Tuesday 20 April 2010

Knitting stick

We are supposed to be on a flight to the US, from Manchester via Amsterdam, at this very moment, but because of the  Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, Manchester airport is still closed so we are still here.  I'm feeling thoroughly miserable - the purpose of the trip was primarily to visit our daughter whom we haven't seen since September.  I have no idea when or if we shall be able to rearrange the flights, so I'm blogging instead.

Earlier this month, John went to the Newark Antiques Fair with some friends.  It is supposed to be the largest antiques fair in the country, and he had a great time there and bought lots of things.  (Mostly very cheap, he claims.)

He gave me a knitting stick that he bought at the fair - a lovely gift (even if partly intended to salve his conscience).    It's a simple turned shape, with nothing to show who it was made for, or when or where, but I imagine that it's 19th century and maybe from the north of England.

The end of the stick is hollowed out, with a brass knurled ring set into it, and an ivory or bone (?) ring set into that, to hold the end of the knitting needle.

The stick is intended to be  tucked into a belt or waistband, so that it can hold the right needle steady.  It allowed knitters to knit outdoors, while they were walking.  An article by Kate Davies on Knitting Outdoors, in Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 47, discusses how knitting sticks and similar gadgets were used to facilitate knitting while on the move and doing other things at the same time.  She also has a blog post with photos of plain and fancy knitting sticks.  

It would be interesting to try knitting with my knitting stick, with double-pointed needles, although the bone ring doesn't seem to be very firmly fixed so maybe not.  Knitting with a stick ought to be similar to knitting with the right needle fixed under your arm, which is what I do,  so maybe it would make it easier for me to knit in the round.


  1. That is really cool, would love to see it in use. Maybe your husband can assuage his guilt more with some wool. Sorry you couldn't make it across the pond. Sounds like a bit of a mess in Europe.

  2. Wow, I have never seen/heard of such a thing. Yeah for your hubby for noticing it and buying it for you. Maybe you should start your own collection of antique knitting tools!


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