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Cage Farm

Knitting as a cottage industry in the Yorkshire Dales began at the end of the 16th century and lasted until the early 20th century. Dales knitting, with a time span of over 300 years, must hold the record for the longest domestic knitting industry in England. But for the research work done by Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby before the Second World War and recorded in their book The Old Handknitters of the Dales, we would know little of these poor people toiling away over the centuries in dimly lit cottages trying to eke out a miserable existence by knitting articles like stockings, top garments and latterly, gloves. Fortunately, the Hartley and Ingilby collection of memorabilia and articles connected with this distinctive Dales industry is preserved for present and future generations in the Museum at Hawes in Wensleydale.

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

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