Monday, March 21, 2016

Memorandum Monday with knitting history

Waving to you all on this lovely spring Monday morning

Sian suggests we share something we learnt or did for the first time well I went to a talk by the curator of an archive of knitting and crochet patterns held by a local museum.  Learnt thing number 1 - that such a collection exists.  They have patterns spanning 1930s to 1980s all of which have been given to them and they have several researchers working on them.

I also learnt that the first recorded item knitted in UK was a pair of stockings knitted by a woman in London for Queen Elizabeth 1 - so 1560s to 1580s.  Prior to that all knitted items came from the French Guild of Knitters - all men.  The apprenticeship for this guild took 7 years and the final exam included knitting socks, a garment and a carpet - I can't imagine how long it would take to knit a carpet or what it would look like.  I also learnt that the earliest recorded instance of the womenfolk knitting warming items for their men at war was the Seven years War - 1755-1764.

Amazing to think that people have been twisting yarn around shaped sticks for centuries.

Have a great week everyone - hopefully it includes some yarn

[ps my spell checker doesn't recognise 'learnt' !!!  I just looked it up and learnt that 'learnt' is mostly a UK form and I suspect the spellchecker on blogger is based on a US dictionary]


debs14 said...

What an interesting nugget of history!

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

How very interesting that it originated in that way. I had no idea! It would probably take (an extremely patient person) about 7 years to teach me to knit a pair of socks! I had the same thing with "learnt" when I was writing my blog post today. Pah!

Sian said...

That's fascinating. Recently I saw a blog post asking for any knitters who had done a particular shawl pattern in the 60's to get in touch. Well I recognised the pattern as being the one my Mum had done for me in the 60's and again for my children in the 90's. But when I saw how many answers she had in the comments I thought she had enough and didn't write. But I loved learning from that how many knitters were out there with memories of patterns from the past.

Wishing you a good week Helena

Patio Postcards said...

Oh thanks for the update about knitting. I find it so interesting that it was a man's thing early on, I wonder why it became a woman's thing, no wait, I think I can answer. I also used the word learnt in my post today - In Canada we use, so another reason to be thankful for our British roots & connection :)

Pretty daffodils - very cheery little faces.

Lady Ella said...

Love your tete a tetes. I have been trying to photograph some lately but they look so much better with a shaft of sun ... all too hard to find just now!
What makes me laugh about the Blogger spellcheck is that it doesn't recognise the word "Blogger"!!

Missus Wookie said...

Learnt always looks odd to me - I always have to check I really can spell it that way.

I called Princess in to read about the knitting - as she likes winding yarn around shaped sticks.

Maggie said...

That sounds very interesting. A knitted carpet sounds interesting. I wonder if it was more of a blanket.

alexa said...

I've learnt several interesting things just popping in today :). I had no idea about the history of knitting - what a great idea to have a museum for it. Knitting a carpet? Golly. Perhaps more like what we would call a rug, I wonder. My iPad doesn't query 'learnt' but the computer does - as you say, the difference between British and American English.

Susanne said...

Men tending to the knitting, I rather like that idea. And I think it is a shame that in many cases the US has made English words less interesting.

Cheri said...

I shudder to think what a British spell checker would do to my writing! Very interesting facts about knitting. I never would have thought men would have taken to such a craft and surely can't imagine any of the men I currently know deigning to pick up the needles - or being the slightest bit able to handle them! Hmmm - maybe that is why the apprenticeship was so long!