History · Knitting · Nalbinding · Terminology

The 3000-year-old stitch eyes of Emilie Bach

Emilie Bach (b. 1840), a founding director of the Royal School for Artistic Embroidery (k. k. Fachschule für Kunststickerei) in Vienna, was one of the initial participants in the discussion of the techniques used for the early production of non-woven socks in Egypt. She was the first to identify a cross-knit fabric structure in such… Continue reading The 3000-year-old stitch eyes of Emilie Bach

Crochet · History · Techniques · Tools · Tunisian crochet

The shepherd’s hook in mid-19th-century fancywork

I’ve used quite a bit of blogspace discussing slip stitch crochet and the flat hook used for it in widespread regional traditions. The stitch is termed “shepherd’s knitting” when first attested in the English language in 1812. The “little hook” described with it, is a “shepherd’s hook” in subsequent 19th-century sources. The initial English description… Continue reading The shepherd’s hook in mid-19th-century fancywork

History · Terminology · Tunisian crochet

Spreading the word about the Tunisian crochet stitch

The 9 January 1858 issue of the German bi-weekly publication Der Bazar; Berliner Illustrirte Damen-Zeitung (The Bazaar; Berlin Illustrated Woman’s Magazine) presents instructions for an elaborate “crocheted cape” (gehäkeltes Tuch). The text goes into detail about the unnamed “type of crochet, which in any case will not be familiar to all of our readers.” It describes what is… Continue reading Spreading the word about the Tunisian crochet stitch

Early instructions · History · Tunisian crochet

Tunisian crochet in Sweden in the 1860s

In January 1864, a Swedish monthly publication for fashion and fancywork commenced publication with the title Iduna, a Norse goddess associated with femininity and knowledge. Iduna, Journal for the Tasks and Concerns of Women, with Supplementary Patterns for Counted and Free Embroidery, Crochet, and Knitting, plus Fashion Plates. It was the latest in a series of… Continue reading Tunisian crochet in Sweden in the 1860s

Crochet · History · Structures · Tunisian crochet

Scottish and shepherd’s knitting revisited

Several accounts of the history of crochet in early Victorian fancywork texts mention a transition to it from shepherd’s knitting that began in the second half of the 1830s. One such statement is found in the 1844 edition of My Crochet Sampler by Frances Lambert. Crochet — a species of knitting originally practised by the peasants in… Continue reading Scottish and shepherd’s knitting revisited

Crochet · History · Tools

From shepherd’s knitting to shepherd crochet

Sweden is a good place to be located for someone researching the historical and contemporary use of flat hooks for slip stitch crochet. It’s only a thirty minute walk from the desk where this blog is maintained to a folkcraft store in central Stockholm that regularly stocks such hooks, so it was easy for me to… Continue reading From shepherd’s knitting to shepherd crochet

Crochet · Examples · History · Structures

Shepherd’s knitting in 1780

A few months ago, I began a series of posts discussing two pieces of child’s footware which might conceivably be the oldest exemplars of what is now generally termed slip stitch crochet that have yet come to light. If their provenance is correctly attributed, they represent two regional traditions, one Northern European and the other… Continue reading Shepherd’s knitting in 1780