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Get knitting the Edwardian way


Anne Shoring of Artesanyarns and Elizabeth Semper O'Keefe
Anne Shoring of artesanyarns and Elizabeth Semper O'Keefe.

Budding knitters are being encouraged to pick up their needles and create a vintage garment that was designed in the early 20th century but looks good on today’s catwalk too.

Herefordshire Council’s archive service has been working with local independent company artisanyarns, to produce a unique historical knitting kit, following the popularity of knitting workshops set up by the archive service and Anne Shoring of artisanyarns in 2011 and 2012.

The vintage knitting kit was launched over the weekend of 28-29 April at Wonderwool Wales, the premier wool and natural fibre festival in Wales. The kit provides the pattern and luxury yarn for a hug-me-tight: a type of sleeveless shrug that was particularly popular during Edwardian times. 

The pattern comes from the early 20th century manuscript knitting pattern book belonging to Mabel Frances Chave, a talented member of the noted Hereford family – her father William Chave was once the owner of the Broad Street chemist’s shop that bears his name and was also Mayor of Hereford in 1891.

Herefordshire Council’s chief archivist, Elizabeth Semper O’Keefe, said: “I’m sure that local knitters will be excited about bringing a little bit of the past to life in wool.  And the final garment is very wearable too.  Miss Chave would be delighted to know that her pattern was being put to practical use after so many years.”

To buy a knitting kit, please contact Anne Shoring of artisanyarns at

The pattern is also available to buy separately from Herefordshire Council’s record office, contact, 01432 260750.