Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sanquhar Gloves

I've just bought a new pair of gloves - for a hand-knitter that wouldn't usually be anything to write about, but these are very special gloves.  They are traditional Sanquhar-pattern gloves, hand-knitted in Sanquhar (in Dumfriesshire in Scotland).    And as you can see, they were knitted just for me, with my initials knitted into panels on the wrist.   

In theory, I could knit gloves like this myself, but actually I don't have the skill, or the patience.  They are in very fine wool (3-ply?) and the detail is just amazing.  (I generally make people look at the gussets between the fingers. Phenomenal.)    

The pattern is very similar to one of the first published patterns for Sanquhar gloves, Patons & Baldwins leaflet 87 that appeared in the 1950s.  

Patons & Baldwins 87
I ordered the gloves from the Sanquhar Arts Cente, A' the Airts, which is just opposite the Tollbooth Museum. We visited both in May 2012,  but I didn't know then that you could order gloves from the Arts Centre.  I think they can be ordered in other colour combinations, and other stitch patterns, but I wanted to stick to the traditional black and white.  The pattern is called 'the Duke' - the squares are supposed to represent the enclosure of the land.  

The gloves are very warm - too warm to wear in the spring-like weather we are having.  But I'll be ready for the next cold spell. 

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