Thursday, 11 October 2018

75 years ago - Knitting To Survive


I first learned about the WW2 secret death camp at Sobibor in Eastern Poland from the 1986 film “Escape From Sobibor”.
As trainloads of Jews and other people destined for elimination arrived at the camp’s train station, a few were picked out of the lines to work for the Nazi soldiers and the guards. One of the groups selected were teenage girl knitters. These knitters were among the few spared from immediate death.
Just 42 prisoners of the hundreds of workers at the camp survived from around 300 who escaped during the uprising on 14th October 1943, and among those forty-two were four of the dozen knitters. Thanks to the film “Escape from Sobibor” the world learned of the camp and its prisoners. We now know the story of these four knitters and what happened to them.
The four survivors, Esther Raab, Hela Weiss, Regina Zielinksi, and Zelda Metz had worked together in Staw-Sajczyce, a Nazi forced-labour camp. They were all sent to Sobibor in December 1942 when the camp was built and ready for its grim task. They lived in a hut apart from the other prisoners because the soldiers did not want their socks contaminated with lice.
Hella, was only eighteen when she arrived, and later recalled that day:
“We went through a deep forest, and then we saw a sign [that] says Sonderkommando [a squad of Jews ordered to build the camp who, when it was fin­ished, were shot]. As in a dream, I heard a voice of one of the Germans say: “Who can knit?’ and I stepped out of the line… . The German ordered me to come forward, and then they took me to a cabin, where I found two girls whom I knew before: Zelda and Esther. In my childhood, my mother taught me how to knit socks, so my job was to provide socks for the Germans and to iron the shirts of the S.S. men.
After her escape Hella fought with the partisans and in the Russian army. She received six decorations for fighting against the Germans including the Red Star. In Czechoslovakia she met a Jew in General Swoboda’s army, whom she married and they settled in Israel. Hella died in December 1988 in Gedera, Israel.
Esther Raab moved to the USA after the war, and one day with fellow-escaper Samuel Lerner, Estera recognised SS-man Erich Bauer (later sentenced to eight years in prison), from Sobibor, walking along a street in Berlin.
Zelda Metz, after escaping during the revolt, hid with peasants. She obtained false papers stating she was an Aryan and she worked as a nanny for a family in Lwov, finally settling in the United States of America in 1946.

After the war some of the survivors testified for the records and for the Sobibor war crimes trial of 1965.

Regina Zielinksi testified, recalling how they acquired the wool needed for the stockings. The girls had to unravel old knitted clothes removed from the gas chamber victims. Her testimony explained that they had to make the old wool new. “This way we started to knit. All the socks were for the soldiers. They had to be big and long and warm. We had to make at least one sock a day. So the knitting time wasn’t just from dawn to dusk. Sometimes it carried over as long as the lights were on, till about ten o’clock at night in the winter. Later on, it was a little longer.”
Regina married on December 24, 1945 in Wetzlar and settled in Australia on August 3, 1949. She told her story to her son Andrew, who published it in 2003 under the title ‘Conversations with Regina.‘
Regina said, “If you’re not a knitter like me, you may have never heard of World Wide Knit in Public Day (which actually spans one week every year). When people asked me what I did for WWKIP that year, I proudly said, “I went to the death camp at Sobi­bor, and I knitted my sock because I wanted to, not be­cause my life hung in the balance. I knitted for the sock knitters of Sobibor whose names we don’t know and for those who survived incredible odds. I knitted for life. In remembrance there can be hope.”

 A knitted stocking from a 1933 British publication

In the 1940s and 1950s men wore stockings not socks, and Regina says the soldiers wanted them long and warm. Stockings reached the knee, and only children wore short socks. Stockings took a lot of knitting and would take around 8 ounces (200 g) of woollen yarn, so required around twice the amount of knitting as a pair of modern ladies’ socks. I wonder how many knitters today could knit a stocking in a day.

These girls evaded the gas chambers because they knitted socks.

(Information taken from www.jewsforjesus.org)

There is an online knitting and crochet organisation called Ravelry.com which has 4 million members. There is a page mentioning the knitters: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lizkor-remembrance-socks

More details of the survivors can be found in https://www.holocausthistoricalsociety.org.uk/contents/sobibor/sobiborsurvivorsandescapees.html

Friday, 10 August 2018

The Skill of the 18th Century knitter of Great Britain - knitting stockings with over 40,000 stitches before you reach the heel!

I am fascinated by the knitting skills that had been built up in areas of Great Britain culminating in the peak of quality in the days of the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 to the early 19th century when knee breeches were the vogue amongst well-to-do men and this meant wearing very finely knitted stockings for the lower leg, and ladies could show a neatly stockinged ankle.

Kendal in rural Cumbria in northern England had been one of the principle areas for fine hand-knitting during that time and it had been the custom for whole families to knit stockings and gloves with great skill and receive a modest extra income to supplement that of the main breadwinner. In truth, there were few other ways of gaining extra income in sheep-farming areas, fewer jobs in agriculture being available. In the newly expanding and busier manufacturing towns, where the new inventions of steam power had created excitement and new industries, it seems the population did not take so well to knitting and its relatively poor earning potential.

I recently found in a Newcastle (England) newspaper, the following:

“My witness is, that few people here knit well. At Kendal, where industry is honoured, many of the best families knit for sale occasionally; and many an industrious mother, after keeping shop, or working other business all day, will sit down and knit a stocking at night, making all her children about her do the same, to the great conveniences of families, insomuch that a beggar belonging to the place, or a ragged or bare-footed child, cannot be seen amongst them. I do not hereby mean to invalidate the scheme of your correspondent Humanus, for the enlargement of prisoners for small debts, which is more absolutely necessary in this place (for reasons he has given) than in any other, at least till such a manufactory as above mentioned, to employ the whole of our poor, be set forward in town, which would leave them pretensions to beg, or to run in debt. And it must be allowed on all hands, that thus enabling the poor to live of themselves, would be a hundred times more advantageous to the community at large, than all the charities which all the wealth a nation could establish, to keep the lame and lazy in ease and indolence.

April 10, 1775 A Lover of Industry”


 Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland; where fishing would well have been one of the principle ways to earn a living, seemed to have an established pool of excellent stocking-knitters.

And this was published in the Aberdeen Press and Journal of Tuesday 27 June 1758:

“WANTED, AN apprentice for learning merchandize, particularly the stocking trade. Enquire at the publisher of this paper. That DAVID SHAW of this place gives out at his room in Cruikshank's close, in the Broadgate (Aberdeen), kinds of silk, to be knit into ribbed hose ; therefore, all good hands will be constantly employed, and meet with good encouragement, as high prices will be given. None need apply but such will either knit a pair of thread hose, by way of trial, or shew their performance, by bringing a thread stocking of their own working. The silk is prepared much in the same way with thread, only much softer, and easier for the fingers. N. B. At the above place is given out, all sorts of threads to knit ; where attendance will be given on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 to 1, and from 3 to 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and Fridays from 7 to 12 forenoon"

Introducing expensive silk for knitters to work with showed a willingness to invest in the skills of local knitters by the merchants. It also suggested that the Aberdeen merchants had tapped into the very top of the aristocracy trade! The very earliest of the published patterns for stockings showed that the definition of a stocking was that it reached over the knee (being kept up by garters) and was very finely knitted. The top of the stocking was safely hidden by the breeches.

If you thought you were a skilled knitter, just look at the instructions below aimed at teaching girls and boys of under 13 or 14 years (School leaving age was early at that time).

Here is the Recipe for stockings of the late-19th century from a book called:   KNITTING TEACHER’S ASSISTANT, DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF NATIONAL GIRLS' SCHOOLS.

For a Stocking of a Hundred and Forty-eight Stitches, Second Man's Size, with Needles and Wool rather finer.


Q. How many stitches do you cast on?

A. One hundred and forty-eight. Forty-nine on two needles, and fifty on the third.
Q. How many turns to the narrowings?
A. One hundred and forty-eight.
Q. How many narrowings?
A. Twenty-one.
Q. How do you narrow?
A. I slip one, knit one, and pass the slipped stitch over the knitted one before the seam, and knit two together after the seam, leaving one stitch on each side between the seam and the narrowing.
Q. How many rounds do you leave between the narrowings?
A. Five rounds between. 
Q. How many rounds to the heel?
A. Eighty.
Q. How many stitches for the heel?
A. Forty-five.
Q. How many for the instep?
A. Forty-six.
Q. How long is the heel?
A. Forty Rows. (Ed. in plain stocking stitch in those days)
Q. How many stitches do you take up for the foot?
A. Twenty-nine on each side.
Q. How many narrowingws for the foot?
A. Ten on each side.
Q. How long is the foot between the narrowings?
A. Sixty-eight rounds. 



 (Ed. No details for shaping the toes or the turning of the heel – you were supposed to know that already or look it up in the primer!)  

Narrowings are decreases. By my reckoning, you cast on 148 sts with very fine wool on probably 1.5mm needles, and there are 148 + (21 x 6) + 80 = 354 rows before the heel begins. And the leg requires 41,000 stitches and that is before beginning the heel and foot rows. Knitting a man's stocking was a massive task for a child.

The seam is a vertical line of alternate knit and purl stitches to imitate the stitched seam of the old cloth hose. It also helped in the counting of rows. Think of the very visible seam on modern ladies glamour stockings!

That is quite a feat of knitting, especially for girls in schools when you left school in your early teens.

Note there is no rib at the top, so the top would roll over! The elastic property of ribbing was recognised only in the later part of the century. Garters (ties made of ribbon or knitted strips in garter stitch) were used above the knee).

The author did not use a tech-editor!  The maths do not add up, but never mind, knitters can cope with that.

Double-Pointed Knitting Needles

Maybe you would like to emulate the old knitters and make very fine stockings – or maybe you make cotton lace or miniature knits. For those of you wanting to work with finer gauge knitting needles than are generally obtainable, I have sourced steel needles from Asia. These are based on hollow rods, therefore not so heavy as the older British and European needles. However, as I cannot find anything finer than 2mm in Western Europe available currently, I have purchased a few sets of these needles.

In the UK we generally knit with a set of four needles, the stitches arranged on three needles and knit with the fourth. In the US there seems to be a liking for casting on to four needles, therefore requiring a fifth to knit them off.  I am selling them in sets of four, aiming to source sets of 5 in the future, enabling you the purchaser to decide how many you need in a set!

Before deciding to stock these needles I bought a set for myself and have now used them for nearly a year for many projects. They are not so heavy, shiny and glossy as many sold in the Western world, but that means they do not keep sliding out of the stitches, especially at the very beginning and end of the rows. For beginners in round knitting they are more stable in your hands than the shiny needles. I have come to enjoy using these needles and hope you will too.

If you like knitting flat, just buy two needles. These needles work VERY well in knitting belts. I make and sell these organically-produced belts in a range of belt sizes (or to order) on my website.

To obtain these needles, (currently my stock is not big as I am testing the market!) please go to my Etsy BygoneYarnyShop. If your size is not in stock, please send me a note through Ask a Question button on the Etsy listing.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

A Ramble Around UK Knitting Needles


Over the last century or so knitting needles have evolved through several phases. Once the technology for pulling wire had been developed, knitting needles could be made of steel or other metals, instead of wooden and bone needles which previous generations had used.

The steel knitting pins prevalent in the 19th century were made of pulled wire. As a result, the standard sizes of British needles were the same as those used to measure the thickness of strands of wire. Steel wire came to be measured in thousandths of an inch by its diameter, and this developed into the measuring system for knitting needles used in the UK, but there were many different wire gauge standards in use within the UK, and individual manufacturers produced their own needle gauges. It is thought that some of the old UK needle numbers were maybe based on the numbers of the increasingly fine dies that the wire had to be drawn through, and thinner needles thus had a larger number. As a conversion guide, old UK size 14 is now equivalent to modern 2 mm needles (US 0).

Wire was coiled for delivery to shops and manufacturers, and many people made their own needles out of this wire, cut into lengths and sharpened at home. Sometimes this wire retained its curve, and stories of bent knitting needles are plentiful.

An old Cornish photograph of two young Polperro girls, Mary Jane Langmaid and Elizabeth Jolliff knitting knit-frocks (ganseys) shows their ‘soft’ metal needles to be very crooked, obviously bent and straightened many times and those blunted points must have made knitting quite difficult.


Photo to be seen on http://www.thatsmycornwall.com


There are stories of knitters being unable to buy manufactured knitting needles in times of isolation, hardship and war, and using ingenious sources to meet their need. Umbrella wire and bicycle spokes have been mentioned and no doubt local engineers and wood turners would have been pleased to produce needles too. Early knitting ‘recipes’ did not quote needle sizes either, so each project would have required careful sample knitting to arrive at a satisfactory finished item.

In the 1970s the UK began to go metric. Metric sizes were introduced into knitting needle manufacture. These did not give an exact conversion, meaning in theory old needles used for new knitting pattern leaflets would not always give the expected results, and vice versa. But generally the differences in old and new sizing is negated by the bigger difference in our personal knitting tensions and very few people will notice the difference! At the same time, the UK’s familiar one-ounce and two-ounce skeins of wool yarns were dropped and we had to get used to 25 g and 50 g balls (which meant small children were no longer required to hold the skeins out with weary arms while Mother wound wool into balls.)

In my personal collection, many inherited and many more gleaned from jumble sales and Ebay mixed lots, I have old needles made from Bakelite and ceisin (made from milk!), bone, steel, wood and various plastics. Early steel needles frequently went rusty and need polishing before use. I also recall coloured metal needles which stained the wool.

These older needles had blunter points than many available today, and tapered points replaced the old rounded tips during the 1960s to 1970s as knitters preferred the newer styles. I usually knit with a knitting belt and find the old rounded tip-sides actually work easier with the belt because the belt demands less movement at the needle tips meaning that the newer tapered points result in tighter stitches because the stitches are formed at the tips. Perhaps one of the reasons why the old blunt tips fell from favour is that very few people now use a knitting belt or a knitting stick.

Many modern knitters like to use circular needles. Such needles were first manufactured over a hundred years ago, but these had twisted stranded wire joined by soldering to the metal points and sometimes these snagged at the join, spoiling the knitting, and so they really never became popular. Once better manufacturing systems overcame this problem, circular needles have become very common. However I have a set of modern Chinese knitting needles and its circular needles are manufactured with old-fashioned stranded wires.

 From 1867
NEW WORK ON KNITTING, NINTH EDITION, FIRST SERIES, KNITTER'S COMPANION, PRICE ONE SHILLING. by MRS. MEE & MISS AUSTIN.


I have three instruction books of the late 19th century giving knitting instructions for infants’ clothing in thin merino yarn using old UK sizes 17 and 18 needles (approx. 1.5 mm). Those were the days when wealthy families employed nannies, nursery maids and governesses to run the nursery, and there was time for them to knit beautiful fine baby clothes to ‘show off’ the family’s leisure and wealth. Our local Museum has an infant’s bonnet knitted with hundreds of stitches per round, and the tiniest elaborate designs – it must have been knitted on needles around Size 24, where even the strongest knitting needles are bendy.Babies wore bootees, so these socks would have fitted a toddler. .

Regular knitting stores rarely sell knitting needles thinner than 2 mm. if you wish to knit a 19th century toddler's sock, a Sanquhar glove, miniature dolls house clothing, or fine lace, you need needles thinner than 2 mm. I have been able to source double-pointed needles in old UK sizes 15 (approx. 1.85 mm, US 00) and 16 (approx. 1.75 mm, US 000) and have made these available on my online store BygoneYarnyStuff on Etsy, along with the more common sizes. If they prove popular I hope to import more. Find those 1.5 mm and 1.25 mm needles here. I also have a few fine circular needles and dpns of 1.25 mm – on my website http://www.woollywoodlanders.co.uk/needles.php

Another knitting needle ‘find’ is very long 14 inch (31 cm) dpns which are almost essential for Guernsey (gansey) knitting with their 300 to 400 stitches. These also work nicely for shawls and other projects with many stitches. I have these available on Etsy on my BygoneYarnyStuff shop.


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

What were they knitting as they sang?

One hundred and fifty years ago, the professional hand-knitters of the Yorkshire Dales were reputed to gather in each other's homes in the  winter evenings to knit together, chatting and sharing news, but they also sang very simple songs, some of which were almost child-like, to give their knitting some rhythm and to keep up their prodigious speed and productivity, and amusement too no doubt. 'Bell-wether' is one such song. A bell-wether is a neutered male 'leader' sheep which wore a bell to enable the shepherd to locate his flock. Sheep dislike being solitary, they will follow their leader. The song goes thus:

"Bell-wether o' Barking, cries Baa, baa,
How many sheep have we lost to-day?
Nineteen we have lost, one have we fun,
Run Rockie, run Rockie, run, run, run.

"Bell-wether o' Barking, cries Baa, baa,
How many sheep have we lost to-day?
Eighteen we have lost, two have we fun,
Run Rockie, run Rockie, run, run, run."  etc

Note that 'fun' is 'found', Rocky is the sheep-dog and Barking is a hill or a village. There is a youtube video of three Yorkshire ladies talking to a local audience about The "Terrible" Knitters of Dent in Yorkshire, and they sing this song.

I read in 'The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales' by Marie Hartley and Jane Ingleby, first published in 1951, that each line of the verse is a needle-full of knitting, and each verse is a full round, then by the time you eventually arrive at 'None we have lost ..." you have completed twenty rounds. If this is so then we are looking at 8 beats a line, so 32 stitches a round. No mass-produced commercial knitted product would have so few stitches. And English knitters always used 4 needles in a set; 5-needle sets have only been available in the UK since we started buying on-line from international manufacturers and stores.

To knit on four needles, you distribute your stitches across three needles, meaning two of the song's lines would need to 'join up' to cover one needle.

It would also seem probable that if the knitters were all knitting the same number of stitches per needle, they were all working on the same contract for the same garment. Gathering together no doubt helped to relieve the tedium of knitting so many identical garments.

There is another rhyme reported in the Hartley & Ingleby book. This is attributed to Cumberland, now part of Cumbria:

Bulls at bay,
Kings at fey,
Over the hills and far away.

You may observe that this rhyme has a rhythm of four or 16 beats, depending on whether you count a line of the verse as a 'needle' or whether you feel the whole verse is a 'needle'. Again, the same figure of 16 pops up. Sixteen stitches on two needles and 32 on the third gives a circumference of 64 stitches and this is a real possiblity for a stocking-type garment, which were knitted in their countless thousands at that time. The songs could be sung two stitches to each beat; the knitters were very fast! Knee-length and full-length stockings were basic knitting, but these were usually knitted to a finer gauge than 64 stitches a round, and recipes of over 100 years ago suggest that finer needles were routinely used and around 80 to 140 stitches cast on. Such small stitches might not really lend themselves to a communal evening squashed together in a tiny front parlour in the firelight. Fine knit over-the-knee length stockings of the day also narrowed as they approached the heel, meaning that the number of stitches would vary depending on your progress. This would not fit the idea of the whole roomful of knitters singing and working to the same regular rhythm.

I went off to search for a likely garment of 32 or 64-stitch rounds in the 19th Century. The same 'Yorkshire' book mentions bump-knitting with very coarse locally produced wool spun and plied in the grease knitted into enormous stockings with thick needles.  The stockings, when completed, measured a yard (nearly a metre) long and the feet were 13 inches (33 cm) long. Hartley & Ingleby relate that children would wonder who or what could possibly wear such huge stockings, and would suggest it had to be elephants! Wondering where these enormous stockings ended up I discovered that these were scoured (washed and shrunk) in local mills, then dried on stocking-boards to give them extra thickness as well as a regular size and shape. These felted stockings would have been very sturdy and long lasting.Who wore these thousands of enormous stockings?

My husband's father, born in 1901, was a Newlyn master fisherman and in the days before modern waterproof clothing, he wore seaboot stockings under his oilskins (literally canvas coats brushed with water-repellant oil). These stockings were pulled over trousers and socks and enabled the wearer to pull his long leather or rubber seaboots on neatly while adding a layer of warmth. There is a photo on the back cover of Michael Pearson's superb book 'Traditional Knitting' of a fisherman wearing long seaboot stockings inside his thigh boots. (Incidentally, his basket contains hooks ready fastened to a 'long line', but safely stowed until required).


This book is a really good read. Mr Pearson gathered knitting stories, patterns and techniques from many fishing villages and towns.

This looked a real possibility for the 64 stitch garment. To knit this stocking you could utilise three needles with 16, 16 and 32 stitches on, and the 4th needle to knit in rounds.

My next task was to find instructions for knitting them. I went to that excellent historical knitting library held by the University of Southampton and found a little book published for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen in the late 1800s . It gives instructions for knitting seaboot stockings (as well as many other sea-men's clothes). The yarn is described as 'carpet yarn' elsewhere so you can imagine how thick it was. There are 65 stitches in this version, but remove the 'seam stitich' and you have the magic 64 stitches which is knit straight for several inches before 'narrowing' for the ankle.The purled seam stitch was introduced purely to enable amateur knitters to space decreasings (intakes) by counting the purl-bumps in the 'seam'. I have on my computer at least two other contemporaneous books containing almost identical instructions.



This lovely little book was in the collection of His Grace the Bishop of Leicester, the late Richard Rutt, and donated to Southampton University. Anyone with an interest in 19th century knitting manuals may like to browse his historical knitting book collection (available free online). No 9 needles are today's 3.75 mm needles.

When the UK moved over to metric knitting needle sizes sixty years ago, some of the old sizes which were based on fractions of an inch did not translate exactly, so we discovered that our new needles were not quite the same as the old. If you should try knitting from an old UK pattern, bear in mind that your tension square may not quite match.

I have made a swatch from this seaboot stocking pattern, and the dimensions and instructions are relevant today, and would suit anyone who works in water, or any really cold conditions, the slight change in modern needle sizes over so few stitches makes no real difference.

 The introduction in this book says that demand for these socks always outstripped supply, so no doubt there was a real market for the thousands of seaboot stockings, to be worn by countless thousands of fishermen and mariners. We know that local stocking knitters were kept supplied with bundles containing skeins of 'bump, and these seaboot stockings were what I believe our Yorkshire knitters were producing during their winter evening get-togethers.

If you would like to receive my newsletters by email once a month please email me through my website www.woollywoodlanders.co.uk - a link on nearly every page!

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Of Being Proficient in Knitting at the age of 7 some 250 years ago.





http://www.woollywoodlanders.co.uk/boots/bootsdetail.php 
I recently was thrilled to learn that three of my grandchildren wanted to learn how to knit at the ages of 8, 10 and 12. Within three months, they are all proficient knitters of garter stitch and have ceased to drop stitches or finish up with a greater number of stitches than when they started.

In the 18th century, children of the working class were in various parts of the country taught to knit for their future living at a very early age. The following newspaper article shows that children as young as under 8 years of age were expected to be able to complete the knitting of stockings good enough for sale.

The Caledonian Mercury of Wednesday 3 August 1763 published the following advertisement:
Edinburgh, 29th July, 1763. HIS Grace the Duke of Queensberry, and the Honourable the Commissioners and Trustees for fisheries, manufactures and improvements in Scotland, do hereby advertise the following PREMIUMS, for promoting the spinning of woollen-yarn, the knitting of woollen stockings, and weaving of woollen cloth, in the Presbytery of Penpont, which is the upper part of NITHSDALE, in the shire of Dumfries. The Board of Trustees defraying one half of the premiums in money and utensils, and the Duke of Queensberry, contributing the other half, with the ground, buildings, etcetera.
 
 For SPINNING WOOLLEN-YARN. To each of the two girls under ten years of aged who spin the greatest and best quantities of good woollen-yarn, before the 1st of February next, not less than five spyndles, seven shillings.To the family who spins the greatest and best quantity of good woollen-yarn before the first of February next, thirty shillings.
A number of wheels are also to be distributed among proper persons 


 For KNITTING WOOLLEN STOCKINGS.
To each of the two boys or girls under eight years of age who knit the greatest and best quantity of woollen stockings, and boot-hose, of the kind called Sanquhar stockings, before the first of February next, not less than five pairs, seven shillings.To the boy between eight and twelve years of age, who knits the greatest and best quantity of these stockings and hose, before the first of February next, not less than eight pairs, seven shillings. To the family which knits the greatest and best quantity of these stockings and hose, before the 1st of February next, thirty shillings. 

There were also up to five lesser prizes in each category, so he gave out a small fortune to the successful applicants.

The Duke of Queensbury was obviously a very generous philanthropist locally, as he also helped young tradesmen to own a home, as this paragraph shows:

To the Journeyman Weaver, married, or who marries within two years from this date and works, before the 1st day of August 1764, the greatest and best quantity of the woollen-cloth, proper for Thornhill market, a house lately built in Thornhill, consisting of a kitchen and shop , and a garden at the back of the house, to be possessed by him and his heirs, provided they continue the business of weaving, rent-free, for 19 years ...

There are still many knitters who sell their work, and there will be those who make their living knitting as machinery still cannot replicate the finest lace or Fair Isle; though perhaps not at such a young age.

Knitting has evolved since 1764, now being predominently a leisure occupation.


https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/556923835/socks-vintage-knitting-pattern-for-all?ga_search_query=socks&ref=shop_items_search_1

My designs have now expanded beyond little collectible clothes; please visit my new BygoneYarnyStuff shop in Etsy, where you will find republished patterns of yesteryear, not quite as old as 1764, but a few going back more than 100 years. I have collected several stocking and glove patterns for those who want to re-create original designs. More patterns appear regularly as I delve into the past!



Woollywoodlanders designs for the leisure knitter who wishes to create exciting little collectible items of clothing for Sylvanian Families or Calico Critters.