Knitting in History


I like history and I had bookmarked some interesting articles on knitting history. I thought I would share them in this post.

 This is a fascinating article about how during  war time, spies would use knitting as an espionage tool

During World War I, knitting for soldiers was seen as a patriotic duty

 A picture of a shawl that Queen Victoria gave to Harriet Tubman.

 The Suffrage in Stitches project celebrates women’s suffrage history through crochet.

 The Salish Tribe in the Pacific Northwest raised dogs for their fiber

A History of Hand Knitting

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I recently read the book, A History of Hand Knitting by Richard Rutt, the former, Bishop of Leicester. He also knitted since the age of seven. I love to knit and I am interested in history so I thought it would be interesting to read. I am also interested in textile history. If you are interested in knitting history it is worth reading but others may lose interest. The book was well researched, but very dry. The author clearly did extensive research. The book is organized in chronological order. The book covers the following time frames: before the 1500, the Restoration, the Victorian age, World War 1 up to the 1980s. The book also covers the history of kitting traditions in parts of the British isles, North and South America, Slavic countries, Greece, then India, Africa and Asia.

 One interesting fact from the book is that knitting stockings was a way for people from England to make extra money starting in Elizabethan times. You can tell the author extensively researched the book. He constantly mentioned books he read and people he talked to for the book. If you are interested in vintage pattern books, you will find several names of books and authors to read and collect. At several points in the book he point out assumptions from history and debunks them. However, I felt like he got too bogged down in detail. He would mention a piece of knitting then describe it in exhaustive detail. I did learn a lot from the book and I think it is worth reading if you care about textiles and history.