Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Victoria and Albert Museum Collection

I'm just going to place this entry from the V&A Museum here without comment. To do so would just prove the foolishness of my feeble attempts at description.


Shetland Islands

18th century

Hand knitted silk

Width along top edge 243 cm, height neck to hem 126.5 cm

Museum no. T.137-1966
From the 1830s knitters on the Shetland Islands adopted the then fashionable technique of lace knitting. This style quickly became identified with the shawls and veils knitted by Shetlanders from yarn spun into very fine thread on the Isle of Unst. These items were knitted on steel wires and the tradition of passing the finished object through a wedding ring became established, as this demonstrated how light and delicate it was. The knitters invented the patterns of the shawls, many of which have names taken from local features, such as 'Ears o' Grain', 'Fir Cone' and 'Print o' the Wave'. Although these shawls were bought by wealthy women during the 19th century, the knitters earned little in return for the amount of detailed work that went into creating the thousands of stitches that made up one garment.

PLEASE, do yourself an enormous favor and check out the rest of the collection at

I'll be the drool off the keyboard.