antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning spindle whorls Textile Arts

Tour de Fleece 2013 – mojo and mojitos.

The Tour de Fleece runs every year, for the duration of the Tour de France, hand-spinners all over the world set their own wheels spinning, like the cyclists, setting themselves challenges and try to spin yarn daily, even if it’s just for ten minutes.  Some people use the Tour to expand their skills, others just […]

antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History nalbinding Textile Arts

Close Knit, or Nalbinded?

One thing about Yorkshire folk is – we don’t suffer fools gladly.  Look away now if you’re squeamish.  This is going to get honest. Anyone coming here from Ravelry,  pull up a chair and bring the popcorn. You already know where I’m going, with this.  I like exploding myths and poking at bullshit with a […]

antique textiles Boreray Knitting nalbinding Textile Arts

Trawling For Red Herrings

“Textile historians often find it difficult to tell whether early knitted objects are made using a single needle, as here, or using more than one needle, as the finished articles are so similar in appearance.” [From the holy writ, source of all sources ™, Wikipedia, text to the image shown left]. Just back from the […]

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Magenta Divine

They say “blood will out”, and so it seems to have proved. We broke the last brick wall in my family tree a few months back. Names included:  Lister, Smith, Dawson and Crabtree;  a long line of wool weavers, clothiers, and mill-owners in Longwood, near Huddersfield, and in Halifax.  My surname should have been the […]

antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History

The Amazing Spinning Cat

  We hear from Wingrove, near Aylsbury in Bucks., that a few Days ago, one Susanna Hannockes, an elderly Woman of that Place, was accused by a neighbour of being a Witch, for that she had bewitched her Spinning-Wheel, so that she could not make it go round, and offered to make an Oath of […]

antique textiles handspinning History Knitting Leeds local history Textile Arts

Knitting with the Brontes

        In this month’s ‘Yarnwise’, I took a look at the knitting sticks in the collection of the Bronte Parsonage Museum, here in Yorkshire.  And came to some interesting conclusions about the knitting sticks, and the Brontes’ experience of knitting. One conclusion I came to was that at least half of the […]

antique textiles ganseys guernseys History Textile Arts

Ganseys For Dummies

“Guernsey…. A thick, knitted, closely-fitting vest or shirt, usually made of blue wool, worn by seamen. 1851.” The Shorter Oxford Dictionary Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in traditional knitting. Ganseys or guernseys are being knitted, worn and enjoyed, by a whole new generation. Ganseys are jumpers knitted from 5 ply, unoiled, worsted-spun […]

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Mr Dick’s Kite

“Is it a Memorial about his own history that he is writing, aunt?’ ‘Yes, child,’ said my aunt, rubbing her nose again. ‘He is memorializing the Lord Chancellor, or the Lord Somebody or other—one of those people, at all events, who are paid to be memorialized—about his affairs. I suppose it will go in, one […]