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  • Daily History Picture: 18Cent Knitting Needle April 27, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures , trackback

    a weardale knitting stick

    Found this very beautiful

    GL writes, 30 April 2016, It’s a very understandable error, but what you are picturing here is not a knitting needle. All the carving would be seriously inconvenient if you were trying to use it to directly manipulate loops of yarn (as knitting does). There is a reason why knitting needles are invariably as smooth as can be achieved with existing technology. What you have here is a picture (as the text explains) of a knitting *stick* — or, less ambiguously, a knitting *sheath*. It’s a hollow stick with a hole at the top. Knitters in the 18th and 19th centuries (and possibly earlier, and some later knitters too) will hang this from a belt, or more often just stick it between the belt and their body, the pressure holding it firmly in place. The bottom end of the right-hand knitting needle goes through the hole and into the hollow part of the sheath (which can be prettily decorated, as in your example). This supports the needle, which means the knitter doesn’t have to hold this needle with their right hand. That hand is then free stay near the tips of the needles and to do nothing except wrap yarn around the needle tip. This speeds up the knitting quite a bit for many people. It seems to have been especially common around the “edges” or less urban parts of Britain, such as the North. Vast quantities of knitting were done to earn money, and such knitting was paid by the piece, so faster knitting meant more stockings knitted per week and more money earned. Hope this is helpful.

    Invisible writes in: Here is how they were used.

    Here is a post about one possibly owned by the Bronte’s mother, Maria.