Monthly Archives: August 2019

Photo A Day Challenge: Reflections…

Temple of Dendur, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

IMG_4413IMG_4411 (2)


Photo A Day Challenge: Monochromatic…

New York City

IMG_4483 (3)

Review: The Knitting Brigades of World War I

Review: The Knitting Brigades of World War I post image


First, the facts:

Title: The Knitting Brigades of World War I: Volunteers for Victory in America and Abroad

Author: Holly Korda

Published by: Self-Published

Pages: 88

Type: History



The In-Depth Look:

1. The Great War: 1914-1918
2. Ramping Up for War
3. Calling All Volunteers
4. The Spirit of America
5. The Junior Red Cross
6. Central Park Knitting Bee
7. It Takes a Community
8. Tools for Home Front Knitters
9. Other Hone Front Efforts
10. An Ending–and a Beginning


You might not know this about me, but reading history is one of my favorite things. It gives me a way to connect to my past (using “my” in the broadest sense, there), and get a feel for how people used to live, what they did, how they survived, what events touched their lives.

When you combine that with knitting? Even better.

The Knitting Brigades of World War I explores how knitters mobilized 100 years ago to support their troops.

You’ve heard of this, right? The drive to “knit your bit” each day to help work toward a pair of socks or hat or sweater for shivering servicemen overseas?

Except, most of us think of WWII in the 1940s when we remember this. Really, though, this international obsession with knitting started earlier, in the 1910s when the Great War broke out.

Here are a couple statistics for you:

“More than 15 million pounds of wool were worked into garments and bandages by voluneers of ‘The Great Mother,’ as the Red Cross came to be known. When women knit, they knit necessities: 24 million articles for soldiers and sailors, 14 million items of hospital supplies, 6 million refugee garments, and some 300 million surgical dressings. Items included scarves, hats, socks, sweaters, and more. As the war progressed, there would be a shortage of yarn–and people would scorn anyone who might knit for themselves when needs abroad were so great.”

(Hard to think of that, isn’t it, when recreational knitting and yarn stashes are so popular?)

This isn’t a long book–just a tight 88 pages–but it’s filled with photos and details about the effort, mostly by women, but also by men and convalescing soldiers, to provide troops around the world with the basic necessities.

Nothing makes me happier than shining light on a historical event that is in danger of being forgotten. Thank you so much, Holly, for your detailed research!

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by the author. Thank you!

My Gush: Knitting, reading, and history–all in one place!

Photo A Day Challenge: Lighthouse…

Windows of a lighthouse.

Gay Head Lighthouse in the town of Aquinnah, Martha’s Vineyard, MA


Photo A Day Challenge: Sea Green…

‘Warped Clipper Ship’ by American artist Valerie Hegarty.

joan 20181017 (79)

I like this because it’s different.  To me the  dominant color is sea green, and also the sea is in the picture.  🙂  Saw this in Oct 2018 at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.

Photo A Day Challenge: Start With ‘Z’…

Z ig-Zag



Photo A Day Challenge: End With ‘A’…

This is Katama/South Beach and Katama air field on Martha’s Vineyard.



Illumination Night On Martha’s Vineyard…

Every few years I post about my favorite summer event on Martha’s Vineyard…

Illumination Night

Illumination Night this year is Wednesday, August 14, 2019

pikage-2MNK8F (2)

100_6701 (2)

It has always been my favorite event of the summer… going to Illumination Night is a thrill for me no matter what my age.

I think I was 2 and 1/2 the first time I went to Illumination Night.  I’m embarrassed to say that even with my annoyingly good memory, I don’t remember it. My first memory of Illumination Night involves wearing a particularly pretty dress so I’m thinking I was around three or four, which would have been around 1946.

My dad, mom, god-mother and I would have an early supper and then walk to the Campground. My dad and I would stroll around looking at all the beautifully decorated gingerbread houses while my mother and god-mother would chat with friends and relatives.

At 8 o’clock the Vineyard Haven Band would begin playing and the always fun community sing would start. Patriotic songs like, America The Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, Battle Hymn of the Republic are always stirring and emotional. It took me a couple of years to learn the words to all the songs and I still get messed up on a couple of the rounds like John Brown’s Baby. The band playing the Star Spangled Banner and the rousing Stars and Stripes Forever are always a crowd pleaser.

But as much fun as that was it was only a precursor to the main event. The Tabernacle and Campground go dark… the crowd cheers. The lighting of the first lantern and then all the gingerbread houses are simultaneously aglow with Japanese lanterns.


Everyone oohs and ahhs and stream out of the Tabernacle to walk through the magical fairyland the Campground has become. My dad would carry me on his shoulders so I could see everything… I felt like I could touch the stars.


After seeing all there was to see we’d head out onto Circuit Ave to either the Frosty Cottage for ice cream or Darling’s for popcorn, a tasty ending to a perfectly enchanting night.

No matter your age, Illumination Night is fun for everyone, I myself morph into an 8 year old.

Illumination Night as described in the Vineyard Gazette:

101_3007 (2)

If you’re on the Vineyard this Wed, Aug 14, 2019 you should go and experience Illumination Night.  101_3011








of heights and flying.

In 1988 we took a cruise that went to Alaska and one of the things I absolutely wanted to do was walk on a glacier but to do that I had to over come my fear of the above mentioned two things… heights and flying in helicopters.  But it was worth the angst and I would do it again.  The helicopter landed on the glacier and left us there for about a half hour to explore and take pictures. The glacier was bitter cold and we were fitted with heavy boots to keep our feet warm and jackets if we needed them.  We did.  When the helicopter came back for us it then flew us to the top of the Mendenhall glacier, what an awesome sight.