Historians and fans of ephemera (and the work of Franklin Habit) will enjoy this amazing new reprint of Volumes 1-6 of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, from Interweave.

Weldon’s Practical Needlework was a popular Victorian magazine of knit, crochet, patchwork, and other “useful articles” involving needlework. Published in England roughly between 1885 and 1915, it offered women of the burgeoning middle class a variety of technical instructions and projects.

Some of the projects are indeed entirely practical; others, like the pattern for “reins” for small children, less so. The books provide a fascinating insight into the minds and lives of knitters from previous time. As a teacher and editor, I find the style and standards of pattern writing utterly and wonderfully mind-boggling.


A feature on the Guardian about innovations in sustainable textiles. Coffee I can get behind; not sure about the snail poo, though.


Stevie Nicks wants a new shawl. She’s launched a contest.


yarnbombedcannon

Make blankets, not war.

Discovery Harbour, a historical site on Georgian Bay, in Ontario, Canada, recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, they asked for knitters and crocheters to contribute to a yarn-bombing. Peggy W. contributed a few squares, and took a few photos on her recent visit.


The Doctor is back on Saturday. Do you have your shawl ready?

Did you see the image being used to promote this first episode of the new series? Fingerless mitts on the Doctor! Joan of Dark has very kindly published a pattern for them…


Love it!

Friends of Knitty KnitSocial blogged about their project to yarnbomb Vancouver’s annual Pacific National Exhibition siten. Love the photos!

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10 Responses to WWW: Needlework Practical and otherwise; coffee yarn; Stevie Nicks wants a new shawl

  1. Emma says:

    I’ve never seen a pattern for making baby reins, but they are absolutley a product that you can buy and people in England use! Maybe it’s just us… http://www.mothercare.com/harnesses/pushchair_harnesses,default,sc.html

  2. Anonymous, too says:

    As the eldest brother of a set of twins, I can vouch that baby/toddler reins are well worth the time or money. There was that time my youngest siblings escaped their stroller in a department store and headed in different directions! He ran into ladies’ loungerie, she into men’s accessories. I had to make a diving tackle under a rack of bras on hangers to catch him, then go help my dad and other sister pry the baby sister out of a display rack of men’s belts — while those belts kept falling off the rack and hitting my dad on his head! Yeah, reins would have been a good idea with those two. . .if straightjackets and shackles weren’t legal!

  3. Another user of reins; I’m in New Zealand and used them a lot for my youngest who was a runner (still can be at times, he’s 10 now). Admittedly I made mine from nylon strapping but knitted cotton or linen would probably have worked well too.

  4. Peggy says:

    I spin. I knit. I’d use the Sheep/Fleece book to spin the right fiber to knit what I want.

  5. Kate says:

    Oh! I have learned something – thank you. I don’t have kids – just a dog. And I thoroughly appreciated the use of a leash for a dog, I had honestly never thought it about it in the context of (human) children ;-). I can see how it could make good sense.

    Kate

  6. Laura says:

    I definitely wish I had reins for my guys sometimes! Like the day the 2 year old ran into a men’s washroom at the park… awkward!

    It makes me feel so much better to know parents in 1885 needed reins too. We’re not so different after all.

  7. Zeeknits says:

    40 years ago there were harnesses and leashes for toddlers in Toronto. Don’t ask. Couple of years ago my young grandson (a runner) had a disguised set – a monkey backpack with a long tail. Used it at Monterey Aquarium when he was 2. Socially acceptable and perfect solution.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I spent my early years in England; while I was pregnant, my Mum bought me reins from Mothercare. the reins gave my daughter the freedom to walk around in situations where I’d otherwise have kept her in her stroller or sling – the CNE, trips on public transit, any crowded public place. She loved them and often asked to wear them – they made us both feel confident and safe!

  9. Nancy Gossett says:

    Back when I was nursing my first child, I knit a lacy, balck poncho on big needles, and would pop it over my head and nurse anywhere, without people seemingly aware what I was doing. Numerous times, I would be approached and complimented or asked about my “Stevie Nicks” poncho. After 10 minutes or so, the baby would make some kind of noise or movement that announced her presence, and startle the heck out of the unsuspecting stranger.

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