history

A Short History of Nail Polish

Fun fact: I have not one, but two defunct nail art blogs (Don't look for them. Really. I'm not good at it). So it's not surprising that I, a history buff and general nerd, found myself wondering where nail polish originated. Apparently it all started back around 3200 BCE, when Babylonian warriors would go get… Continue reading A Short History of Nail Polish

history

The New England Vampire Panic

This essay is taken in part from Episode 14 of the Spooky Stitches podcast, where we talk knitting and ghost stories. If you want to see more content like this, please check out the podcast, or the Patreon, where stories like this are posted regularly, often before they show up here on the blog.  Today,… Continue reading The New England Vampire Panic

history

WWI Sleeveless Sweater for Soldiers

It doesn't look like much, does it? Let me just say, this sweater is more than the sum of its parts. I made this sweater for a friend and fellow history buff, someone who is very interested in military history. He requested it, and as soon as I saw the picture I knew exactly what… Continue reading WWI Sleeveless Sweater for Soldiers

history

Historical Profile: Ching Shih

From Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End If you ask most westerners about female pirates, they'll either give you a blank look or pipe up with a fact about Anne Bonny, and maybe Mary Read. But there's one woman who could take on both of them--who had a fleet of ships and commanded the… Continue reading Historical Profile: Ching Shih

knitting

New Article on Piecework

I have a new article up on the Piecework website. Piecework is a magazine all about history, textiles, and preservation. Whether you are a knitter, seamstress, cross stitcher, or other textile artist, it's a great place to learn more about the history and preservation of craft. You can read the article here. Want more information… Continue reading New Article on Piecework

books

An Ambitious Project

I've been putting together a fairly ambitious project for a while, and finally decided to share it with the world.  The Eleonora Project is a four-part project in which I recreate the burial stockings of Eleonora di Toledo, and create two dresses based on examples from her wardrobe. I'm currently researching and swatching for part… Continue reading An Ambitious Project

history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Nystagmus

We're doing something a little different this time around on WTKM. I'd be willing to bet that most of you have never heard the word nystagmus before, so let me break things down a little. Nystagmus is an involuntary, rapid eye movement. It can be caused by several things, including drug overdoses and head injuries,… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Nystagmus

history

The Black Hand in America

Before the mafia, there was the Black Hand, the deadliest secret society you've probably never heard of. Now, before we get started, I do want to clarify something. There are two groups known as "The Black Hand." The first is a proto-mafia group known for extortion, kidnapping, and bombings, particularly in New York, from the… Continue reading The Black Hand in America

history

Cotton in the Civil War

Many of us, particularly in the North, like to think that when America gets involved in a conflict, especially on its own terf, that it's a just war, a righteous conflict. But the truth is, most of the conflict we've fought in the past 243 years have been for economic reasons: tariffs and taxes, access… Continue reading Cotton in the Civil War

history

Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is one of those "old timey" diseases I've been aware of since I was a kid--not just because I read a lot of historical fiction as a kid, but also because I grew up in mosquito country. But knowing it exists isn't the same as knowing what it does. So what is yellow… Continue reading Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever