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Hand spinning handspinning History Leeds local history

Mr Antis and his ‘contrivance’.

We’ve spent some time looking at the workhorse Great Wheel of the common woman – and ‘professional’ spinner – as far as any 18thC spinner was ‘professional’… So… How about them there fancy spinning wheels?  York became a centre of excellence for wheelmakers in the late 18thC and early 19thC so I didn’t have to […]

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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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handspinning

Spinning the Boss Cow Way

This week, I’ve mostly been spinning gansey yarn. Here is some of it on the clothes horse. It’s been washed and is dried unweighted. That is the extent of ‘blocking’ for knitting yarn. Why is commercial guernsey yarn always 5 ply? Because guernseys came about post Industrialisation. By the 1820s, most yarn in England was […]

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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 […]

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antique textiles Hand spinning handspinning History Re-enactment spindle whorls Textile Arts

Good Cop, Bad Cop

Yesterday, I was watching the incomparable Abby Franquemont’s  video download, ‘Respect The Spindle’. I’ve had the book since the week (hour?) it came out but finally got round to getting the video recently, as despite my thirty odd years’ worth of spinning, knew I’d learn something new from it. And I did. At one point, […]

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antique textiles handspinning Knitting

In Praise of Midge and Fly

Yet again, I find myself reverse engineering a pair of Dales gloves and once more, knitting the ‘filler’ pattern known as ‘Midge and Fly’. So thought I’d write a bit about it. ‘Midge and Fly’ pattern was a common motif in two-colour knitting, and can be found on the palms, thumbs and fingers of Dales […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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antique textiles Halifax handspinning History Huddersfield Textile Arts West Riding

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 […]

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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 […]