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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  12:36:09 PM  Show Profile Send azbecky a Private Message
I believe that Helen of Troy knitted. Didn't she knit each day and then un-knit it at night to keep her suitors away?
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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 02/28/2003 :  1:47:52 PM  Show Profile Send lwjewell a Private Message
Dorothy Sayers' detective, Lord Peter Wimsey, had a sister who knitted in Murder Must Advertise. I believe it was Penelope, wife of Odysseus, who unravelled her weaving every night.

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New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2003 :  1:03:05 PM  Show Profile Send annm a Private Message

I'm sure there must be someone knitting in Little Women, or in the Little House on the Prairie books, and even, perhaps, in Jane Austen?

-- Marg in Calgary


I definitely remember Jo in Little Women knitting. It was either a pair of socks or a sweater. What stuck in my mind was that either the socks didn't match or one sleeve was much longer than the other. Just something that always struck me as funny. Of course, that was before I started knitting.

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Chatty Knitter

330 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2003 :  2:29:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit katxena's Homepage Send katxena a Private Message
Last week, I wrote:

I don't recall any Jane Austen characters who knit, and I would be really surprised if any of them were knitters. They were all gentry and I think knitting had not become a leisure activity yet (like embroidery or quilling had). 18th century knitters would have been in the lower classes knitting for their livelihoods -- not elite women trying to become "accomplished" enough to win the attentions of a rich man.

I was wrong about that. Some members of Jane Austen's family were knitters. In this letter to her sister Cassandra, JA mentions that their mother enjoys glove-knitting:

According to the Jane Austen Society of Australia, JA did not knit (possibly because she associated it with old ladies!):

Knitting gets a few mentions in JA novels. In Emma Mrs. Bates (Miss Bates' mother) knits during several of Emma's visits. In Persuasion, several characters knit for charity and as a passtime.

I'm sorry for my error last week --

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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2003 :  3:26:33 PM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
Helen of Troy didn't knit. You're thinking of Penelope, Odysseus's wife. Some historians think she may have knit because she unravelled her "work" every night. If she was weaving, which other historians say she was, she couldn't easily unravel her work each night.

Penelope waited years and years for Odysseus's return and to keep suitors away, she said she she couldn't remarry until her work was done! I don't think it was ever made clear exactly what her work was.

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