HNW - h-needlework V1 #116

Margo Lynn Hablutzel Hablutzel at
Sun Sep 6 05:56:31 PDT 1998

 <BPack55294 at> said:

>>> Why bother with pictures when the physical evidence is substantial?  

And Nancy (Ingvild) <SNSpies at> replied in part:

>>> I agree;  there is plenty of physical evidence.  But the original
>>> question concerned pictorial evidence.

Well, now, that just DEPENDS.  There is really NOT a lot of "physical
evidence" for certain items in certain eras.  Yes, we have one pair of
knitted gloves from 13th Century, but most others are from 150 years later
onwards.  Stockings seem to exist from the 10th Century Middle East or
mid-15th Century and onwards in Europe.  I don't know of any contemporary
items that look like the sweaters the knitting Madonnas are creating (for
the ones working on something reasonably identifiable).  Only later can we
point to an excavated cap and a painting and say "look! they match!"

I think this is another sign of "what is period for you?"  And it depends
upon what the person was trying to represent.

I think it also shows significant ignorance on the part of the period
juding the A&S.  If the person entered gloves, for example, there will not
be a lot of pictures of the actual items and I cannot think of any in which
a person is wearing actual knitted gloves.  Stockings are another matter,
but you cannot always tell if the fabric is knitted, sewn, etc.  And some
other items might require knowledge of finishing methods, such as fulling,
before the painted item can be recognized as knitting.  In some cases, the
records available for a certain type of item may be written only.

(It also irritated me when someone at an A&S used aluminum needles on the
argument that "they are easy for me to find," when making needles of dowels
is so simple, but I won't get into that digression in this message,

                                ---= Morgan, or Sara Freeman
                                     knitters in many periods

           |\     THIS is the cutting edge of technology! 
           |/   Morgan Cely Cain * Hablutzel at
                     Barony of the Steppes * Ansteorra
                          daytime: margolh at
               19th Century: Sara Freeman of San Marcos, TX

     "There is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace."
                                          --- Benjamin Franklin

  "It's so hot in Texas, the cows are giving off evaporated milk."
                                --The Texas Folklore Group

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