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:
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.
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.