Knitting scarves around the world

Kari Cornell

Kari Cornell has written another book, Knitting Scarves from around the World. Scarf designs are from the North, East, South and West. You can be all over the map and never leave your knitting chair. 23 patterns in a variety of styles and techniques are shown. Scarf designers include Donna Druchunas who wrote the historical introduction to the book, Nancy Bush, Melissa Leapman and Teva Durham are among them. The clear, enlarged photographs are by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel…more


Sweater trivia

Prior to “sweaters” being called by that named….they were called Jersey’s or Gansey’s. Pullovers got the name “sweaters” when they were used as athletic uniforms. The athlete would “sweat” in them.  Crew neck sweaters were worn by the crew team of a university.

Mr. Rogers (a lovely day in this neighborhood) sweaters were knit by his mother, Mrs. Nancy McFeely Rogers. She knit 12 sweaters for him, knitting one a month for a year.

Aran sweaters are named for a group of Islands in Ireland.



The word kimono means “things to wear”. The plural of kimono is kimono.

  This site walks you through the Jomo period before 300 Ad (primitive) to the Edo period 1601-1867 and what clothing looked like. I was very surprised to find that it was as late as the Nara period 710-792 AD that kimono as we would recognize them, came into fashion.

The  artistry including the cut and color, besides season, culture and society are reflected in these garments conveying social messages. Since the garment is belted, it requires one side overlapping the other.  Kimono are overlapped with the left side over the right (except for burial).

A single bolt of fabric is called a tan. One kimono could be made from the bolt, 14 in wide x 12 1/2 yds long. Silk kimono are so expensive that they are recycled into other useful items and accessories.

I am in the process of finishing up knitting a dofuku. Mine is in a burnt orange with a brown yarn at the join of the arm and of the cuff seam. A dofuku is a short  jacket traditionally worn by Samori. I got the pattern out of Knit Kimono.    Knit Kimono book review

Early spun thread

Venus of Lespugue is a nude statue carved of mammoth ivory and depicted wearing a skirt hanging from below her hips. It is approximately 27,000 years old. It was found in the foothills of the Pyrenees (the mountains between France and Spain). The carving was discovered in the Rideaux cave of Lespugue.

The statues skirt is the earliest representation of  spun fibers. It is only 5.75 inches tall.  The Venus  represents the Earth and it’s fertility and the continuation of life. 90 + % of the human images from this time period to about 5,000 BCE are female. Women were recognized as the life-givers and sustainers and they were revered as priestesses. 

I am a bit puzzled as I don’t see a carved skirt. Maybe someone can help me out here. Possibly you need to see this figure up close. My research said “carved” and not a literal cloth skirt.

Spinning and weaving have a history that up until the Industrial Revolution was the most time consuming single job.

Knitting Examiner

Tramp Art

When you think of Tramps you may also think of Hobos.
Hobos were wanderers. You may remember them as hopping a ride on the rails. They would work to earn a meal or a few cents. Tramps didn’t work. They existed by thievery and begging. These two groups lived in different worlds, though shared the same places.

Tramp art is “folk art” chip carving using recycled wooden cigar boxes and a pocket knife.  This art form flourished from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. A technique of notching and layering was used. The designs are noted by the pyramids formed from the layering of pieces upon themselves getting smaller and smaller in size. Geometric patterns (circles, squares, and triangles) were most often used.

The finished items were practical and functional.

Knitting examiner

Poetry Mittens

Poetry mittens had their start in the USA during the early 19th century. This art showed off the precise and complex skill of the knitter. A favorite poem was knitted into the mittens.

The poem would start at the wrist, and wind its way to the fingertips. The knitted poem would then continue at the wrist of the second mitten and end at the finger tip. .”X”‘s were used to delineate the poems lines.

Colorwork is involved as two different  color yarns need to be carried throughout the work. From my observance it looks as thought the pattern is 7 knits and one purl, repeating. Each letter is 7 stitches wide. The purl acts as the spacing.

 Have a short poem you love? You will need graph paper and some stamina. Would love to see your “poetry mittens”, or comments on knitting them.

The  National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center houses the original mittens.

Knitting Examiner

Flax fiber found from 32,000 years ago

Late this summer in a cave in the Republic of Georgia flax fibers were found that had been spun and dyed. Radiocarbon dating puts this fiber around 30,000 BCE, representing one of the earliest findings of humans using plant fibers. 

The thread was spun from wild flax. Threads found in the cave had been dyed violet, red, black and turquoise. From my little experience with dying fiber…these are not your everyday colors. Judging by the colors that are made from the majority of plant dyes , they are more in the autumn tones. Usually the results are gold, browns, greens and yellows. True black and real red are not easy to come by. I would love to hear from dyers and their opinions.

The cave was used on and off over various time periods. Due to the constant level of humidity in the cave it preserved the fibers. Fungus spores that were found in the cave are of the kinds that live off cloth. This leads the scientist to believe textiles were made from this fiber. 

The people of the time were considered early modern humans in a hunter-gatherer society. An out of date term you may know these humans by is Cro-magnon man.

I gave a timeline to give a broader picture of the time and what was happening.


38,000BCE – 33,000 BCE earliest example of figurines

35,000BCE oldest known mathematical artifact

33,000BCE earliest musical instrument 

30,000BCE cave paintings 

10,000 BCE last ice age

While doing this article I came across that Neanderthals…prior to this timeline, buried their dead with items. Cro-magnon men shaved. I also need to read “Clan of the Cave Bear”. That story of a Cro-magnon girl and the Neanderthals. It is a historical fiction novel. Love those. Love to hear your opinions or outlook on this subject.