Knitting is not only for women but for men too! It is often associated with an old lady’s hobby. However in the past, only men knitted as an occupation. In the Renaissance period, knitters were mostly male. Surprisingly, armed forces have been knitting as well. Soldiers during World War I, who were commonly men, had taken to knitting as a brain stimulant according to the physicians in New Jersey. They were taught how to knit. Years later, knitting became an occupational therapy.
Aside from being a craft, knitting is a form of relaxation. In camps, the army had turned to knitting to relieve stress. The Platoon’s male sergeants and Staff sergeants were the first ones to get hooked. Keeping homesickness at bay, the army knitted for their family and loved ones as a Christmas gift. It was their way of showing to their loved ones that even if they were a million miles away from home, their loved ones were constantly in their thoughts. They also knitted items that were useful in their line of work. The following were some of the practical items knitted:
- M4 magazine pouch can be unwind into a single long rope.
- Whole-rifle cozy is used to secure and carry rifles.
- Knitted socks, hats, sweaters, gloves and mittens keep the soldiers warm.
Two important life skills than can be learned from knitting are goal-setting and perseverance to complete the project. It is important for the army to set goals and to have the determination to achieve it. Soldiers supported one another in their knitting projects. Once the product was done, they would display their handiwork with pride. A sense of belongingness and pride swelled among them. It boosted team camaraderie and unity.
Knitting is not only a domestic lady-hobby but also a source of military recreation and pride, in which both men and women comrades take part of. At present, with more women joining the military and the accessibility of knitting materials, knitting has become more than a past time but a valuable life skill to boot