Last week at our Huddersfield branch meeting of the Knitting and Crochet Guild we had a presentation about ‘supported needle knitting’ by Maureen Wheeler, the KCG’s archive curator. She brought along with her a fantastic selection of Shetland knitting belts, Yorkshire, Durham, and Welsh knitting sticks, and related items.
Seeing the belts I was reminded that I had seen a piece of writing and a picture somewhere about Yorkshire knitting belts. Feeling fairly sure it was by Penelope Hemingway, I checked in my digital copy of ‘River Ganseys’, kept on my iPad, and sure enough I found there a picture and information about Yorkshire knitting belts. Apparently, as well as knitting sheaths/sticks, a knitting belt, called here either a ‘Tippie’ or a ‘Tishie’ was commonly used in the Yorkshire gansey tradition. Penelope thinks that it may have been used in inland Yorkshire areas too, particularly in the Vale of York, as there is a Yorkshire tippie in one of the museums there. Penelope has also blogged about the Yorkshire Tippie here.
I also have Gladys Thompson’s book ‘Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans’, which describes Yorkshire tippies:
‘knitting tippies, like those seen in Shetland were worn, these were small leather pouches. The one seen at Staithes was pierced with several holes, into one of which the pin was stuck, and held round the waist by a leather band. The Flamborough tippie was a flap of leather pierced by two holes, through which a strong ‘bit of band’ was threaded and twisted round the long knitting needle.’
So, now I know that knitting belts were a Yorkshire tradition as well as a Shetland tradition, I have even more incentive to invest in one of these: