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
Sergei Rudenko published a book in 1953, titled Culture of the Altai People in Scythian Times. It includes photographs of the structural detail of two pieces of “woolen lace fabric”: They were taken from two tubular “braid covers” (shown fully below) with the one detailed on the left being an inner lining to the one on… Continue reading Looped tubes from Ancient Siberia
When I blogged about the Cuerdale Hoard yesterday, I had no expectation of seeing it right under my nose today. In the interim, I had visited the Gold Room at the Swedish History Museum, which is as close to an encyclopedic exhibition of Viking metal art as can be. There was a tubular silver chain… Continue reading Viking knitting close up