Genealogy handspinning History

Very Amiable Gentlewoman

  Still  employing myself studying the (historical) crazy. Digging around in some York archives, last week. For an upcoming article in a genealogy magazine about crafts and eighteenth/nineteenth century insanity. Here are some snippets I thought might interest readers, but I can’t shoehorn into the piece ~ some more fascinating reasons for inmates being “a […]

antique textiles Hand spinning History Huddersfield

Beyond the Spin Count

Huddersfield, yesterday. And having an hour to kill, I found the Local History section of the Library.  I didn’t have time to look for my Huddersfield ancestors, wool weavers and dyers the Smiths, Dawsons and Listers ~ but did find this info I wanted to share, in a fascinating book, ‘The Water-Spinners’, by Chris Aspin, […]

antique textiles dales knitting swaving

Knit Like a Victorian Lady! (Or Gent).

Ever wanted to know how the writers went about researching and writing ‘The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales’? Or do you want to know more about ‘the terrible knitters of Dent’?  How people knitted at commercial speeds in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in the Yorkshire Dales? And what did they knit? What is […]

antique textiles Halifax Hand spinning History Huddersfield local history Minor's Head

“You’re Doing It (Even More) Wrong!” or How The Great Wheel Survived

I’ve hesitated about writing this post. In the same way I hesitate about commenting on YouTube videos that claim to be showing a certain spinning technique – and aren’t. But great wheels are one of my ‘things’. And I couldn’t bear to see inaccuracies stand as ‘facts’. So in the spirit of preserving this craft […]

antique textiles


I’ve been bowled over by the interest in the General Carleton hat – especially from 18thC living historians and re-enactors.  (If you’d like the pattern, it is in Piecework, Jan/Feb 2014). But one question keeps coming up: how do you thrum?  I thought I’d tackle this here on the blog. In the 17thC, English sailors […]