Friday, May 22, 2009

happy birthday vicky

There seems to be a bit of a misconception about Queen Victoria's Birthday. It is actually today, May 24th, and she was born in 1819 and lived to the ripe old age of 82 in 1901.

Queen Victoria was a big fan of knitted Shetland Lace and she knit herself. I stole this quote from the Yarn Harlot's page a day calendar. Sorry Stephanie, I didn't think you'd mind) and she took it from the New York Times, dated December 25th, 1898. It describes the sorts of Christmas gifts given by the Queen:

"There are comfortable woollen goods, sometimes made by the Queen's own hands, for she is fond of a little plain knittting. She uses large bone needles and double Berlin wool. It amuses her to make comforters and cuffs ready for Christmas presents, but it is only special favorites witin the roay family circle or among old retainers who are honored with these gifts."

Something else important to know about Queen Victoria is that she supported the knitting of socks by hand. Just before her birth was a time of huge labour unrest in England with the Luddites smashing sock knitting machines as a protest against low wages and rising prices and it would be interesting to see exactly how she felt about it all. I shall find out some more as I go along....

One interesting item that I did find out is that black and white silk stockings with hand crafted ornaments which belonged to Queen Victoria were sold in September of 2008 at an auction in Derby, England for 8,000 pounds (nearly 10,000 euros) by the Ruddington Framework Knitters` Museum from Nottingham.

Nice Socks!

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