Making Do During World War II: Exploring My Great-Grandmother’s Knitting Books

Even though the books were written in a time of scarcity, they encouraged creativity, and there is an enduring sense of the enjoyment of knitting despite the difficult times.

Pincushion, Knitted Like a Lemon

From Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Twenty-eighth Series, we offer a charming citrus-shaped pincushion perfect for holiday giving. The instructions are presented here as they were originally published during the nineteenth century.

Going in Circles: A History of Knitting in the Round

Knitting styles come and go! But whether you work your stitches on double-pointed needles or circulars, knitting in the round remains an essential skill for handknitters. Learn more about the evolution of this timeless technique.

Creative Scrimping

Celia Sanderson learned to “make do” in Yorkshire, England, during World War II. Her creative thrift remains today in the stitches of a nightgown made from parachute silk, a suit made from cast-off curtains, and more.

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Pincushion, Knitted Like a Lemon

From Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Twenty-eighth Series, we offer a charming citrus-shaped pincushion perfect for holiday giving. The instructions are presented here as they were originally published during the nineteenth century.

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The Tam O’Shanter

This charming tam o’shanter from the January/February 2017 issue of PieceWork makes a special gift. The body is worked in a Fair Isle pattern, and the tam gets its distinctive shape when it is washed and blocked.

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Portuguese Socks from Serra D’Ossa

Andrea Wong’s miniature Portuguese stocking, from the January/February 2017 issue of PieceWork, is based on socks in the classic style of those from Serra D’Ossa, Portugal.

A Dorset Crosswheel Button to Make

Learn to make a classic Dorset-style button. Handmade buttons were sold throughout Europe and the Americas from 1700 until 1860.

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Embroidered Suspenders: A Special Engagement Gift

The embroidered suspenders made by Oline Hansen as an engagement gift for husband Karl Madsen continue to be a treasured family heirloom.

Subscriber Exclusive

The Tam O’Shanter

This charming tam o’shanter from the January/February 2017 issue of PieceWork makes a special gift. The body is worked in a Fair Isle pattern, and the tam gets its distinctive shape when it is washed and blocked.

Nineteenth-Century Collectible: Sewing-Thread Trade Cards

Before magazine advertising became popular, collectible trade cards marketed consumer products, including sewing thread, to the public.

Stitches for a Crazy Quilt

A merry assortment of embroidery stitches are used to cover the seams in crazy quilts. The only limits are a needleworker's imagination and materials on hand.

Make Do: Feed-Sack Fashion in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

In the early twentieth century, staples, such as flour and livestock feed, were sold in cloth bags. As American families entered the 1930s, reusing these fabrics became more popular, and bags became more colorful.

Twin Loves: Literature and Knitting

A passion for literature and stitching comes alive in Joanna Johnson’s knitwear patterns inspired by beloved, classic characters.

The Long Thread: Joan Sheridan

Joan Sheridan shares her lifelong passion for textiles as a volunteer conservator at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Knitting Comforts for the Troops

During World War I (1914–1918), knitters produced prodigious quantities of warm clothing and other items for servicemen and the wounded.

A Modern-Style Dowry Bag with Traditional Embroidery

This embroidered dowry bag bridges the gap between the traditional and modern. The shape meets the demands of current trends, but the stitching pays tribute to the needlework of vintage dowry bags.

Bargello: Cloaked in Legend

The origins of the simple, yet striking, bargello stitch remain clouded in mystery, but its popularity has spanned centuries.

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