Skip to main content

'Knit and Do Your Bit' Bag

Curated Submission
Delta, British Columbia
1915 - 1918
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
33 x 23.5
Materials & techniques
Linen, cotton, silk; Hand-sewn, embroidered
Eleanor Read
Delta Museum and Archives Society DE1992.112.2
The British settlers in Canada were fiercely proud and supportive of their homeland during the First World War. Popular opinion at the time decreed that success in the war effort was as dependent on the home front as it was on the frontline. Victory gardens, rationing, and knitting circles were all considered acts of patriotism, producing goods that could be sent to those fighting in the trenches.
Pattern booklets with instructions for knitting garments, sweaters, and hats for soldiers were extremely popular and shared widely. They were accompanied by messages that reinforced the heroism of those in the armed forces. By taking care of the personal needs of soldiers, the knitters saw themselves as actively supporting the successful defeat of the enemy.
This particular bag was created in British Columbia with wool stitched on muslin. The motif of crossed British flags reinforces the connection of makers in Canada with the British Empire. Born and raised in British Columbia to a family of British heritage, the creator of this piece, Ila Embree, made this bag in her teen years during the First World War. She later raised her family in Ladner, British Columbia, and lived there until her death in 1993.
Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners