Yesterday’s mail brought me a treat:

Piecework Magazine

I first learned about Piecework Magazine’s annual historical knitting issue while reading this Peacefully Knitting blog post about vintage knitting, which convinced me to subscribe. I called first to be sure they were still offering the historical issue with paid subscriptions. Which they were. Phew! πŸ˜‰

Historical knitting is intriguing. It’s interesting to get a glimpse of how our ancestors dressed and lived. While they’re now silent, their knitting can still give us insight into their lives. I grew up with stories of one of my great-grandmother who supposedly kept all 12 of her children in handmade clothes, including knitted socks and stockings. She must have been very fast, very busy, or both! πŸ˜€

Historical knitting is a new adventure, and I eagerly awaited my copy.

Which I’m happy to report did not disappoint me.

This issue of Piecework Magazine has patterns including: a new stitch pattern from Barbara Walker featured on theΒ  cover. Inside there’s a treasure of articles on knitting. Perhaps you’ll also be drawn to the story of knitting in Jewish Lithuania during World War II. Once again, the resilience of the Jewish people and the “Greatest Generation” is inspiring. Today’s struggles with knitting become very small when compared to knitting in a forest while fighting β€” and hiding from β€” Nazis.

There’s a pattern based on a medieval mitten, and even an article on how modern theater companies use hand knitted items as costumes. There are more patterns and articles, which you can discover for yourself in the issue.

So, how do vintage knitting patterns help a modern knitter?

  • Patterns can give insight into the lives of the folks who knit and used the finished piece.
  • The stories behind the patterns β€” if you can discover them β€” can be inspiring, funny, or even just a brief respite from today’s news.
  • Patterns can be used to create new knitted articles. One that reminds you of the story, or one to share β€” perhaps with someone for which it holds special meaning.
  • Vintage patterns often use techniques not usually used by modern knitters. They can be a good way to practice something new, and to expand your skills.
  • Patterns can be used as templates to create your own unique projects, like this example of a fleecy muff inspired by vintage knitting:
    Knitted muff

While I haven’t yet decided which project from this issue I’m going to knit first, I did finish my latest project:

Seaman's Scarf

More about this in the next post.

Meanwhile you can get your own copy of Piecework Magazine’s Fourth Annual Historical Knitting Issue here: Buy now.


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