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West Riding

Progress in Pudsey

“…All this was for nothing, except in some cases a small allowance for a little ale, or cheese and bread…”

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antique textiles handspinning West Riding

The Great Great Wheel Experiment

We’re off to the British Wool Show, at the weekend. We’ll be taking our Jack Greene-made Great Wheel, and finally trying out an experiment we’ve been threatening to do, for years.  If you’ve ever seen us demo-ing the Great Wheel, you’ll probably know what it is. Sources mention how much it was possible to spin […]

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antique textiles Brontes West Riding

Oceans of Needlework

There is such a thing as seeing all beautiful around you – pleasant woods, winding white paths, green lawns and blue sunshiny sky – and not having a free moment or a free thought left to enjoy them in. The children are constantly with me, and more riotous, perverse cubs never grew. .. I said […]

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Brontes Textile Arts West Riding

Charlotte Bronte’s Baby Socks

        ‘The Knitter’, Issue 100, is out now and in the shops. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth, this year, I’ve contributed an article about a fascinating and previously unknown piece of knitting; a pair of baby socks, made for Charlotte’s baby,  which were destined never to be worn. […]

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Brontes West Riding

The Brontes’ Knitting Sticks

Today (April 21st)  is the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth.   To celebrate, here is the text of a piece I wrote for a magazine, in 2012.  This piece concentrates on the knitting sticks in the Bronte Parsonage Museum’s collection.   As well as sticks, there are extant Bronte textiles, including knitted items. Recently, […]

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antique textiles West Riding

My Pants Are Made Out Of Cotton

  Like many people who lost a parent in childhood, I don’t have much flotsam and jetsam from childhood. I did stumble on this school book, though.  I was 8 and as you can see, utterly lacked  literary promise. I also lacked artistic ability. But since when did we let minor details like that get […]

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foundlings Genealogy Halifax Huddersfield Leeds West Riding

The Faux Foundling

One for the genealogists today so you might want to look away now if you’re not into this stuff! This is a blog post I have tried to start, many times. And given up on. Due to its complexity. So here it is – finally –  the  lengthy (sorry) story of how we finally broke […]

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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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local history sherburn-in-elmet West Riding

Tazzle Man Returns

    Today I’m re-visiting the subject of a recent blog post. Killingbeck, Leeds gent George Walker (1781-1856), toured Yorkshire in 1813-14, recording the clothing of the ordinary man and woman for his book, ‘Costume of Yorkshire’. Plate XXIII showed a teasel field, and was sketched/painted in the village where I grew up.  Many of Walker’s […]

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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 […]