2013: A Year in Review

From historical knitting and lace to pictorial needlework and an entire issue devoted to bags, the 2013 issues of PieceWork were filled with new discoveries and beautiful projects to knit, crochet, embroider, and more. Here are a few of my favorite highlights from 2013.

Colorful Armenian Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Photo by Joe Coca.
Round tablecloth tatted by Lily Mae Burley Patrick (“Grandma Pat”). More than 6½ feet (2 m) wide, containing 1,998 medallions.
Collection of Candace Fulsher.

Gracing the cover of January/February 2013, our 7th annual Historical Knitting issue, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’s Colorful Armenian Socks are an amazing adaptation of a sock belonging to Martin Fellows Hatch. Dated circa 1840–1860, the sock was stored with the wedding attire of Martin’s grandmother, Osanna Tabibian, who arrived in the United States from Turkey in 1897. Bands of flowers and geometric motifs decorate the entire leg of the sock and bird motifs repeat across the foot. This pattern isn’t for the faint of heart!

In May/June 2013, our 6th annual Lace issue,  you’ll read the amazing story about master tatter Lily Mae Burley Patrick, who lost her vision yet continued to create beautiful heirlooms, including tablecloths for each of her granddaughters on her wedding day. One of her greatest needlework achievements was a 6½-foot-wide tatted tablecloth, which contains 1,998 medallions. 

The July/August issue is all about embellishment. One of my favorite features is Erica Patberg’s exploration of Death Head buttons, a beautifully made button with an ominous name and rich history. Created by wrapping fine silk threads around a wooden disk with a single center hole, these buttons reached the height of their popularity in the mid-eighteenth century. Instructions on how to make your own Death Head buttons are provided. 

Mary Lycan’s re-creation of the beautifully engineered mittens originally knitted for Clara Barrows about 1875. Photo by Joe Coca.

November/December 2013 focuses on hidden and little-known collections from around the world. Knit Clara Barrows’s Mittens, an exact replica of an intriguing nineteenth-century pair found by Mary Lycan in a Connecticut historical society collection. An identical pair belonging to a different child was later found at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Where did the pattern come from? Were these mittens made by the same knitter? Find out what Mary discovered in “The Roosters in the Gore: A Connecticut Mitten Mystery in Two Museums.”

And the September/October 2013 issue is our celebration of time-honored treasure bags—our way of celebrating PieceWork’s 20th Anniversary! In-depth articles on a variety of bags—from 18th-century alms purses to a contemporary tote bag based on the button-blanket traditions of the peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast—set the stage for the 8 purse/bag projects.

Now you can enjoy all six issues of PieceWork 2013 in one convenient digital collection, available on CD or as an instant download. Get yours today and delve into the colorful and fascinating world of historical needlework!