The second edition of Knitting Traditions is here!

Andean Figure Purses

A note from Kathleen: I took my shiny, new issue of Knitting Traditions to my knitting group on Wednesday, and I added my own love to as well!

There are a ton of glove and mitten patterns in this issue, all beautiful and with interesting stories behind them. There are other exciting features and patterns, too, including a wonderful article about Andean Figure Purses, used as coin purses in Peru and Bolivia. These are darling knitted dolls that remind me of my favorite Worry Dolls that I had as a young adult. I used those dolls nightly—teen angst!

Here's Knitting Traditions editor Jeane Hutchins to tell you more about this amazing new publication!

Imogene Scarf
Mary Allen's Gloves
Scalloped Lace Edging

Putting this 148-page special issue from PieceWork magazine together was an amazing journey for me. I traveled vicariously back in time, starting in the late Iron Age (circa 500-1 B.C.), and to places far and wide—from the Arabian Peninsula to Europe and the Americas. The entire trip just re-emphasized how amazingly rich the history of knitting is.

Here are a few highlights!

The majority of my wardrobe consists of sweaters. I'm the one running around the office in July wearing a sweater! They've been such a part of my life that I never really stopped to think about their history. It took much-needed dress reform (a very healthy move away from extremely tight-fitting fashions), women becoming active in sports, and more women beginning to work outside the home in the early decades of the twentieth century to make knitted sweaters a fashion essential.

By the 1920s, matching knitted scarves became part of the mix. Our Imogene Scarf is from a pattern for a sweater and scarf set in the November 1924 issue of Needlecraft magazine. I adore it and will be very happy to add it to one of my sweaters!

If someone told you that Daniel Defoe mentioned knitting in a book published in 1724, you'd probably say what I said, "Get out!"

Although most well known for Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Defoe was a prolific writer, and in the first of his three volume A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain, published between 1724 and 1726, he wrote about knitters in England's Yorkshire Dales: "…here you see all the people, great and small, a knitting…."

So there you have it—famous eighteenth-century author Daniel Defoe discussing knitting!

As early as the seventeenth century in the Dales region of England, everyone—women, men, and children—were involved in spinning, knitting, and weaving. Happily, some of their knitting has survived, including Mary Allen's gloves worked in stranded knitting.

And then there's C. E. Hobert. While serving a life sentence for murder, beginning in 1895 at the Yuma (Arizona) Territorial Prison, C. E. knitted lace. Honest! And it's really beautifully done. The prison is now a state historic park and five of his knitted lace pieces are in their collection.

In all, you'll find instructions for forty-five projects, including Mary Allen's gloves, the Imogene Scarf, and the edging C. E. Hobert used in his knitted lace in Knitting Traditions. You'll also find a host of knitting history facts and lore like the ones above.

I do hope you'll take your own Knitting Traditions journey and join me in this celebration of knitting and the knitters who came before us. Get your copy of Knitting Traditions now, before they're all gone!


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