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Dales dales knitting Feminism

“Playing With A Piece Of String” – The Story of a Dentdale Knitter in ‘The Retreat’ Asylum, York

First published in ‘Knit Edge’, No 3, May, 2013. Putting a name and finding the life story to one of one Dent knitter. Margaret Thwaite: A Knitter of Dent in the York Retreat Asylum “…remains without material change. July 28 .. She still knits away with a piece of string and pieces of wool and […]

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antique textiles handspinning History Knitting

Comb’d wool spoil’d by the Patients

The records of The Retreat asylum, in York, present some fascinating data for textile and costume historians. Possibly the most valuable of all the tens of thousands of pages of records, are the Patients’ Disbursement Books. These recorded patients’ spending money and also monies patients earned from work, themselves. In the late eighteenth and earlier […]

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antique textiles

Hanging On By A Thread

   This month’s ‘Family Tree Magazine’ (UK)  has a piece I did about crafts in eighteenth and nineteenth century asylums. Whilst researching, I stumbled on these amazing  Native American autographs, in The Retreat’s ‘Visiter’s Book’, made by visiting Seneca nation dignitaries, in 1818. Couldn’t shoehorn them into the piece,  so here’s one for all of […]