Celebrate knitting in history with the new issue of PieceWork!

Anna Zilboorg's Fireworks Socks. Photograph by Joe Coca.
The square Kristine Byrnes knitted from First Lady Grace Coolidge's pattern for Great-Grandmother's Counterpane. Photograph by Joe Coca.
Ingrid Murnane's man's glove that she knitted in 2007 from a 1941 Bestway pattern. Photograph by Giles Babbidge.

A note from Kathleen: I love discovering how knitting has evolved over the years, and PieceWork never disappoints me!

In the January/February 2011 issue, designer Anna Zilboorg delved into a sock pattern (inspired by a wedding sock pattern from Turkey) that melds knitting and embroidery into a beautifully patterned sock with exciting colorwork details.

Anna's article about this sock is fascinating; she talks about how knitting traveled by artifact, with a traveler's knitted pieces intriguing the people that the traveler visited. Those people made their own knitted designs based on the pieces they'd seen, introducing their own ethnic patterns and styles. Such a rich history! I really enjoyed it.

Here's PieceWork editor Jeane Hutchins to tell you more about this amazing issue.

Happy New Year!

I'm so pleased to tell you about PieceWork's fifth annual historical knitting issue.

I absolutely remember how worried I was about whether the first special issue would work. It did, and now here we are on our fifth! I hope you agree that this one is another hit.

This issue is jam-packed with stories and projects spanning four centuries and many countries, such as Turkey, Sweden, Scotland, Russia, and more. There's lots of information about knitting's rich historical context, including some tidbits you never knew!

  • Did you know that First Lady Grace Coolidge was a knitter? It was her favorite pastime, but the story about the pattern for her "Great-Grandmother's Counterpane" is more than just a story about knitting.
  • The Victorians turned out knitted necessities by the tens of thousands, but did you know they also knitted items that can only be described as wacky? Franklin Habit features some of the more unusual ones in his laugh-out-loud article, "Practical Insanity: A Giddy Whirl through the Pages of Weldon's Practical Needlework."
  • Did you know the idea of social networking is not as new as you think? Learn how members of one English family created their own social network in the mid-1940s from a pattern leaflet for a knitted glove.

The stories and projects in this special issue honor not only our rich knitting heritage but also the work made by someone's hands. I feel exceedingly lucky and grateful that this centuries-old technique continues to enthrall us into the twenty-first century.

So don't miss a single one of these exciting features—subscribe to PieceWork today!



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