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

history

A Brief History of Elastic

We've all been living in our PJs for so long at this point, it's hard to imagine putting on normal jeans to go to the grocery store. How does anyone function without elastic waistbands, strech denim, elasticated socks, or the hundreds of other strechy, adjustable products we use on a daily basis? It starts with… Continue reading A Brief History of Elastic

books

A Review: Renoir Boots from American Duchess

One thing I've been doing since I started working from home is slowly compiling the pieces I need to finish off my Victorian costumes for reenactment, since that's something I'd like to get back to once we can go places again. The first item on my list is one I've been lusting after for years,… Continue reading A Review: Renoir Boots from American Duchess

knitting

Knitter Seeks Burial Stockings

You've probably figured out by now, even if you're new here, that I like history. And textiles. And in particular, textile history. Several years ago, back near the start of this blog, I lived in Italy for a brief period while studying textile conservation. While there, I developed a keen interest in the burial stockings… Continue reading Knitter Seeks Burial Stockings

history

The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.

If you've been over to my reading blog, then you probably know I am not a big fan of Woodrow Wilson. In fact, I would go so far as to rank him in my top five worst presidents we've ever had, and that is a pretty competitive list. But I'm not here to talk politics,… Continue reading The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.