Monday, June 02, 2008

Knitting sheath designs that work

I keep being asked for designs of knitting sheaths that work. This post summarizes knitting sheath designs that I like.

First, there is the classic knitting belt. A tool of many virtures. Any knitter that is serious about Fair Isle knitting should have one. Available from J&S (

Under that are 7 wooden knitting sheaths that I made with only hand tools and was using in the last half of 2007. Note the two made from Brittany Birch crochet hooks. These are show in use in other posts, were fast and easy to make, and work very well.

This is a hand carved knitting sheath that I made for use with shorter needles. It was used to knit that socks that were given to Mamie Diggs. Shown are steel needles, but it works well with wooden or aluminium or bone or plastic DPN.

(The "Z" twist works much better than "S" twist.)

Another view of 6 of my favorite knitting sheaths and their appropriate needles. The one at the top is for #3 needles, the second from the top is for #2 needles and the one at the bottom is for #00 needles. The other 3 are for my favorite 2.3 mm needles.

My last and very favorite knitting sheath. It is small, light weight, and, versital. The first 6 years of studing knitting-for-warmth was a slide toward thinner needles. The last 6 months have been a fall toward longer needles. These days, I find myself knitting socks on 8" long needles.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Why Don't We See Knitting Sheaths in Old Art?

Historians ask me, “If knitting sheaths were so
common, why don't we see more evidence for them?” Why do we not see them in period Art?

Well, look back at my Feb 10, 2008 posting. There are photos of me knitting with a knitting sheath and you cannot see the knitting sheath. You just have to recognize that the knitting sheath is there from the position of the hands. (And hands get moved while posing for a a painting.) A historian that is not thinking in terms of knitting sheaths is not likely to recognize that position of the hands as signifying the use of a knitting sheath.

This would be a strange view for an artist to paint and yet is the the view that the artist would have to paint in order to show the classic use of a knitting sheath.

The artists knew their business, and painted people's faces rather than their hips.