The shepherds in Landes, the northernmost part of the French Basque Country, were a subject of popular attention during the 19th century for two traits. One was their use of stilts to deal with the marshy heathlands on which their flocks grazed, and the other was their practice of knitting while watching over them. A chapter on… Continue reading A stilted perspective on hooked knitting
The text by Fritz Iklé discussed in the preceding post summarizes an article “about Bosnian-Herzegovinian knitting” by Luise Schinnerer published in the 1897 volume of the Zeitschrift für österreichische Volkskunst (“Journal of Austrian Folk Art”). He doesn’t indicate its title and focuses on her observations about knitting with hook-tipped needles being a practice of the Islamic community… Continue reading Hooked knitting and crochet in Bosnia
Several previous posts refer to generally held beliefs about the earliest knitters in Egypt using needles with hooked tips to make twisted-stitch stockinette fabric. More recent scientific examination of archaeologically-recovered knitted fabric has radiocarbon dated the oldest known specimen of true knitting to the interval 425–594 CE. Counter to what the established tenet leads us to expect, this… Continue reading Who said knitting started with twisted stitches and hooked needles?
The preceding post discussed hook-tipped knitting needles and the reasons why they are thought to be older than smooth-tipped ones. The schools of knitting in which they are used are further characterized by a method of holding the yarn that is generically termed “yarn around neck.” This is believed to resemble the form of knitting initially… Continue reading Hook-tipped knitting needles and their traveling companions
Texts about knitting often present needles with hooked tips as limited regional preferences to the commonplace smooth-tipped needles. The hooked form is considered to be the older of the two and initially used in Egypt where the craft is also believed to have originated. Such needles have been documented in Eastern Europe, Portugal, and Southern France —… Continue reading Early knitting with hook-tipped needles
Hooks and needles have been around immeasurably longer than any evidence of either being used in the production of looped fabric, and looping without tools all but certainly predates the use of any such implements for that craft. In fact, there’s no way even to determine if our species was the first to figure out… Continue reading Crochet isn’t for the birds
Knitted silver wire of the type found in the 9th- through 11th-century Viking hoards in England and Scotland (discussed in a preceding post) and at other Viking sites, has also been found in 9th-century CE Irish hoards of altar vessels. Two such objects are of particular interest. The Derrynaflan Paten is decorated around its circumference with… Continue reading Early Irish knitting