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June 29, 2003

Sanquhar Knitting at Folk Life

My, my, what an irresponsible knit blogger I've been lately! I just can't keep my focus. Lots to talk about tonight though.

Yesterday and today I went down to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. We had two good weather days in a row on a weekend. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Saturday, I made it down around noon and headed straight for Scotland. I spent five hours in Scotland looking at the demonstrations, talking to the craftspeople, and listening to the music. One place I went to repeatedly was to the knitting tent so I could talk to the knitting demonstrators. All three were so open, gracious, and willing to talk about their knitting despite the heat and the throngs.

The first knitter I talked to was May MacCormick who was knitting gloves in the black & white Sanquhar style without a pattern or chart. She was knitting a man's glove using doubled lace-weight merino on approximately size US 1 needles. Women's gloves are knit on smaller needles.

May MacCormick

Not only are the Sanquhar gloves notable for their distinctive black & white patterns, they also have a unique three-sided finger construction with tiny little salt & pepper gussets at the base of each finger. [Sorry, no detail shot].

Here's a sample of various patterns used; some are named in commemoration of an event or VIP, but others are traditional and remain unnamed.

The Sanquhar selection

The pattern on the glove below is named Rose. The card reads,

"Miss Wilson has been credited with compiling the Rose pattern when Princess Margaret Rose was born. This pattern was certainly 'all the rage' in the 1930's."
The Rose

Knitting patterns for Sanquhar gloves can be obtained from the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes for approximately $1 US plus postage.

I'll have more to say about the festival soon [Hopefully, I can stay on a roll with posting]. I still have Shetland lace and Fair Isle knitting to talk about and some non-knitting content too.

09:04 PM | Permalink


Hellow.I am japanese.
Did you buy Sanquhar gloves?
If i will go to sanquhar, can i buy thease? I am a fan of sanquhar Knits. But I cann't make knits myself and we cann't buy sanquhar knits in japan.
Now Until 2006, but if you know about this, would you tell me it?

Posted by: 193 at Oct 26, 2006 11:13:14 PM