~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link on the Small Things site to share your photo with the rest of us! ~
When a friend of mine heard that I had the daunting task of writing a report on the history of knitting for the Master Knitter Level Two course she revealed she had in her possession a much sought after treasure. She had procured a rare copy of Richard Rutt’s book, A History of Hand Knitting, at a library book sale and she has entrusted this treasure with me for a while.
The subject at hand is beyond immense in my mind and I hardly know where to begin. I suppose I should begin with the earliest source document in 1615 which describe the stockings made for Queen Elizabeth by a Mrs. Montague. They are believed to have been the first worsted stockings and silk stockings made in England. I’m pretty sure knitting existed before this time though because I saw some Egyptian slippers in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I guess that is why research will play an important role in this paper I am to write and research starts by reading books, right?
This story about Queen Elizabeth was so interesting that perhaps you might be interested in the published account by Edmund Howe in 1615 that I read in The History of Knitting.
“In the second year of Queen Elizabeth, 1560, her silk woman, Mistress Montague, presented Her Majesty with a pair of black knit silk stockings for a new year’s gift; the which, after a few days of wearing, pleased Her Highness so well that she sent for Mistress Montague and asked her where she had them, and if she could help her to any more; who answered, saying:
‘I made them very carefully of purpose only for Your Majesty; and seeing these please you so well, I will presently get more in hand.’
‘Do so,’ quoth the Queen, ;for indeed I like silk stockings so well, because they are so pleasant, fine and delicate, that henceforth I will wear no more cloth stockings.’
And from that time unto her death the Queen never wore any more cloth hose, only silk stockings.