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band weaving craft activism Knitting Uncategorized

Snow On Snow

  The most recent one in my series of pieces about nineteenth century designers/knitting manual writers is out in ‘The Knitter’ 131. It’s about the Yorkshirewomen, the Ryder sisters – another sister act, like the West Country’s Cornelia Mee and Mary Austin.  In all these pieces I’ve tried to uncover new or previously unpublished  information […]

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antique textiles craft activism Knitting political knitting

“Knitting Isn’t Political”?

Anyone in the fibre arts world would have to have been living under a rock, in the past week, to have missed the delicious controversy, involving a certain orange buffoon, here: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/not-for-trump-fans-hat   Reading through the comments, one point made by the pattern’s detractors, really got my interest. Knitting isn’t political. Yes, right. Textiles have […]

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History Knitting

Lancashire Squares, Yorkshireficated.

Whilst ‘The Knitter’ 122 is still in the shops, I thought I’d do a quick post on the non -traditional way I constructed the centre square of the ‘Hetty’  hap shawl. Well, I say non traditional – it’s very traditional. Just in Lancashire, not Scotland! Fusion knitting is a thing, right? One thing that inspired […]

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cycling fashion Knitting

The Nature of Errata: The Apparently Cursed Edwardian Fingerless Gloves

  Errata are the bane of the designer’s life. I’m thinking about it because of the Edwardian gloves pattern which has resurfaced, and needed my attention this week just as I was hoping for a few days of no knitting. But also because, alongside writing the next book, I am fixing the errata in the […]

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Knitting

Opera Muffatees

  I made these quick muffatees from some leftover Wendy Guernsey yarn in shade 590 Crimson.  The stunning red reminds me of the heroines in my favourite operas, Tosca and Carmen.  Here’s the pattern for anyone who wants to use up a little leftover guernsey yarn – they would work in DK, too – but […]

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antique textiles convicts Knitting York

“Some Knitted Nightcaps of the Debtors”

1821 Thursday, 18th October [York] Went over the bridge at 11 ¼. Went shopping with my aunt… Walked with my aunt around the castle yard (she wanted some knitted nightcaps of the debtors)…” [Anne Lister’s Diary, p. 175 ‘The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” (Virago, ed. Helena Whitbread)].   Reading Anne Lister’s diaries was […]

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antique textiles Knitting

Boring But Useful – Knitting Needle Size Conversion Chart

Just finally got round to making one of these. And I thought it might be useful for other fans of vintage haberdashery and knitters of old patterns.  Many charts available only go down in size to the more useful needle sizes for contemporary knitting – ie: around 3.25mm. Yet many Victorian patterns call for 1mm […]

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great wheel Knitting Uncategorized York

Have A Go On A Great Wheel Weekend!

Tomorrow (5th August) and Saturday, we’ll be demonstrating the Great Wheel, at the British Wool Show, Murton, York. If you fancy some ‘Have A Go’ great wheel spinning, come along and try your hand at it.  Very few spinners are left who can spin on the Great Wheel – we’re hoping to change that!  You […]

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antique textiles Dales swaving Uncategorized

I Was Too Far Out All My Life; Not Swaving But Drowning II.

  That title’s with apologies to Stevie Smith. Today, an interruption in putting up photos of the gansey patterns in ‘River Ganseys’. Thought I’d put everything I have about swaving here, in one post. This is ongoing research and by no means complete so not the last word on the subject- just the first few […]

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convicts Knitting

Knitting As Punishment

MARY Bowler, a young woman and an inmate of the Faringdon Union [workhouse], was on the 5th inst., brought before the Rev. J.F.Cleaver and Sir R.G. Throckmorton, charged by the Governor with having refused to perform the work assigned her, namely, knitting socks; she was committed to Reading Gaol for 21 days’ hard labour. Jackson’s […]