I’m participating in the third annual knitting and crochet blog week. Today, I must blog about someone in the fiber crafts who truly inspires me. It should have been a tough question: there are so many people whose patterns, yarn, tools or craft I admire. But one special lady floats to the top.
The BF and I recently rented Young Victoria. I enjoyed the movie so much that I watched the extras too. In one of the making-of interviews, actress Emily Blunt, who plays Victoria, talks about the research she did to prepare for her role, and she revealed something very exciting: Queen Victoria was an avid knitter and crocheter. And she was unashamedly so at a time when fiber craft was still considered by many in England to be a “career of the working man” and not a refined art. She was a trend-setter. She was a change agent.
During Victoria’s reign, knitting and crochet experienced a dramatic resurgence in popularity. Well-bred girls were expected to learn how to knit.
And here’s a really important development we can all thank her for: because middle and upper class people were interested in knitting, we began to see some of the first formal documentation of how things should be made. That’s patterns, ladies and gentlemen. The first printed patterns.
Queen Victoria promoted the fiber arts throughout her life. Shetland knitted lace became extremely popular in England when Queen Victoria fell in love with it.
Late in life, Queen Victoria crocheted eight special “Scarves of Honor” to be presented as awards to British forces fighting in South Africa. Some believed this special honor to be the equal of, or even a rank above the Victoria Cross. This is not supported by research, which indicates that the scarves had no particular status as a decoration. Still, it would have been pretty darn cool to receive a scarf personally crocheted for you by the Queen.
Thank you, ma’am, for all you did to promote fiber crafts. You’re my knitting/crochet hero.
- 3KCBWDAY1 – Colour Lovers (hopefuldays.wordpress.com)
- 3KCBWDAY2 – Photography Challenge Day (hopefuldays.wordpress.com)
- An Acceptance Speech! (knitnrun4sanity.wordpress.com)
Thanks for the info. The lace veil she’s wearing looks amazing …. I wish they were in fashion today but I have a hunch my daughter would REALLY worry should I begin to wear one! 🙂
Just think: some day you will be old enough that you can wear anything you want and no one will say a word.
I never knew that. Thanks for the enoightenment!
You’re welcome 🙂
Are you participating in the 3KCBW blog carnival? Who is your hero?
Yes and I was unable to pin it down to one like you! Well done to you for that 🙂
Wow! This is amazing. I did not know the Queen Victoria knit or crocheted. Thank you for teaching me something new today! I love the pictures you shared and the bit of history. 🙂
Amazing hero! I had no idea she was so crafty.
Neither did I. I also learned that she grew up knitting in the German tradition (her mother was a German princess). Over there, knitting was perfectly normal for an upper class woman.
What a engaging post! Very informative.
Thank you for saying so. I love learning about the history of fiber arts.
Oh I had to share this post on FB. What a great history lesson I never knew about! Mahalo for gettin’ the word out.
Thanks for sharing it! I feel flatterd.
Interesting! These are the cool little “personal” bits that always get left out of history classes…
Indeed. It’s so easy to forget that important historical figures were people too. And the things that make them three dimensional often seem so inconsequential.
That is pretty cool
Imagine Christmas in the royal household. “but she spent six hours crocheting me a scarf – what are you meant to get for the the queen who has and can make everything!”
I suppose you would have to get pretty creative. Or extravagant. Or both.
Wow! That is really interesting. I had no idea.
Yeah, no kidding. I never knew this until I saw the movie. And then I just had to read more. I considered picking up a copy of her published diaries just to find the parts about knitting.
Yay, these was great! I always thought there was something special about her 🙂
That is so cool! I had seen that image of Victoria spinning, but I always figured it was more for show.
Without Victoria, knitting might not be what it is today. We might not have patterns!
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This was a very informative post! Very interesting read. 🙂
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