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MAmaDawn
07-14-2008, 02:45 PM
Does anyone know how did people knit large items before circular needles? Did they just knit in smaller pieces and seam them? (If so those poor poor people.... feel so sorry for them..)

suzeeq
07-14-2008, 02:55 PM
They usually knit in pieces and seamed them together. Longer needles like 16" were more common, and dpns were longer too, like 10" so they could knit a seamless sweater.

Plantgoddess+
07-14-2008, 04:48 PM
I have seen drawings in knitting books of people using 8 or more dpns when knitting clothing items.
The Sweater Workshop has a 14th century depiction of seamless circular needles on multiple dpns. It's a painting done around 1390 called The Visit of the Angels by Meister Bertram showing the Madonna using straight needles around the neck of what appears to be a seamless garment.
The book also shows some sweaters from the 19th century also worked in one piece with the sleeves sewn in.

Jeremy
07-14-2008, 04:55 PM
I read where people used as many as 75 dpns to knit something.

Limey
07-14-2008, 05:53 PM
I read where people used as many as 75 dpns to knit something.


:eyes::noway::noway: :passedout: Obviously weren't too bothered about the Health and Safety Executive in those days!!!! :teehee: You could have been blown away by the draught, let alone ended up looking like a colander if you got too close.


Ellie

BobbiKnits
07-14-2008, 06:01 PM
I read where people used as many as 75 dpns to knit something.:shock: I hope they wore goggles!

marlajap
07-14-2008, 06:13 PM
:teehee: You could have been blown away by the draught, let alone ended up looking like a colander if you got too close.


Ellie

:roflhard: ROFL!! The visual here has me in stitches! (pun intended)

Cynamar
07-14-2008, 07:28 PM
75 DPNs??? I don't think so! Five is plenty at one time for me!

newamy
07-14-2008, 09:01 PM
Most of historic literature points to the use of double pointed needles all the way around. Elizabeth Zimmerman in her writing talks about being a girl when her aunt had a miraculous new circular needle. EZ was a huge promoter of circular knitting but it wasn't new; ganseys and fair isle sweaters were traditionally knit in the round.

Tropicflower24
07-15-2008, 11:07 AM
Not sure if this is *true*..... But I read it in some knitting book. (So it must be true, right?? LOL)

I read that in Scotland or Ireland, the sea faring men would knit their own sweaters on round looms, and each man's sweater was different..... That way if a body washed up on shore, they could tell who it was by the pattern of the sweater.

Another gory knitting tid bit you really didn't need to know, courtesy of Tropicflower! LOL

feministmama
07-15-2008, 02:00 PM
Not sure if this is *true*..... But I read it in some knitting book. (So it must be true, right?? LOL)

I read that in Scotland or Ireland, the sea faring men would knit their own sweaters on round looms, and each man's sweater was different..... That way if a body washed up on shore, they could tell who it was by the pattern of the sweater.

Another gory knitting tid bit you really didn't need to know, courtesy of Tropicflower! LOL

I heard that somewhere too. Two people heard the same thing so it must be true :teehee:

suzeeq
07-15-2008, 02:06 PM
Each village/family usually had a unique pattern so it did help to identify those who wore a sweater in a particular design. That wasn't a reason for making each pattern different; it was just whatever one granny knew and taught her daughters and grand daughters.

brittyknits
07-15-2008, 06:54 PM
British Isle knitters often used very long dpns-- like 14". And this is no myth-- my elderly aunt has several sets!

knitasha
07-15-2008, 09:20 PM
I have a wonderful photo of Eleanor Roosevelt knitting a large sweater in the round using 8 very long dpns. She looks perfectly relaxed, by the way.

psquidy
07-15-2008, 09:31 PM
I search online for knitting history all the time. I find it SO interesting. It makes you so proud to be a knitter.

GrandmaLori
07-15-2008, 11:06 PM
Fascinating Topic. I have nothing to add, but I loved reading this.

Tropicflower24
07-16-2008, 10:57 AM
I love knitting history....... I love the thought that I am doing something that everyone doesn't do, and I am helping carrying on the tradition of thousands of years. :)

I don't think knitting with multipul DPNs (even if the were REALLY long) would bother me. *shrug* I knit socks all the time..... And I cannot think knitting would be harder with a much larger project, granted your needles were long enough. :)