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Talking Tomorrow

…In the Before Times, our talks were mainly in the North of England. But tomorrow, wherever you are, you can come and see us …

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Journal of the Plague Year

Sort of explains why my input here has been sporadic in the past year…

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He’s Leaving the Wardrobe, He May Be Some Time…

Over on my other blog, new post about something that lives in my wardrobe. And it’s not moths. Read and enjoy! I won’t repost it here, just send you on an Expedition over there…

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Their Darkest Materials Uncategorized

PRE-ORDER Their Darkest Materials!

…We’ll find out which Victorian novelist’s mauve ribbon was trapped in her coffin lid and discover clothing-as-evidence in an infamous London burking case (“Burking” as in “Burke and Hare”).

And we’ll watch a Yorkshire farmer’s wife knit a blue stocking on the morning of her murder and a caddish, handsome soldier murdering his stocking-knitting new wife. We’ll also spend time in the county asylum with a world famous dyer’s incendiarist wife and an embroiderer who used her art to say the unsayable…

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“The Pen Knib Is a Bit Funny”

More wartime letters found with a dolls’ house, abandoned on the pavement outside a charity shop. The letters came from an eight year old to her father, who was in the RAF and stationed many miles from home.  Children’s wartime letters are not easy to find and give us a fascinating glimpse into lives historians […]

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Combed To Death

Pattern for this is available on Ravelry:   https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bad-ass-snowflake-hat   And our Etsy shop here. I made this from a widely available superwash DK – pretty well any strongly contrasting DK leftovers might do it. Designed especially for those of us who are ‘snowflakes’ – but bad-ass. Because knitting is political. We have new nalbinding […]

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antique textiles band weaving Uncategorized

Weaving Silk Ribbons – and the Curious Phenomenon of Late Eighteenth Century Automata

A while back, I was researching late 18thC/early 19thC automata, after coming across an advert in a Georgian issue of one of the York newspapers, for an exhibition of them – there will be more on this in my upcoming book. The idea of some room in a cramped Georgian house, by the city walls, […]

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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 great wheel Uncategorized

THE YORKSHIRE MUDAG

Mudags, aka:  muirlags, Crealagh and craidhleag (creels) were egg-shaped baskets with a ‘post hole’, used for holding wool ready to spin. They are known to have been a thing in Scotland – and so, hopefully, Ireland, Wales and England too. You placed your mudag close to the fire, for the wool’s lanolin to melt a […]

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antique textiles dales knitting Hand spinning Uncategorized

Walking Wheel – How Many Miles A Month?

So how many miles could a Great Wheel spinner walk in a month? 120 miles? To reprise; in “Spinning Wheels, Spinners and Spinning”, Patricia Baines wrote: …It is said that spinners who worked in the textile industry in Yorkshire and Lancashire walked the equivalent of 30 miles a week spinning wool…   [Baines,  Batsford 1977 Edition, […]