We knitters have always had a love affair with the rich and varied history of our craft. We “ooh” and “ahh” when we see vintage patterns, we trade knitwear sightings in books and films, and we applaud those of us brave enough to take on the world of archaic and/or culturally different terms to make patterns of the past readable for today’s knitter. Designers and teachers have brought the knitting delights of centuries past to the forefront of modern knitting (who doesn’t want a pair of all-wool swim trunks?) and if you’ve got a pattern that’s been lurking in a hope chest in Great Aunt Esther’s attic, you now have more than half a chance of being able to knit that garment, thanks to the more intrepid translators among us.
It’s to these folks that I turned when I first started to teach fiber arts as a historical reenactor of sorts, and needed knitwear, not only for myself, but for my husband and daughter. The journey has been epic, messy, involved a lot of false turns and language I am not allowed to use when I teach, and continues to stretch my skills in ways I never dreamed possible.
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