Tell Them of Us

The last month was a blur of work, garden, knitting, and getting ready for my big trip to the UK.  I don’t think I got to posting much about it, but thanks to Knitsofacto Annie, I was involved in some knitted costuming for Tell Them of Us, a documentary about a family in Lincolnshire during the First World War.

The film was inspired by the war memorial in tiny Thimbleby Church.


window dedication

It is a time of history that has long been an interest of mine.  Combine it with knitting, and how could I say no?  I made a ‘Sport Sweater” from a 1912 pattern, greatly simplified.  I also ‘reverse engineered’ a sweater from a photo of Grace, the eldest of the three siblings in the family, and the main character in the film.


Here are the sweaters as worn by the extremely talented Victoria Rigby in the film

Horse sweater in film

Sport Sweater

There is even a book of the projects in the film.  Here’s Pauline Loven, the costumier:

As WAG Screen’s costumier I spent a year researching and gathering vintage resources to begin creating the costume for the film which would be set on the home front in WW1. One thing worried me though – I was aware just how much clothing was knitted during the period and I cannot knit. Knitting also takes a long time to create, but to only include sewn clothing would have been a distortion. So, one Sunday morning, I speculatively tweeted for a volunteer knitter – confident that my words would disappear into the ether. But I didn’t know then the character of knitters. Within an hour I had one hundred volunteers and quickly created a Facebook group to gather them in. In no time at all there were three hundred volunteers and a Ravelry group had been created too. Knitters, as I quickly discovered, are gregarious, generous and efficient, and a management system immediately evolved led by Liz Lovick, managed by Jane Lawrence and augmented by Judith Brodnicki. Out of the group we had over had over one hundred active knitters, designers, hookers and researchers and Centenary Stitches was born.

I received an invitation to the ‘premiere weekend’ in Lincoln, the weekend of Remembrance Sunday, and figured, why not?  It is such fun to visit another country and do more than simply look around.  I’m so grateful I was able to participate. Everyone was kind, welcoming and such fun.  My brain is so filled with the trip, sorting out, shuffling through, that I’ll have to take a few posts to write it down.


11 responses to “Tell Them of Us

  1. Wow. Both sweaters are beautiful and perfectly capture the period. It sounds like an amazing opportunity and trip. Looking forward to seeing the book.

  2. Agree completely with Kirsten above. I hope the book will soon be available in the US.

    • Thanks. I’ll put up a note when it is. There was some dissatisfaction with the proof paper, so it went back. It was interesting how modern so many of the clothes seemed.

      On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 5:22 PM, Yarnerinas wrote:


  3. I was so very sorry to have missed you. My role re, organising the knitting for the film got smaller and smaller toward the end but I shall always be immensely proud to have been part of the Centenary Stitches project, I’m sure everyone feels the same way. Twas a good thing we all did. And your knits were perfect, onscreen and off 🙂

  4. That is SO COOL. 🙂

  5. That must have been so much fun – the whole thing.

  6. Whoa. Cannot wait to see the film and the book. Hip hip hooray for Mary Lou!

  7. Hello Mary-Lou, I’m glad I have found you, so nice to meet in Lincoln. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip. I have added your blog to my reading list so I don’t miss a post, specially if you make something from Centenary Stitches. I loved the sport sweater you made in particular, I think I shall make that for me once I have tried a couple of smaller projects

  8. i am soooo very proud to have also participated in this effort. Please do keep us all posted about the book…..and the availability of a dvd of the final project!

  9. This is amazing! The sweaters look wonderful. I can’t wait to see the movie and the book 😀

  10. I love this period of knitting, and the poignancy of it being so indelibly associated with the War makes it bittersweet.

    Your trip sounds fabulous — what a wonderful opportunity!

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