Piecework Jan/Feb 2010: A Review

A few days ago, I received an email from Knitting Daily informing me that the new issue of Piecework was available.  Piecework is hit or miss for me, but I usually pick up the annual historical knitting issue to gain some insight into the craft.  This issue, I was also lured in by the cover proclaiming an “Exclusive! New Barbara Walker Stitch Pattern.”

In fact, the first article past the book reviews, is the Barbara Walker stitch pattern.  It’s a large stitch pattern, over 32 stitches and 32 rows.  It would work well in a larger piece, such as an afghan or perhaps a sweater.

My students have been studying the Holocaust this year (you can read more about that here) and we’ve had several Holocaust survivors come to speak to them.  The article “Knitting in Jewish Lithuania” held particular interest to me for that reason.  I so often take knitting for pleasure for granted, I never before thought of knitting as a survival mechanism during the Holocaust.   For many Jewish women, knitting was a means to barter for food and other necessities for survival.  I will be taking this article into school to share with my students.

It’s no secret to anyone who looks at my queue, that I’ve been obsessed with mittens lately.  I’m test knitting a pair of cabled child’s mittens for a friend and keep staring longenly through the many mitten books I own.  Therefore, the articles “Latvia’s Favorite Knitter: Jette Uzane,”  “Birch Mittens to Knit,” “Mittens to Knit Inspired by a Late-Medieval Mitten,” “Offering Mittens to Knit,” and “Ice Harbor Compass Mittens to Knit” are going to get a long look through.  I really enjoy the simplicity of the Late-Medieval Mittens.  Fox and Geese mittens are among some of my favorite pattern so the Ice Harbor Mittens may also someday get made.

There are a plethora of other articles in this Piecework, including some patterns that I did not discuss.  Overall, I find it well worth the $6.99 to have a glimpse into the tradition of knitting.  Of course, that might just be the history major in me talking 🙂

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