WWW: On Celtic and Saxon Feet; very big flag; knitting with dog hair and the War Effort

Sock-fit-nerd alert: On Celtic and Saxon feet. Absolutely fascinating (well, to me, anyway!) article about different foot shapes, as observed by an English podiatrist active during World War II, who treated both English and German soldiers. Do you have have Celtic or Saxon toes?


A labor of love and patriotism: an Estonian man is knitting the world’s largest Estonian flag to celebrate the country’s centenary, in 2018. The knitter, Valtrik Pihl, estimates that it will take 3,000 hours and 139 kilometres (86 miles) of yarn to complete the project.


I’ve written about “extreme knitter” Jacqueline Fink before, but I hadn’t seen this time-elapse video of her working at her needles before. Turns out that even extreme knitting can be done while tucked up all comfy on the couch, watching TV.


Image from Royal Voluntary Service. Combing dog hair to be spun into yarn.

Important story: women’s history is far too often lost, because their efforts were not recorded, or considered “significant”. An organization in the UK – the Royal Voluntary Service – is embarking on a project to digitize and preserve the records of their critical work during World War II. Known then as the Women’s Voluntary Service, members were engaged in efforts to aid the people of the UK as they went about their daily lives during difficult times. Although there is a knitting connection, and a rather amusing one at that – combing dog hair for spinning and using for garments, when sheep’s wool was hard to come by – it’s part of a larger history, too. Members ran emergency rest centres, feeding, first aid, and assisting with the evacuation and billeting of children.


Love this: international students arriving at Lincoln University in New Zealand are being presented with a welcome package, which includes a pair of handknit socks, to prepare them for cold and damp New Zealand winters.


“How to wear a woollen work of art”: on knitwear as fashion, profiling Irish knitwear designers.


Next Thursday, May 19th, our Kate (that’s me!) is doing the first of a two-part webseminar series on her favorite topic: Math for Knitters. This first one is all about project and pattern math: yarn substitutions, checking gauges, and tricky instructions in patterns like “increase evenly across” and “reversing shapings”.

The second part is about garment alterations and adjustments – including what to do if you can’t match gauge – and runs June 9th at 1pm.

Both webseminars are recorded, and if you can’t attend live, you can watch/listen to the recorded version, at your leisure. For more info and to register visit this webpage. It’s $19.99 to attend live or on-demand, and if you enter the discount code MATH4KNITTERS you’ll get a discount on the registration!

You don’t have to be good at or love math to attend – precisely the opposite, in fact. The approach of this session is to teach you where numbers can help, and some basic calculations, but just as much to tell you how to avoid doing it if you don’t want to. Not everyone loves spending time doing arithmetic, and even if you do love math, chances are you’d still probably prefer to be knitting than calculating…

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3 thoughts on “WWW: On Celtic and Saxon Feet; very big flag; knitting with dog hair and the War Effort

  1. Joanne Scollard

    Signed up for the webinar. Looking forward to it.

    FYI – coupon code does not apply a discount.

  2. Amie Melnychuk

    I will be supporting that Kickstarter! It is an amazing initiative. I wonder if Canada has a similar record that could be collected and digitised.

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