Susan Strawn

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Amana Star-Pattern Baby Bonnet to Knit

Knit a baby bonnet from the November/December 2000 issue of PieceWork based on ones in the collection of the Amana Heritage Society in Amana, Iowa.

Simply Another Name for Perfection—Corticelli Silk

Corticelli advertisements claimed that perfection was the company’s only acceptable product. Susan Strawn unravels the history of the Corticelli brand of silk yarn.

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.

“You’ve Got to Really Like Your Job” Department Stores as Purveyors of Yarn and Knitting Knowledge, 1930–1960

During the mid-twentieth century, department stores capitalized on knitting’s soaring popularity with free instruction from knitting experts.

All the World Is Needleworking! Florence Yoder Wilson and America’s Immigrant Needleworkers

Explore how Florence Yoder Wilson articles, published in Needlecraft: The Magazine of Home Arts during the 1930s, cast recent immigrants to America in a positive light.

Further Discoveries of Virginia Woods Bellamy’s Geometric Number Knitting

Virginia Woods Bellamy described Number Knitting as “merely a method of knitting design, based on squares and triangles and their tributary units.” She discarded traditional measurements for geometrical principles.

Patriotic Knitting Bags of World War I

Knitting bags have been long overlooked as one of the patriotic icons of World War I (1914–1918).

Mittens to Knit Inspired by a Late-Medieval Mitten

A sixteenth-century child’s mitten now in the collection of the Museum of London inspired Susan Strawn's contemporary mitten design in two sizes.

Women and Needlework Magazines: Opportunity, Recognition, Income!

Closely reading a selection of American needlework magazines published between 1885 and 1930 reveals an often-overlooked history of women who were needlework editors, designers, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

In Appreciation of Pot Holders

After writing a story about a set of crocheted pot holders that I discovered, readers responded with a range of opinions about this needlework form.