Making connections through knitting

Leave a comment after the blog to be entered to win a copy of the new issue of Knitting Traditions. Simply tell us about your favorite knitting tradition and you'll be entered in the contest. Good luck!

A note from Kathleen: Today I received my advance copy of the Fall 2014 edition of Knitting Traditions. This is one of my most loved publications. I so enjoy seeing "antique" patterns reinterpreted by modern knitters, and as a history buff, I adore reading about knitting history and making connections with knitters of the past.

Albumen photographic print on carte de visite showing a portrait of Sojourner Truth, sitting at the table knitting. Circa 1864. The cards were sold to raise money for the abolitionist movement. Gladstone Collection Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. (LC-USZC4-6165). Photography courtesy of the Library of Congress.

There's something so special about me knitting something in 2014, that was designed and knitted a century ago. I love being part of the chain of knitting through time.

In this issue of Knitting Traditions, my favorite article is about knitting in the Civil War. The photo at left is of Sojurner Truth knitting. I am so touched by this image; I read the article standing in my kitchen, immediately after opening the package containing the magazine.

Here's Knitting Traditions Editor Karen Brock to introduce you to the Fall issue.

Persian Slippers
Vlaardigan Hat

Exploring the Evolution of Knitting

I love the connections we make through knitting—across time, cultures, places, generations. For centuries, stitch patterns from one region of the world have landed in another far away, knitting techniques have passed from one continent to another, from one generation to another.

These knitting traditions have taught us and have enriched our lives; they also inspire and, often, require adaptations.

In PieceWork's ninth edition of Knitting Traditions, we explore the practical and creative evolution of knitting. Beginning with a visit to the Orkney Islands, we learn how gansey and lace stitch designs evolved there both through everyday life and because of its particular geography.

Then we sail to The Netherlands where, through the colorful lives of fisherfolk, ganseys and their stitch patterns developed into a rich Dutch tradition full of its own symbolism and history.

And there are other sorts of adaptions in this issue. You will discover how one knitter used a nineteenth-century embroidery pattern as inspiration for a stunning colorwork mitten design.

Another knitter translated a 1920s golf stocking pattern into a stylish, yet practical, liner for a pair of Wellington boots. And yet another knitter acquired an intriguing pair of slippers at a farmer's market that were knitted in Iran with handspun yarn. She reverse engineered a sweet pattern perfectly connecting cultural tradition with contemporary design.

Galina A. Khmeleva combined elements of Orenburg knitting with Scandinavian design to create the gorgeous shawl that graces our cover.

And of course, there are the human connections that run through all of these stories. Beverly Gordon writes in "Reaching Out: Knitting during the American Civil War" that knitting "served as a personal connection or link between those on the front and those at home."

We've also included a narrative about one woman's relationship to knitting and the steadying influence it had in her life—taught in part by her neighbor, Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Fritillary Mittens

In this issue, I hope that you'll discover your own knitting connections through the people and their land, the culture, the history, and best of all, the beautiful knitwear.

Get your issue of Knitting Traditions Fall 2014 today, and enjoy!

P.S. Leave a comment and share your connection to knitters of the past. We can't wait to hear your stories.


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