PieceWork July/August 2012

Blue jeans, blue moon, Rhapsody in Blue, Colorado sky blue, "Blue Suede Shoes," Texas bluebonnets, cerulean, the Caribbean Sea, lapis lazuli. Blue can be striking or soothing. Royalty and religions have used the color for millennia as a symbol of power.

From ancient Egyptian socks to stitch-resist cloth in Mali, from "as true as Coventry blue" to Pueblo ceremonial leggings, the July/August issue of PieceWork is dedicated to the color blue. We examine its importance, how it has been used, and how some traditional methods of achieving the color are being preserved. It turns out that tie-dyeing cloth with indigo was introduced to the world long before the 1960s; Native American men knitted and wore ceremonial dark blue leggings; and Chinese embroiderers stitched symbols onto white cloth with blue cotton hand-dyed thread. Explore glorious blue in this issue of PieceWork!

Nancy Bush

Cynthia LeCount Samaké


Dark Blue Pueblo Leggings to Knit
Ava T. Coleman

Chinese Blue-and-White Motifs to Embroider
Marie Vescial Risbeck

to Knit
Ava T. Coleman


A Man's Scarf in Blue to Knit
Inna Voltchkova

My Year of Weldon's
Laurie Sundstrom



  • Notions: Letter from the editor
  • By Post: Letters to the editor
  • Book Marks: Books of interest
  • Calendar: Upcoming events
  • TAPESTRY: New and noteworthy
  • Abbreviations and Techniques, and Definitions

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Volume XX Number 4

Blue around the World by Dorothy Miller
The color blue has been associated with royalty or divinity in many cultures.

Indigo Dyeing in Mali, West Africa by Cynthia LeCount Samaké
A millennium of weaving and vegetal indigo dyeing continues today in Mali.

Woad: The Blue in Coventry Blue by Joanne Watson The blue vat dye woad has been used in Coventry, England, since the fourteenth century.

Pueblo Leggings by Ava T. Coleman Dark blue or black wool leggings were being knitted and worn by men throughout all of the pueblos in the American Southwest by the nineteenth century.

The Blue-and-White Embroidery of China by Sue Lenthe For centuries, the peasants of western (now central) and northern China embroidered their
white handwoven cotton cloth with blue cotton thread.

A Little Boy’s Clothing: Treasures from the Roebke Memorial Museum
by Ava T. Coleman
The childhood clothing, much of which is blue, of Richard Barton Francis (1920–1977) has been preserved for later generations to appreciate.

My Year of Weldon’s by Laurie Sundstrom

The Victorian Knitting Challenge
Included in Donna Druchunas’s “The Delights and Perplexities
of Victorian Knitting Books” in the January/February 2012
issue was PieceWork’s Victorian Knitting Challenge. Here are
the results.


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