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Around the World in Knitting History

Sep 21, 2011
    
Traditional Kihnu glove and mitten from Nancy Bush's collection


Gobi Desert Socks by Donna Druchunas


An Orenburg shawl by Galina A. Khmeleva

A note from Kathleen: A new edition of Knitting Traditions is here! This has become a favorite publication of mine, because I love seeing what historical knitting tidbits the editors have come up with. There's always so much to learn and so much to knit! This issue focused on knitting traditions from around the world.

Here's editor Jeane Hutchins to introduce you to this fabulous collection!

Knitting Wanderlust

Do you crave travel? Reading PieceWork's third edition of Knitting Traditions may temper your urge to be off and away—or possibly make it even stronger.

The journey begins in the United Kingdom and travels through continental Europe, Asia, Oceania, South America, and North America for a global view

of knitting's glorious past and present. Along the way, you'll meet the "terrible [formidable] knitters e' [of] Dent," women and men who produced prodigious quantities of intricate knitting in mid-nineteenth-century England; the knitters of Estonia's Kihnu Island, where knitting incorporating traditional motifs is still the main handcraft; Lydia Gladstone from Bukovina, Ukraine, who knitted beautiful stockings while in the care of Catholic nuns in Germany during World War II; Andean male knitters noted for their superior workmanship and complex designs; and many more. Their stories are rich; their work, exquisite and inspiring.

   
Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Toasty" twined-knitted gloves from Sweden
You'll find information on the history and application of several techniques. Two examples: the development of the common heel from its origin in sixteenth-century European knitted stockings along with the step-by-step instructions to make your own stockings and "Toasty" gloves that take you through the basics of Sweden's twined knitting.

And then there are the Mongolian Gobi Desert Socks. The traditional socks are made with plied heels and toes because traditional camel- or yak-hide boots often don't have a right and left, "making that extra bit of padding most welcome." Believing that most readers will not need the extra padding inside their non-Mongolian footwear, we opted to use a uniform camel yarn in two colors in our version.

We've also included a gift section. Highlights are an Orenburg warm shawl, "the ultimate expression of love and respect for a Russian woman"; a delightful flock of Estonian sheep; and miniature mittens for holiday decorations or package ties.

Although several of the articles and projects originally appeared in PieceWork magazine, most were written expressly for this issue by some of today's preeminent knitting historians and designers. Each of them is a champion of knitting's vibrant traditions.

I hope that this edition of Knitting Traditions feeds your wanderlust and provides you with all the tools you'll need for your own knitting journey. Order your issue of Knitting Traditions today!

Bon voyage!


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Knitting Traditions Fall 2011

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Magazine Single Issue

The third edition of PieceWork's special issue Knitting Traditions looks at the history of knitting from all over the world with over 35 patterns.

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on Apr 3, 2012 8:12 AM

I have been trying to knit the Estonian sheep.  I am terribly frustrated with this pattern.  I have researched errata and found some, but for a different section of the pattern.  Is anyone else having problems with this pattern?  I am not a new knitter.  I have been knitting for 50 years and write my own sock patterns, so I don't think this is due to unfamiliarity with techniques.  I don't know what to think.

Help, please!!!!!