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Old 02-03-2011, 01:23 AM   #1
Nenwing
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Laura Ingalls Wilder and Knitting
I have always been a big Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. Its neat to read her descriptions of her mother knitting and herself knitting. I wonder, do you think they did work with double point needles, or at that time did they only have your basic 2 straight needles?

Also, anyone come across any good LIW patterns?

I wonder if Laura or her mother, or if women in general back then got carpel tunnel/arthritis from all the handi-work things they did (knitting/crocheting/sewing/embroidery, etc..) I know after even a few hours of knitting my wrists start hurting!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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Hi, Just wondering?... Are you an English knitter? If so, try continental knitting. There is less stress on the hands. Just a suggestion. Also, hmmm... that's a good question about what type of needles were used back in the 'day.' I'm going to google it and find out for myself. lol
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Gee, I had never heard of her until just now. Sorry, no patterns, but I Googled her and she seems to have lived a very interesting (and difficult) life. I will look for stories about her now....her life makes mine seem like a piece of cake!

and just when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, having to face shovelling all this snow....my front entrance this morning:


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Old 02-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #4
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There are lots of places online where you can find information about historical knitting (this site, for example, provides patterns that were used during different historical periods - including the late 19th and early 20th centuries).

Keep in mind that the terminology used historically is not the same as we use today .... for example, needles are often referred to as "knitting pins", and the number scale that they used to identify different needles sizes is not the same as what is currently used. Descriptions of the weight of yarn to be used also seem very vague (at least to me) by our standards, but people at the time knew what was meant because that was what was available and commonly used.

Also, I could be mistaken, but I do believe that they did have a version of DPNs at the time .... but this is just based on my interpretation of descriptions I've read of what knitting needles during this period looked like.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Woodi View Post
Gee, I had never heard of her until just now.
You never watched Little House on the Prairie?? I've read the series of her books several times now.
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Littl...6755483&sr=1-1
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:03 PM   #6
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Seriously??? You've never heard of her??? You've got to read the books!!! They're the best! I've read the books several times myself now.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Double points would definately be around. Steel most likely though they may have used wood for the larger gauges.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:02 PM   #8
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Glad others like her too! Yeah she sure did live a tough life in a way, but also she was close with her family.

I knit continental (hold yarn in left hand). I wonder what way Laura Ingalls Wilder knitted?

Thanks for that site about old patterns, I will have to check it out!
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:52 PM   #9
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Laura Ingalls Wilder and knitting
As a fulltime Laura Ingalls Wilder researcher (and knitter), I can tell you that she did use double pointed needles. Laura's daughter Rose published THE WOMAN'S DAY BOOK OF AMERICAN NEEDLEWORK and it contains needlework by Rose, Laura, and Caroline. Some of the needlework is on display at the LIW Museum in Mansfield, Missouri, as well as knitting pins, thread, needles and other items used by Laura and Rose. I remember seeing metal knitting needles; don't remember wooden. I've seen at least one knitting pattern book of the family's on display at the LIW Memorial Society in De Smet.
Laura did have arthritis later in life, and in letters she lamented the fact that she had to give up handwork.

--nansie, www.pioneergirl.com
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Old 02-03-2011, 04:01 PM   #10
Nenwing
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Originally Posted by nansie View Post
As a fulltime Laura Ingalls Wilder researcher (and knitter), I can tell you that she did use double pointed needles. Laura's daughter Rose published THE WOMAN'S DAY BOOK OF AMERICAN NEEDLEWORK and it contains needlework by Rose, Laura, and Caroline. Some of the needlework is on display at the LIW Museum in Mansfield, Missouri, as well as knitting pins, thread, needles and other items used by Laura and Rose. I remember seeing metal knitting needles; don't remember wooden. I've seen at least one knitting pattern book of the family's on display at the LIW Memorial Society in De Smet.
Laura did have arthritis later in life, and in letters she lamented the fact that she had to give up handwork.

--nansie, www.pioneergirl.com
Neat!! Oh I know your site!! I love your website! I've spent hours just reading through all your blog posts about all things LIW! I have it bookmarked! Your blog post about Carrie "Clap your hands and bang your spoon!" cracks me up!

Interesting, so they did have DPNs back then! Man that would be something, to see her actual work she made. I bet she was a pro at it!
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