1. Which English king, who gave up his throne to marry a divorcee, made Fair Isle pullovers into a fashionable garment in the 1920s?
It all started in 1921 when a draper, named James A. Smith, gave the Prince of Wales a pullover with a Fair Isle pattern. From that time Edward wore this pattern on his pullovers to golf matches, on overseas tours and even had his portrait painted wearing one. Alice Starmore, the expert on Fair Isle, said that his adoption of this style was greatly significant in popularising and commercialising it. By the late 1920s most young men at Oxford and Cambridge Universities were wearing cardigans, scarves, hats and gloves in this pattern. 42% of players have answered correctly.
2. What is the name of the famous English knitting expert who was the head designer for Patons and became a popular personality through his knitting show on the BBC?
James Norbury (1904-1972) was totally devoted to knitting. His enthusiasm and eccentric personality, as well as his skills, made his segment of the BBC's Woman's Hour very popular. His books include "Traditional Knitting Patterns From Scandinavia, The British Isles, France, Italy And Other European Countries" which is still published and considered to be a basic reference book on knitting patterns. Many of his other books are still bought and sold in online markets such as E-Bay. He was one of the greatest influences on British knitting. 67% of players have answered correctly.
3. Which member of the staff at Hogwarts, Harry Potter's school, said that he read Muggle magazines because he liked the knitting patterns?
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the Headmaster at Hogwarts, has revealed in the Harry Potter books that he enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling as well as reading knitting patterns. 65% of players have answered correctly.
4. Charles Dickens created the most memorable knitter in fiction in his book "A Tale of Two Cities". What is her name?
In "A Tale of Two Cities" Madame Therese Defarge, a member of a French Revolutionary group, was implacable in her hatred of aristocrats, particularly the Darnay family. She sat in her wineshop with her knitting and encoded the names of those who were to be beheaded into her stitches. 45% of players have answered correctly.
5. Knitting by men was common in some occupations in the Scottish Isles. In which occupation was it NOT usual?
The history of men knitting might have come about from men working on their fishing nets. In the 17th and 18th centuries in Scotland it was common for whole families to engage in knitting jumpers, accessories, socks and stockings. Drawings exist of shepherds knitting while watching their flocks, sailors knitting on board ship and whole fishing families in the Scottish Isles knitting around the fire. Natural oils in woollen garments helped to provide protection against the harsh weather in this region. 31% of players have answered correctly.
6. Which English Earl, famous for leading the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade, had a woollen garment named after him?
The Earl of Cardigan was noted for his fashionable attire. During the infamous charge his men were well-dressed in the woollen button down jackets that he had chosen for his brigade. This style of jacket was named after him. 33% of players have answered correctly.
7. This very famous American artist and knitter still travels about lecturing on his highly original and colourful designs and promoting the sale of his beautiful yarns. What is his name?
Kaffe Fasset's name would be known by most enthusiastic knitters in the western world. Born in 1937 in California, he was initially an artist but, when a stranger on a train taught him to knit, he began to use his creativity to make garments where knitting technique was less important than the brilliance of the mix of colours, patterns and textiles used. In my opinion his books are worth buying if only to enjoy the beautiful montage of knits, embroidery, flowers and pottery displayed in the photos within. 30% of players have answered correctly.
8. Another English nobleman gave his name to a style of sleeve which involves a diagonal seam from the neckline to under the arm, rather than a seam along the shoulder. What is this style called?
Lord Raglan had his arm amputated after it was damaged during the Battle of Waterloo. His tailor designed a sleeve for him with the seam running from his neckline to under his arm as this made it easier for him to dress himself. This style of sleeve became very popular in knitting sleeved garments as it is simple to knit and assemble and is easy fitting. 35% of players have answered correctly.
9. Is it true that during World War II boys were taught to knit to make warm items for the fighting men?
Clinton W. Trowbridge tells how at his US school, during the war, everyone including the football team, the teachers and Headmaster used to knit 8" squares to be made into scarves and blankets for the troops. He said that once the boys had learned to knit they continued by making themselves socks, sweaters and hats. In Britain the boys liked to knit as it was easier than the more serious subjects. No-one thought that this activity was strange because it was all part of the war effort. 91% of players have answered correctly.
10. The Anglican Bishop of which city, that played an important role in the British woollen industry, wrote "A History of Handknitting"?
The correct answer was The Bishop of Leicester Bishop Richard Rutt is famous for his long service in Korea and the fact that after he retired as Bishop of Leicester he converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a Catholic priest. Since then he has written well received books on various subjects including the highly regarded "A History of Knitting". It is a fascinating book and is an excellent source of historical knitting information, images, and patterns as well as a social history. 57% of players have answered correctly.