Saturday, February 27, 2010

Walter Weldon on knitting.

"It does not distract the attention or check the powers of the 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 little room, and is so light that it can be kept and gracefully carried about in a basket, the beauty of which displays the expertness and taste of the fair worker."

Weldon was a chemist, journalist, and fashion publisher working in London, England during the mid to late 1800s. He produced hundreds of leaflets outlining Victorian knitting patterns and needlework techniques. They were bound together into several volumes under the title Weldon's Practical Knitter and sold for six pence a piece. Recently, one of the largest publishers of knitting patterns in America has turned these leaflets into a series of four ebooks. Interesting. Maybe even a little ironic. You can purchase them through Interweave for $8.99 USD each.

The publishing house has been sending e-mails with little bits of patterns from the ebooks and I have to admit that I am intrigued. I'll certainly be keeping my eye out for these the next time I decide to wander through an antique shop.

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