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Paperback No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting Book

ISBN: 0345362535

ISBN13: 9780345362537

No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

An historian and lifelong knitter, Anne Macdonald now expertly guides readers on a revealing tour of the history of knitting in America. In No Idle Hands Macdonald considers how the necessity -- and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

No Idle Mind in reviewing No Idle Hands

This is probably one of the very best books I've read on any kind of needlework history. It was factual, informative, and just the right amount of humor to make it enjoyable. Any knitter or any one interested in the history of needlearts would find this book to be one of the very best.

Sheep to Sheer Pleasure

A non-knitter, I find this book a continuous pleasure. Macdonald's humor and serious interest knit well together. She looks at different aspects of women's work during peace and war. Men and boys who knit are discussed too, but the emphasis is on women knitting.

One of my favorite books

Reading the reviews, I can understand why a non-knitter would not be charmed by this book. This book is by, for and about knitters. Whenever I'm bogged down with my knitting, I pick this book up again, seeking inspiration from 200 years of American knitters. The book is delightfully written, with lots of original source quotations, and allows us to peek into the day-to-day lives of colonial knitters, revolutionary war knitters, civil war knitters, depression era knitters, etc. It gives one a strong sense of women's role in American society at different times, reminds us (often amusingly) about fads and trends, and shows how wars shape lives beyond the battlefields. It's a wonderful book. My only regret is that it doesn't have more photographs of knitters and old knit garments.

Knitting has always been an important social responsibility

This book is a wonderful examination of the social history of knitting. Knitting for family has always been a requirement of any woman. But, this book revels how woman across America knitted items in support of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, WWI and WWI. In fact, there is currently a program to knit scarves in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Knitting for charity is also discussed. When our governments can not, or will not, provide for the needy; American's women have.

full and very readable

This book describes the types of things that women (and sometimes men and children) knitted, the situations in which they learned, and how knitting contributed to their pleasure, financial survival, or feeling of political or social significance from the colonial period through the late 1980's, thus spanning the American Revolution, early nationhood, the westward movement and women's broadening education, both sides of the Civil War, both World Wars, and more recent generations. Setting knitting in the context of surrounding history, including such elements as wars, education, fashions, sports trends, and politics, _No Idle Hands_ would be valueable both to the ordinary knitter wanting a better idea of the past of his or her hobby and to a student of women's history. Although it contains no full patterns, it does have many excerpts from books, magazines, plays, diaries, and other writings that discussed knitting, and it has a bibliographty and index that together can help one trace sources for some of the patterns for items mentioned in the book; although some of these sources are obviously in historical societies and other out-of-the-way places, others are published sources that today's reader/knitter can buy.
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