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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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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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antique textiles ganseys guernseys History Knitting swaving Textile Arts West Riding

Knitting The Old Dales Way: Workshops

Knitting the Old Dales Way. How To Use a Knitting Stick or Shetland Knitting Belt: workshop A rare chance to learn this brilliant, simple but obscure method of knitting. Let’s keep this old Yorkshire craft alive! For its opening weekend, the Yorkshire Museum of Farming is holding a Country Crafts event, and I’ll be doing […]

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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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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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History Hull & Humber Textile Arts

Close Knit Exhibition, Hull Maritime Museum

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of the Close Knit exhibition, at Hull Maritime Museum.  The exhibition was created by the Maritime Museum in partnership with the Moray Firth Gansey Project and Hull School of Art & Design. ‘Close Knit”s star turn is a gansey once owned by Poet […]

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antique textiles Brontes Hand spinning Textile Arts West Riding

Sticking It

Here is my first knitting stick, and the only one I currently use. At some point, I was sent some kind of knitting stick by a hobbyist, thinking of making them for sale, I guess  – but it did not look like any stick I have ever seen – and I’ve seen hundreds.  Nor did […]