Knitting Research : South African Heritage

Dear Readers,

Today I want to talk a little about my latest research project that I have set for myself. It is still very much in it’s infancy so it may develop more direction as I go along.

Recently I was watching this episode by Skeindeer knits. I have tried to set it so that that link will open at the time she is speaking about the thing that really inspired me. She talked about Norwegian knitting and knitting as part of culture. And this really got me thinking about my own heritage as a knitter. As I have mentioned before I come from three generations of knitters, well I am the Third that I know of. I guess my Great Grandmother might have knitted but she died just after my mom was born so I don’t know much about her. I want to find out more about South African knitters from the past. I need to narrow this down so I am going to focus on 1900 – 1990

The sorts of things I am wondering are:

  • Where did they get their patterns? Were they from imported magazines, or handed down by generations? Or maybe some South African pattern publications. Are there any Afrikaans publications?
  • What styles prevailed? Are they different from the American/British fashions of the time?
  • Are there specific colours or colourwork techniques that are favoured?
  • Is there any sort of general cohesion that can be identified as South African ?

So I am now on the look out for photos of hand knits made in South Africa between 1900 and 1990. Copies of patterns will also be very useful but so would photos of garments. One can learn a lot from photos.

As a side note, if you do want to send digital copies of photos and patterns please let me know whether you want me to keep them private for my reference only or if you are happy for me to publish them on my blog and potentially in print if I do land up writing a paper with my research. I can supply my email address if you wish to email them to me.

Also if you do know the date of the photo and the person in the photo and or the location of the photo please let me know that too!

I am very excited about this project and I hope that you are too!
Peace and Love
Ellie

7 thoughts on “Knitting Research : South African Heritage

  1. All the best with your project, looking forward to reading more. My uncle loves knitting and he learned from his mom, my granny. Unfortunately I don’t have information on knitting to share. My granny and aunts also did crocheting and generously crochet outfits, especially baby outfits for many of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Ellie, this is a fantastic project. I’m male and not a knitter but your ideas are wonderful. The V&A in London hold archive material on many subjects and I’m sure textiles would be included. Also, there are guilds and societies which may also hold archive material. I love it! Great good luck🍀 and keep us up to date here. Ashley💐🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

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