Last week my sister and I started researching the history of lace knitting in Yorkshire. We hoped to find evidence that Yorkshire knitters were knitting lace at the same time as a lace tradition was developing in Shetland. Luckily for us our friend Penelope Hemingway has extensively researched Yorkshire knitters, and through her blog we learned that there was a knitting author in York, Elizabeth Jackson, who was writing at the same time as the very famous Scottish knitter, Jane Gaugain. Indeed she took over the shop in York that was originally a branch of the Gaugain knitting empire. Penelope has written a fantastic post about Mrs Jackson, so I’ll limit this one to a quick look at her first book, because we have found and bought an original copy!
In 1844 Mrs Jackson published ‘Knitting, Netting and Crochet, The Practical Companion To The Worktable’. The book I now have is the second edition of this, from 1845, which had been improved by the addition of illustrations, including some impressively early photographs.
Over the weekend Marie has been swatching some of the lace stitches the book contains. They are beautiful! Below are some of the pictures of and from the book, and some of Marie’s swatches.
Since buying Mrs Jackson’s book we’ve also traced and purchased some other very early Yorkshire knitting books, including a very rare copy of Thomas Gill of Easingwold’s ‘The Handbook of Knitting’. More on those later!