May 22, 1843 About 1,000 people, 1,000 head of cattle, oxen, horses, and wagons left Independence, Missouri, for Oregon. The trek, about 2,000 miles (3,219 km), took five months. Here’s the needlework connection to this date: The Oregon Trail, pioneers, and wagon trains—these words conjure up romantic images. The reality, however, was far from romantic—it […]

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April 18, 1916: France bestows its highest honor—Chevalier of the Legion of Honour—on Edith Wharton for her remarkable war-relief efforts in Paris during World War I (1914–1918). Here’s the needlework connection to this date: Edith Wharton (1862–1937), one of America’s greatest author’s, was also a humanitarian and a knitter. References to knitting are sprinkled throughout […]

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December 16, 1775: Beloved author Jane Austen is born. Jane Austen and her work, both literary and needle, continue to fascinate. She has a substantial fan base here at Interweave: Interweave published six special issues, Jane Austen Knits, and several articles about her grace the pages of previous issues of PieceWork. They include “Whodunit? Ask […]

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This Week in History: Knit a Monmouth Cap

On October 25, 1415: England’s Henry V (1387–1422) defeats the French at the Battle of Agincourt, an epic battle during the Hundred Years’ War between the two countries. Frequent PieceWork contributor Christopher John Brooke Phillips explores the history of the knitted Monmouth cap in his article, “The Monmouth Cap,” in PieceWork’s special issue Knitting Traditions […]

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The Smithsonian Institution is Created

August 10, 1846 The Smithsonian Institution is Created One of the world’s greatest repositories of treasures was given to the United States by a little-known English scientist James Lewis Macie. Born circa 1765, he was the illegitimate son of Hugh Smithson, who later would become England’s first Duke of Northumberland. Macie’s mother was Elizabeth Keate […]

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July 18, 1867: Margaret (“Maggie”) Brown, known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” is born Here’s the needlework connection: Among the images selected to illustrate Kax Wilson’s engrossing article, “Irish Crochet: When Famine Ravaged in Ireland,” in the March/April 1993 issue of PieceWork is a photograph of “Molly Brown.” The caption reads: “Molly Brown, the ‘unsinkable’ […]

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Modern Victorian Knitting

Is the term “modern Victorian knitting” an oxymoron? It may seem so to our twenty-first-century ears and eyes, but modern Victorian knitting isn’t an oxymoron. Lots of knitters are using Victorian patterns as jumping-off points for some spectacular designs. A case in point is Katrina King’s knitted scarf in the March/April 2017 issue of PieceWork. […]

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Daniel Defoe

April 24, 1731: English journalist and acclaimed author Daniel Defoe dies Here’s the needlework connection to this date: Both a prolific and acclaimed author, Daniel Defoe’s literary career began with writing about politics. Unfortunately, this led to his political foes managing to have him sent to prison on various occasions. He changed course, and published […]

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Needlework for Weddings

I wrote the following in my editorial for the May/June 2004 issue of PieceWork, “Weddings, in one form or another, are part of every culture, have existed for eons, include all manner of traditions, have caused wars, have been of religious, military, and/or economic significance, and reflect the hopes and dreams of millions of people […]

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American Revolution

April 19, 1775: The first shots were fired in the American Revolution Here’s the needlework connection to this date: “On Thursday afternoon, April 20, 1775, after a messenger rode into the small town of Enfield, Connecticut, tavern keeper Isaac Kibbe (1731–1779) immediately procured a drum for Thomas Abbe (1731–1811). Abbe’s long drum roll interrupted the […]

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