People Knitting: A Century of Photographs (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

We all know at least one serious knitter but would you buy that person a book of patterns? Too risky. This book is perfect. A wonderful collection of photos dating from the 1860s to the 1960s of all kinds of people in the act of knitting. — Stan Hynds


People Knitting is a charming tribute in vintage photographs and printed ephemera to the ever-popular, often all-consuming, craft of knitting. When women posed with their knitting in the earliest nineteenth-century photographs, it demonstrated their virtue and skill as homemakers. Later, knitting became fashionable among the wealthy as a sign of culture and artistic ability. During the two world wars, images of nurses, soldiers, prisoners, and even knitting clubs composed of very serious small boys—all with heads bent down, intent on knitting items (especially socks) for the troops—abounded. In the 1950s and 1960s, as snapshots became ubiquitous, knitters took on a jauntier air, posing with handiwork held proudly aloft. People Knitting is a quirky and fascinating gift for the knitter in your life.

About the Author

Barbara Levine is a collector, artist and curator specializing in vernacular photography and unusual collections. She runs Project B, an archive and collaborative curatorial venture and is the author of Camera Era, Finding Frida Kahlo, Around The World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums and Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album. Her website is

Praise For…

“This charming book features snapshots of knitters from the 1860s to the 1960s, showing men and women being focused, compelled, soothed, and inspired by this everyday practical craft.… In this quaint small-size gift book, Barbara Levine brings forward a universality of experience across generations and a sense of camaraderie that will warm the hearts of knitters of today.” —Publishers Weekly

“Wonderful.… A fascinating look at people knitting from the 1860s through to the 1960s. There are photographs of people knitting while sitting, walking, driving, in a hair salon, and as a hobby, an occupation or a duty. All of them are compelling. Regardless if you’re a knitter or not, Barbara Levine’s photographs are a charming ode to this long and timeless tradition.” —Atlas Obscura

“Utterly charming.” —The Week

"This small hardback book is a tribute to knitters everywhere, from humble housewives to Hollywood starlets.The images give a glimpse into a daily pastime, and the viewer is left wondering about the lives behind these photos, as well as gaining a sense of the cultural importance of knitting at different points in history." - Knitter Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616893927
ISBN-10: 1616893923
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 144
Language: English
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