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WestportREADS 2018: Knit your Bit


Knit Your Bit
Mikey’s dad has left home to fight overseas during World War I, and Mikey wants to do something BIG to help. When his teacher suggests that the class participate in a knitting bee in Central Park to knit clothing for the troops, Mikey and his friends roll their eyes—knitting is for girls! But when the girls turn it into a competition, the boys just have to meet the challenge.  Read more....

It really happened!

Learn more about the  Knit Your Bit Campaign...

Wool Brigades of World War I

Children War Knitters

Champion Knitter Aged Four

Knitting for Victory

In the summer of 1917 the American Red Cross put out an urgent call for knitted goods and hospital supplies to help fight the war. Their immediate need was for one and a half million each of knitted wristlets, mufflers, sweaters, and pairs of socks. The need for the socks was paramount: The trench warfare conditions under which the war was fought meant that soldiers spent weeks or months entrenched in wet and in winter freezing conditions.

For American soldiers in the trenches or on the march in France, warm socks made all the difference. The boots these soldiers wore (the 1917 Trench Boot) were made of heavy retanned cowhide with thick soles. Although in theory water-repellant, the boots ripped out at the seams fairly quickly. They had iron heels and five rows of hobnails (to prevent slipping) hammered into the soles. These hobnails conducted the cold from the frozen ground directly to the soldiers’ feet. Learn more...



Deborah Hopkinson 
She is the author of 50 books for young readers including picture books, middle grade fiction, and nonfiction. At schools and conferences she helps bring history and research alive. Deborah's nonfiction works includes DIVE! WWII Stories of Sailors and Submarines in the Pacific (an Oregon Spirit Award Honor Book), Courage &  Defiance, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors in WWII Denmark, (2017 Oregon Book Award), and Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, (a Robert F. Sibert Award honor book and YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist). Deborah received a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She lives near Portland, OR.  Learn more...


Find more events in the 

WestportREADs 2018 Calendar

Knit your Bit Campaign Posters