don't have any chaps to knit for! ; )

Well that I think, is enough from me.

Oh and I would like to apologise for my absence of late. My computer is messing me about a lot (it's being a real stinker!), and one of the problems is being unable to get to the window on blogger to attach photos (have any fellow bloggers had this problem?), so this is the reason why I haven't been doing much! : (

To be honest you are lucky to get this post- I had to upload all the pictures using my pappy’s laptop!

Anyway, R.A.F Friday is here....

Tickety Boo Tupney

RAF Friday so far....



  1. Those illustrations are just wonderful! It really is amazing how people used to come together and help out a complete stranger. Sometimes I wonder if we'll ever be a society like that again.

  2. What a lovely booklet! I would say more but it would just become repetitive, so I'll just go stare at the illustrations again. :)

  3. Marvelous post! If I'd seen that knitting book somewhere while out and about, I would have bought it for you in a heartbeat. I've not encountered many RAF items here in Canada yet - but you really never know what could be out there, especially with the large number of British war brides that followed there new husbands here in the 40s.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, honey,
    ♥ Jessica

  4. That is just so neat! I agree with the first post-I love how people came together and helped each other out. What a sign of the times!! Happy friday! xox

  5. What a treasure..... I love it!!! I'm sure I would have joined in & got a badge too! Thanks for sharing :) x

  6. Great stuff, love those illustrations! You should definitely knit something from it! Jx

  7. TOO damn adorable! Those illustrations are amazing.

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

  8. Those illustrations are wonderful, I love it.

  9. I have pattern envy! I know I shouldn't but I do :o)
    Have seen someone selling copies of this publication on eBay, but you just can't beat the original xx

  10. I'm not a knitter but an ex Airman, much taken with those wonderful illustrations. Nicely presented. My poor wife is recovering (slowly) from a fractured neck of numerous. Poor thing is sad eyed looking at her sewing and knitting room. Anyway, well done for a charming site. Des


Ta very much for your messages folks!

Tickety Boo Tupney xxx

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