Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Shared history

When I started this blog, I mentioned my fascination for the way that knitting connects us to the past, both within our own families, and within the wider community. One of the projects that I am still most proud of is the traditional Cornish gansey that I knitted for Leon and the pleasure that I take in seeing him wearing it as his everyday working jumper, feeling the benefit of its tightly knitted windproof properties.

You can imagine, therefore, how delighted I was to come across this absorbing book about the tradition of knitting fisherman's jumpers in the Netherlands. What strikes me from the brief look I have had at it so far is how much they have in common with those of the British Isles but how they also have styles and techniques unique to themselves or drawing influences from other parts of Europe.

Look at these wonderful images of how much a part of everyday dress for ordinary people the knitted jumper was.
...and how they are worn both for daily labour and Sunday best.

Whenever I come across work such as this I feel humble and proud at the same time for being part of the community of knitters who create these extraordinary everyday things.

1 comment:

Mandella said...

I know what you mean about knitting connecting. It's the only common language my Mum and I speak LOL. Well we do have quilting now too.

What a beautiful book, and how good to see knitting take it's rightful place - at the heart of everyday living.