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Kate Davies

Bluestockings

Bluestockings is a beautiful book, co-edited by Kate Davies and Nicole Pohl. It brings together a celebration of the group of eighteenth-century learned women known as the Bluestockings, with a wide-ranging exploration of sock and stocking knitting.

The book’s first section features different perspectives on the history of socks and stockings, from expert contributors like Susan North (curator of eighteenth-century fashion at the V&A) and Sonja Bargielowska (of John Arbon worsted spinners). In the book’s second section, essays about creative eighteenth-century women such as Mary Delany and Phillis Wheatley Peters are accompanied by contemporary toe-up patterns for socks and stockings. Among the Bluestocking-inspired designs, you’ll find openwork and texture, stripes, chevrons, stranded colourwork, and a go-to sock and stocking recipe named for talented eighteenth-century classicist (and knitter) Elizabeth Carter. Setting top tips about knitting toe-up socks alongside an exploration of historic dyestuffs, and bringing groundbreaking women writers together with accessible, wearable design, this lavishly illustrated volume offers an exciting in-the-round combination of material history, contemporary making, and early feminism.

Contributors: Sonja Bargielowska, Kate Davies, Kristina Decker, Elizabeth Eger, Susan North, Nicole Pohl, Isabella Whitworth.

Yarn used: John Arbon Exmoor Sock 4ply