Tuesday, March 02, 2010

On knitting

From Weldon's Practical Knitter, latter part of the 19th century. As reprinted in Knitting: 19th Century Sources, ed. by Jules and Kaethe Kliot, published by Lacis in Berkeley, California.
From time immemorial we have had various revivals of what is termed the "lost arts." At present the art of knitting is undergoing one of these processes, although it can by no means be called a lost art, even though for years it has not, as in earlier days, been considered a necessary part of a young woman's education. The more practical German and English workers have never neglected it, as they have a decided preference for substantial hand-made articles.

In addition to the fact that the knowledge may be turned to account in case of necessity, as there is always a market for hand-made goods, it is a most delightful occupation.

An ancient writer says: "It does not distract the attention or check the powers of imagination. It forms a ready resource when a vacuity occurs in conversation; it impairs neither body nor mind, and requires no straining of the eyesight. It may be interrupted without loss, and again resumed without trouble. The whole apparatus is so cheap, needs so little room, and is so light, that it can be kept and gracefully carried about in a basket, the beauty of which displays the expertise and tast of the fair worker."