A special bit of knitting...

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Where has the sun gone?! Everytime I get my sunglasses out, it seems to get colder and start to rain!

Knitted stockings

Knitted stockings: maybe a bit itchy?

Luckily it is Knitting in Public Day on Saturday (11 June), so I'm hoping that some of the World Museum staff taking part might make me something nice and warm! If you'd like to join them for a bit of furious needle action, then pop in from 2.30pm - there's more information in our 'what's on' listings.

It also turns out we have some interesting knitted accessories in our costume collections. The stockings in this photo are made from undyed knitted silk and were made sometime between 1775-1800.

At that time, if men were going to be the height of fashion they had to have good legs, including nicely shaped calves. If you didn't have attractive legs you could have a pair of stockings made, padded with lambswool. These gave even the skinniest legs muscles in all the right places. It was a bit like wearing a padded bra today!

Not many pairs of these sorts of stockings have survived to today. In fact, this is probably the only surviving pair in a British museum, making them pretty special.

Would knitted stockings shrink in the rain? I wouldn't like to find out...

Update 13/06/2011: Have a look at some photos of our Knitting in Public event on Flickr. There are also some photos of Anglo Saxon weaving demonstrations from last week