PITTSFIELD — Knitting for Victory: How the Red Cross Mobilized the Nation to Knit and Helped Win the War will be the topic at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Pittsfield Public Library.

Holly Korda will talk about the efforts of the Knitting Brigades of WWI and how knitting helped unify the nation and win the war. The presentation will include stories and vintage photographs.

In the summer of 1917, following the U.S. declaration of war against Germany in April 1917, the American Red Cross put out an urgent call for volunteers in every state who came to knit more than 15 million pounds of wool into socks, sweaters, hats and bandages for the soldiers and allies overseas.

In less than two years, membership swelled from 200,000 to more than 30 million nationwide. Women, men and the nation’s school children knit and purled more than 23 million articles for the war effort in the most successful mobilization of community resources in the U.S.

Korda learned of Red Cross efforts to mobilize volunteers nationwide to knit bandages, socks, sweaters, and other necessities for WWI soldiers and allies from a relative who learned to knit in school as part of this effort, she was fascinated and inspired to learn lessons of experience that might be relevant today.

Korda began researching the knitting brigades with the National Red Cross several years ago and recently updated her investigations using Maine historical archives to learn more about the “who” and the “how” behind this grassroots success.

For more information, call the library at 487-5880.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.