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The Dales Knitting Tradition
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pair of socks
  History
With a history which spans four centuries find out how the Knitting Tradition had its origins in York and was forced into more rural parts, eventually finding it's way into the Yorkshire Dales, where it has become an established trade and artform.
  Patterns
Find out how the Yorkshire Dales inspires design of new patterns. There are a selection of cross-stitch patterns shown here along with instructions on how to create new patterns on your own computer.
  Gallery
This is an area which gives you an opportunity to view some photographic images depicting the Dales Knitting tradition and some of the people and products and settings involved associated in its long history.
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Links page

Clara Sedgwick Sheep have been domesticated in the Dales since the Bronze Age (3-200BC), so Dales farmers have had a very long association with this animal. Indeed, during the Middle Ages the Cistercian Abbey of Fountains, became the most powerful in England, its wealth based almost entirely on sheep farming carried out on lands it owned the length and breadth of the Dales. Fountains Fell overlooking upper Ribblesdale, for example, marked the western extent of lands owned by the Abbey situated many miles to the east.

At the end of the 16th century, after the Dissolution of the monasteries, local sheep and the people who reared them continued to play a crucial role in the setting up and success of England's longest and most distinctive hand-knitting industry. Today, the Dales continues to provide inspiration and raw material for many textile craft leisure groups, including hand spinning, weaving and dyeing, embroidery, hand and machine knitting, crochet etc. Long may these crafts and their enthusiasts flourish!


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(text, © Kathleen Kinder 1997. photos, © Kathleen Kinder/Bill Mitchell 1997 k.kinder@daelnet.co.uk)

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