Sweaters and Swimsuits: Knitting patterns as historical sources

"Old knitting patterns are easy to see as ephemeral, disposable items, artefacts of everyday life that we can see in our memory on our mothers’ laps, but that we don’t readily picture in an archive. They are produced for a very specific purpose, and are not designed to become historians’ or biographical researchers’ sources. However, cultural historians and historians of everyday life can learn from them, and can use them as windows on to their…