In this PieceWork eBook, we have compiled the patterns for 7 knitted scarves, including two “shoulder scarves,” using the instructions from our copy of the 1918 Fleischer’s Knitting & Crocheting Manual. No alterations to the patterns were made; they are reproduced here exactly as they appeared on the original. The patterns include references to the stitch index, featured on the last pages of the eBook.
Welcome to 1918. World War I has been raging for three years; America entered the conflict last year. It won’t be over until this November. Throughout the war, needleworkers have been extremely busy making socks, sweaters, balaclavas, mittens, gloves, and blankets to be sent to the troops.
But needleworkers also are carving out some time to make fashionable items for themselves or for gift giving, especially as the end of the war nears. And they are seeking more and more patterns. And the yarn and thread companies, along with contemporary needlecraft magazines, are supplying them. Among them is the 16th edition of Fleischer’s Knitting & Crocheting Manual, published in 1918 by S. B. & B. W. Fleisher in Philadelphia. Priced at 25 cents, the 208-page book includes more than 125 patterns for knitting and crochet, including one section devoted to knitting for the troops. All of patterns in the book call for Fleisher’s yarns, which were produced in the company’s mill in Philadelphia.
In many ways, Fleisher was a company way ahead of its time. Samuel Stewart Fleisher started what came to be known as the Graphic Sketch Club—art classes for lower income children who lived near the mill. Samuel died in 1944; he left his estate in trust to provide for the perpetuation of the club. Now the Fleisher Art Memorial at 719 Catharine Street in Philadelphia, this nonprofit organization is a community arts center, offering free and low-cost classes and workshops for adults and children. What a legacy.