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antique textiles Dales dales knitting handspinning History Leeds local history Textile Arts West Riding

“The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales” by Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby

Or: or “How The New Edition of This Book Beloved By Knitters, Came About….” Today I thought I’d give an insight into how we put together the new edition of “The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales”, that classic, much-loved book on the history of Yorkshire knitting… Ella Pontefract and Marie Hartley produced six books together, […]

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antique textiles Boreray Hand spinning handspinning History Textile Arts

A Week of Roguish Spinning…

On impulse, I entered this year’s Spinzilla competition. Mainly because I’ve spent some time this year figuring out the sheer amounts spun in a day or a week by late 18th/19thC handspinners, and wanted to see if I could equal them; or even if the figures I’d arrived at were feasible. Also because I like […]

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antique textiles History Textile Arts West Riding

The Tazzle Man

  A few months ago, at a car-boot sale in York, I stumbled on a very battered and dirty volume of the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal. I maybe paid 50p for it, if that. The reason I picked it up was, I saw it contained an article called ‘The Yorkshire Teazle-Growing Trade’,  by R.A.McMillan.   Teazles […]

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antique textiles Dales dales knitting handspinning Knitting Leeds local history Textile Arts West Riding

How To Be A Luddite – Leeds Wool Week

Got a parcel, this morning. Getting parcels is always brilliant, but this was a particularly brilliant parcel.  Some print copies of ‘The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales’. These will be distributed around the shops of museums in the North of England who helped us during our period of research. I will put up details soon. […]

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antique textiles handspinning History Knitting

Comb’d wool spoil’d by the Patients

The records of The Retreat asylum, in York, present some fascinating data for textile and costume historians. Possibly the most valuable of all the tens of thousands of pages of records, are the Patients’ Disbursement Books. These recorded patients’ spending money and also monies patients earned from work, themselves. In the late eighteenth and earlier […]

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antique textiles

Hanging On By A Thread

   This month’s ‘Family Tree Magazine’ (UK)  has a piece I did about crafts in eighteenth and nineteenth century asylums. Whilst researching, I stumbled on these amazing  Native American autographs, in The Retreat’s ‘Visiter’s Book’, made by visiting Seneca nation dignitaries, in 1818. Couldn’t shoehorn them into the piece,  so here’s one for all of […]

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antique textiles Dales dales knitting

The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales

It still doesn’t feel real, to me, but… The new edition of ‘The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales’ is here! Our new edition reproduces the text of the 1951 First Edition, but we have added a Dales glove pattern and an Introduction, which gives biographical information about the previously mysterious writers/illustrator, Misses Hartley and Ingilby. […]

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antique textiles Halifax Hand spinning History West Riding

Pop Goes The Weasel

  ‘Yarnmaker’ No 18 is just out, and with it a piece I did about Great Wheels .   On a Ravelry thread in the Yarnmaker Group this week, someone referred to this picture, (above) and asked what the elderly lady was doing. The answer is… that is a click  or clock reel. AKA “weasel”. […]

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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, […]

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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 […]