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Knitting History Tidbits
Compiled by Ava Coleman (check the Cast On Index for articles by Ava Coleman on Knitting History)

Did you Know:

1) The Shetland Hand Knitters Association (SHKA) was established in 1943 to maintain high quality and lobby to set realistic prices.

2) In 1922 The Prince of Wales started a fashion trend when he wore a Fair Isle sweater on the golf course at St. Andrews.

3) Revolutionary War knitter, Mrs. Elliot, knit the date "1776” into the socks she made for soldiers.

4) In 1842 Cornelia Mee published Manual of Knitting, Netting and Crochet.

5) A "cloud” is a knitted scarf dating from the 1870s.

6) Peterson’s Magazine of 1860 featured a pattern for a "knitting apron”.

7) "Frolic” and "Knitting Bee” were 19th Century terms for knitting parties.

8) In the seventeenth century laws were passed in the Channel Islands forbidding knitting during seaweed harvest .

9) Martha Washington organized groups to knit socks and bandages for Revolutionary War soldiers.

10) The American Red Cross and the Navy League Comforts Committee established the specifications for hand knitting articles for Soldiers and Sailors.

These "history bits" were contributed by Ava T. Coleman. You'll find articles on knitting history by Ava in various Cast On issues, such as:

Aug-Oct '08 - "Knitting Throughout History and the World - How It All Began" and "Have You Any Wool (Part One)" in May-July 2009 Cast On.

Knitting Historians

Knitting historians (L-R) Ava Coleman and Janet Johnson Stephens.

Bibliography on Knitting History or Books Including Knitting History

Compiled by Janet Johnson Stephens, a member of the TKGA Advisory Board.
Janet has written several articles and presented numerous programs on knitting history.

OOP = Out of Print Books. They can sometimes be found in used book stores or on or E-Bay.

Ginsberg, Madeleine, ed. The Illustrated History of Textiles, Chapter 8, "Knitting" by Irene Turnau. NY: Portland House, 1991.
[Excellent coffee table book.]

Harlow, Eve, ed. The Art of Knitting. London: Collins, 1983. OOP

Hartley, Marie and Ingleby, Joan. The Old Hand Knitters of the Dales. Lancashire, Dalesman Book. 1978. OOP.

Harvey, Michael. Patons, A Story of Handknitting. Ascot: Springwood Books. 1985.

Hinchcliffe, Frances. Knit One, Purl One: Historic and Contemporary Knitting from the V and A's Collection.
London: Precision Press, 1985. Victoria and Albert Museum, OOP.

Keele, Wendy. Poems of Color. (Bohus Knitting-Sweden) Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 1995.

Kiewe, Heinz Edgar. Sacred History of Knitting. Oxford: Art Needlework Industry, 1971, OOP.
[Not too accurate, but interesting.]

MacDonald, Anne L. No Idle Hands - A Social History of American Knitting. NY: Ballantine, 1988. OOP.

McGregor, Sheila. The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting and
The Complete Book of Traditional Scandinavian Knitting. NY: Dover, 2003.

Nicholson, Heather. The Loving Stitch. (New Zealand History of Knitting and Spinning.) Auckland University Press, 1998.

Pearson, Michael. Traditional Knitting. London: Collins, 1984.

Phillips, Mary Walker. Creative Knitting. Ny: Van Norstrand Reinhold, 1971. OOP.

Rutt, Richard. A History of Hand Knitting. Republished, Loveland, CO: Interweave Press, 2002.
[The best of the best!]

Scott, Shirley. Canada Knits. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1990. OOP.

Thomas, Mary. Mary Thomas's Knitting Book and
Mary Thomas's Book of Knitting Patterns. NY: Dover, 1972.

Editors of "Vogue Magazine". Vogue Knitting. NY: 2002

Whiting, Gertrude. Old Time Tools and Toys of Needlework. NY: Dover, 1971.

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