WWW: Long Voyages, Celebrity Knitters, 13th Century Mitten

Image taken from the article, with full credit.

Image taken from the article, with full credit.

Amazing: a study of a 13th-century fabric fragment, believed to be part of a knit mitten – colourwork, no less!

It is rare for fabrics of this age to survive, and so this is particularly notable.


As seen in a 1938 issue of Photoplay magazine, Joan Crawford hosted regular knitting parties! (Staged knitting photoshoots remain the same, 80 years later…)


We knew that actor Krysten Ritter (of Jessica Jones fame) is a knitter, but we didn’t know she was a designer as well! She’s launched a kit for a gorgeous chunky cowl.


Williams Gansey Project leaders Astrid Adams and Janice Snowball pictured with Clive Grey, skipper of the Blyth Tall Ships project.

Williams Gansey Project leaders Astrid Adams and Janice Snowball pictured with Clive Grey, skipper of the Blyth Tall Ships project.

Historians are planning a rather remarkable sea voyage for 2019, and are seeking knitters to help. The voyage, from Blyth in north-eastern England to Antarctica (!), is to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the voyage of local resident William Smith who discovered the continent, but was never credited. The team undertaking the trip seek to do it in conditions as close as possible to the original: they’re travelling in a tall ship, and are planning to wear traditional gansey sweaters, which is why they need knitters. Funds have been secured, and the team is looking to have between 70 and 90 sweaters made.


Speaking of long voyages (not really!) our own Kate is spending three weeks in the UK as of today, teaching classes in a number of spots. I’ll be at The Sheep Shop in Cambridge, Purlescence in Berkshire, at Knit With Attitude in Stoke Newington, and at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Perhaps I’ll see you at one of those events?

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One thought on “WWW: Long Voyages, Celebrity Knitters, 13th Century Mitten

  1. florapie

    I got all excited about the Ganseys after you said they had funding, but the article makes it clear the knitters will be volunteers, and try to make it sound like this is a privilege:
    “Volunteer knitters will be sent a kit that will include special gansey yarn, needles, a pattern and a row counter. There is no cost to the volunteer, except their time; the ganseys take around 150 to 200 hours to complete. Each gansey will have a label with the name of the maker and crew members will be encouraged to write to the maker of their gansey at least twice during their voyage. The expedition begins in January 2019 so there is plenty of time to get knitting!”

    That’s a massive expectation of a volunteer. I wish this trip a success, but I also wish they’d pay the knitters.

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