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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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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 Halifax Hand spinning History Huddersfield local history Minor's Head

“You’re Doing It (Even More) Wrong!” or How The Great Wheel Survived

I’ve hesitated about writing this post. In the same way I hesitate about commenting on YouTube videos that claim to be showing a certain spinning technique – and aren’t. But great wheels are one of my ‘things’. And I couldn’t bear to see inaccuracies stand as ‘facts’. So in the spirit of preserving this craft […]

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Hand spinning History local history Textile Arts West Riding

Mr Craven’s Wool Combs

A few months back, myself and friend, the lovely Caro, spent some time at the Bankfield Museum, in Halifax. We were there to document the spinning wheels – particularly any great wheels – in the reserve collection. For many years, the Bankfield was legendary amongst textile historians and enthusiasts. The current displays are fantastic – […]

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Genealogy Halifax Hand spinning History Huddersfield Leeds local history

White Cloth, Mixed Cloth, and High Horses

Writing of Leeds’ White and Mixed Cloth Halls, in 1814, Seacroft man George Walker said: “They are both open every Tuesday and Saturday morning for one hour; in which very limited time all the business is transacted. The cloth is arranged on low wooden stands; the manufacturer behind it, and the merchant or buyer passes […]

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History Knitting Leeds local history West Riding

“Our First Long Journey By Ourselves”

  I was really excited last week to get my usual ‘Traditions Today’ email from Interweave, because it was trailing my article and  “Mrs Jackson of York“‘s stocking pattern  in the forthcoming  ‘Knitting Traditions, Spring, 2013’.   Available for pre-order now, and should be out at the start of April. I hope those of you who […]

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handspinning Knitting local history swaving Textile Arts

Swaving – A Load of Old Pony

I prefer to take my information from the horse’s mouth. Other folk go to the opposite end. And some of the misinformation coming out re. ‘swaving’ is, frankly, a load of old pony. Let’s see what Dalesfolk – who saw it – said ‘swaving’ was.  Then see if you can find any reliable/accurate demo of […]

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History local history Textile Arts

Her Name is Finger Paper

Just a few textile related items from Selby inventories, from the second half of the 17thC. In amongst this, there are some interesting items. A ‘worsett’ (worsted) wheel would possibly, at these dates, be a sort of intermediate style wheel, somewhere between a great wheel and a smaller wheel. The spinner sat down – instead […]

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ganseys guernseys History Knitting local history

Hearts and Charms in Folk Art

“If the youngest daughter in a family is married first, the eldest had better unravel one of her garters; knitting the same, mixed with other wool, into something a man can wear. This she must present to the one she has special regard for, and it will most likely incline his heart to her.” [Yorkshire […]

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Halifax handspinning History Huddersfield Leeds local history Textile Arts West Riding

“Those infatuated creatures calling themselves Luddites”

“A tribute to the merit of Captain Raynes, of the Stirlingshire militia,  was paid on the 4th … as an acknowledgement of … his indefatigable and unabated zeal in bringing to justice a number of those infatuated creatures calling themselves Luddites.” [Caledonian Mercury, Monday, November 30th, 1812]. In 1812, Yorkshire became the fulcrum of a […]