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antique textiles Feminism History Hull & Humber local history Textile Arts York

“Ladies Made Happy!”

“Victorian parlour ladies” has become a derogatory phrase when it comes to describing the history of crafts.  I wrote this some time ago for Love:Crochet. Crochet is not ‘my’ craft but it was interesting to look at its history, as it was so beloved of the “Victorian parlour ladies” of the 1840s and sheds some […]

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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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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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History

“The Visiters’ Book”

In June’s ‘Family Tree Magazine’  I will have a  piece about crafts done by ancestors in asylums. Here on the blog, I like to share those fascinating bits and pieces from my research that I can’t shoehorn into my writing. Amongst the documents I used for the research, was the ‘Visiters’ Book’ [sic] of the […]

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History

Found In A Ghastly Shape

I took up the challenge to trace the previously elusive Dr Richard Lloyd Pinching; a rather sinister presence who figures in the embroidered rants of Lorina Bulwer. Pinching was a surgeon from Northern Ireland who practiced in Walthamstow for over twenty years, surviving scandal (it came to light that he had sent a series of […]

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History

Lorina Bulwer, “A Properly Shaped Female”

“I MISS LORINA BULWER WAS EXAMINED BY DR PINCHING OF WALTHAMSTOW ESSEX AND FOUND TO BE A PROPERLY SHAPED FEMALE ”  [From Transcript of one of Lorina Bulwer’s embroidered letters]. Last year, someone asked me to go look at a fascinating textile  – some kind of embroidered sampler – they had in storage at the […]

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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”. […]