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Cover of a world war two military knitting booklet

from Guide to Knitting for the Services by the Australian Comforts Fund, 1940


Any colour for the Army;
navy blue for the Navy;
navy blue with bands at each end of crimson and pale blue for the Air Force

Only one description of a scarf is given in detail, as knitters will like to vary patterns, but none should be less than 10 inches wide, or less than 54 inches long.

Wools and Needles

The following will give 12 inches in
width, 54 inches in length.

9 to 10 oz. of sports wool required (use doubled)

Needles, UK No. 5/5.5mm/US 9, or UK No. 4/6mm/US 10 if you knit tightly.


Cast on loosely 57 stitches (a multiple of 4 plus l).

Beginners may prefer to knit perfectly plain, no pattern from beginning to end, back and front the same. But the pattern that follows is very simple, and makes the scarf springy.

Knit 6 rows. This makes a finish, and is repeated at the other end.

Next row: Knit 2, purl 2 all along 56 stitches and knit the 57th plain (mistake stitch rib)

Repeat until desired length.

Knit six rows garter stitch to finish.

The casting off must be very loose, otherwise the scarf will not stretch.

You may like to knit a narrow strip of contrasting colour about 3 or 4 inches from the end, except for the navy, which must be plain.

Fringes are not wanted.

Variations on this are to use heavier wool, putting 53 stitches on UK No. 4/6mm/US 10, or to make a light-weight soft scarf of 4-ply super-fingering, using 65 stitches on UK No. 6/5mm/US 8 needles.

The original publication of this pattern is in the public domain, however this modernised and clarified version is copyright Sarah Bradberry, May 31st 2012. All rights reserved.