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.


Wannietta said...

LOL!!! And really, a wooden sheath that had served its purpose and had been worn out would have been tossed in the fire, not left laying around for posterity!

Archaeologyknits said...

Actually wooden objects get left around all the time, and fire is one of the best ways for them to be preserved archaeologically.

Susie said...

Yes! I've seen paintings of people knitting and always assumed they were just near-sighted. Who holds their knitting so close up like that anyway?
Must be using a sheath.