I am a knitter. I knit mercilessly, using up yards and yards of yarn to make hats, scarves, and socks. I take knitting when I go reenacting, I take knitting to the library, knitting to watch TV, so as you can see, my knitting goes everywhere. As I look through photos and fashion plates, I see relatively few images of people wearing knitted items.
But it’s obvious people used yarn in the 19th century, right?
Yarn-Arts (as I call them) is knitting and crochet. Both of these Yarn-Arts have a long and illustrious histories that I can take hours to retell. Let’s cut to the chase- where are the patterns and pictures of knitting in the 19th century?
While I began my research for this particular post, I used my BFF’s book: Civil War Ladies: Fashions and Needle-Arts of the Early 1860s. In this book, I found a lot of patterns:
- “A Norwegian Morning or Bonnet Cap, In Shetland Wool.” Page 19
- “Thibet Knitting.” Page 19-20
- “A Creped Neck-Tie.” Page 20
- “Baby’s Knitted Shoe and Sock.” Page 21
- “Purse in Crochet” Page 25
- “Pincushion in Crochet” Page 30
- “Crochet Antimacassar.” Page 36-37
- “Infant’s Hood in Crochet” Page 48
- “Baby’s Mitten in Crochet” Page 62
- “Crochet Slipper” Page 64
- & the list goes on
I did a Google-Fu move and found a few sites that have patterns:
- Scroll to the bottom of this page for knitting patterns
- Overgloves from 1857
- Wool Collar from 1857
- Child’s Muff from 1860
- Knitted Winter Shawl, 1864
- Shell Counterpane, 1860
- 3 Lace Edgings, Knitting, 1846
- Baby’s Hood, 1844
- 1840 Nightcap
It’s obvious knitting and crochet were popular and practical skills to have in the 19th century. There’s a plethora of patterns in books and on the web to knit/crochet to make. Taking knitting/crochet to reenactments is a good way to show others knitting/crochet and teach a little bit of history as well.
Do you knit/crochet? Do you take your knitting/crocheting to reenactments to share with others?