The staff at the Shetland Museum were very excited by the donation, and have confirmed that the piece is definitely 19th century, and the colors used suggest that it was most likely knitted on Fair Isle. The pattern is classic OXO Fair Isle, and the colors all come from natural dyes.
A nice profile of Mary McDermed, a knitter from Homewood, Illinois, who is leading an army of volunteers to make scarves, helmet liners, neckwarmers and other warm items to ship to US Military personnel in Afghanistan. She leads a group of 45 crafters, most of whom are senior citizens. She was inspired to start the effort after reading an article in a 2009 Homewood Veterans Committee newsletter sent to her husband, Ed, a World War II veteran.
I have to agree with Mary Mooney of the Oregonian, who alerted me to this story: although it’s not about hand-knit socks, it’s still pretty great: a defector from North Korea, currently living in Seoul, South Korea, is using helium balloons to send socks over the border to residents of North Korea. There’s a long history of such balloon airlifts to take information pamphlets over the border, but this is the first initiative to send clothing. Winters in North Korea are bitterly cold, and Lee hopes he can help keep his countrymen warm, and perhaps help them by providing a valuable product to sell or trade for other goods.
The New York Times’ Style section weighs in on the current crop of cable knits on the runway. Â The high-fashion interpretations of cable sweaters are fascinating. Â The history lesson is a bit dubious, but the eye-candy is great.