Dales swaving

Knitting the Old Dales Way – Talks & Workshops


This weekend, I’ll be mostly going on about the history of Dales knitting. So just a reminder to anyone who fancies a day out at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming. It’s Country Crafts weekend, so there will be various living history folk, and craftspeople in costume, around the museum. I will be there in full 1800 period kit.

Talk  A.M., workshops P.M both days of this coming weekend. Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th April.

Just turn up for the talk (morning). If you’re interested in the workshop (afternoon), let me know by email (below) so we can pencil you in.

Talk (Mornings): The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales

I’ll be going on (and on) about Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby’s book, ‘The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales’. How it was researched and  written in 1949.  And how we have put together the new edition. And also generally, the history of knitting in Yorkshire, and how as a genealogist, I went about putting names, faces and life stories to the forgotten knitters of Yorkshire. I will also cover techniques of the old hand knitters like swaving and using a knitting stick. But of course, if you read this blog you might have other questions about knitting/genealogy stuff and I’d love to have a go at answering them!

Time: 10:30 to 12:00 am.

Price: £10 including museum entry. If you’re interested in attending the talk, either day – just turn up.  I will go on (and show you pictures and actual Things) for some of the time, and  then you can throw questions at me.

April 5th and 6th is the 2014 opening weekend at the museum, and my talks/workshops are just a small part of Murton Park’s Country Crafts weekend. So there will be other things to see and do.


Courtesy Dales Countryside Museum
Courtesy Dales Countryside Museum

Workshop (Afternoons): Knitting The Old Dales Way ~ How To Use a Knitting Stick or Shetland Knitting Belt (Beginners)

A rare chance to learn this brilliant, simple but obscure method of knitting.

This workshop will show you how to knit like the old Dales knitters! I can’t promise to make you into a ‘terrible knitter of Dent’ in a couple of hours. But you will learn how to use a knitting stick and be part of the revival of this almost-lost art.

There are very limited places on these workshops – mainly so everyone gets as much one-to-one as they need. There has been a bit of interest though so don’t despair if you can’t make this weekend, I will be offering this workshop again soon.

Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Price: £12.50 (includes Museum admission). If you already paid admission earlier,  workshop price is minus admission price.

Suitable for: knitters who know how to cast on!

Bring: yourself, and a belt (or apron with a waistband). You’ll tuck your stick into this. Materials will be provided at workshop. We will loan you a stick, and needles, on the day, for you to learn with.  But feel free to acquire your own and bring them along. Needles: if bringing your own, 8” or longer stainless steel dpns are best.

Saturday workshop is now FULL but there are still a couple of places left for Sunday. If you’re interested, email me: and I will add your name to the list.





4 replies on “Knitting the Old Dales Way – Talks & Workshops”

I really enjoyed your workshop on Saturday and hope Sunday was equally successful. I’ve found some suitable dowel in the garage for a temporary knitting stick of my own, but have my eye on the goosewing eventually. In the meantime I will be practicing. Lovely tools make knitting even more fun. Many thanks for sharing your expertise.


I’ve been trying to locate somewhere to buy the new “Hand-Knitters of the Dales” but can’t seem to locate it. Has it been released yet? Thanks.


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