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No Idle Hands: The Social History of…

No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting

by Anne L. Macdonald

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This is an interesting read about knitting in America from colonial days to the present of the writer in 1988. The last chapter talking about the boom in the 80's was to be followed by bust and then the modern boom and the explosion of the interaction of Knitting and the Internet. It was also pretty interesting when she was talking about some of the fashions and changes and popularity of certain yarns and perceptions about knitting. Much of which you can map as happening at the moment and you can also see some of what was popular waning as it has before and probably will wax and wane again.

It does also dwell on knitting for war and knitting for peace. Some intersting ideas. There was also a mention of a "stitch and bitch" in the mid to late 20th Century! The dearth of knitting for men and the curiousity about male knitters is also addressed.

It's a book that could do with a short update talking about the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century knitting that's been written by people like me as I type. I'd also love to see a serious look at the history of knitting (and crochet) in Ireland, somewhat like this book. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 29, 2010 |
This is another indispensable book on the history of knitting. It is, as advertised, a social history, and as such focuses on what people were knitting, and why, rather than on patterns and techniques. It's a fascinating portrait of the knitting women and men in the United States. ( )
  Jinjifore | Oct 1, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345362535, Paperback)

Drawn from diaries, letters and personal reminiscences, No Idle Hands tells an intimate and sometimes hair-raising story of hand knitting in America from Colonial times onward. Women knit through the hardships of covered wagon travel across the West. They knit to save their husbands and sons from freezing to death on battlefields. Shell-shocked men knit to save their sanity in hospitals during both world wars. No Idle Hands documents the importance knitting has had in American life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:19 -0400)

Examines the history of the nation from the perspective of women and knitting, tracing the changes in day-to-day life and in women's roles in society from colonial times to the present.

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