Some of you may be familiar with the video I posted a couple of years ago of me demonstrating how to use a spindle style knitting sheath, one of the kinds of knitting sheaths traditionally used in my part of Yorkshire. Recently I’ve firmed up and extended my knowledge about these and other knitting sheaths used in Yorkshire as part of my preparations for my Yorkshire Knitting Tour, during which I will be teaching a whole session about them.
As well as wooden and tin varieties, Yorkshire sheaths included beautiful brass hearts, many plain and many decorated. These were widespread across the north of the county. The heart, which usually included a leftward scroll at the bottom was cut from sheet brass, sometimes curved into a convex shape, and then attached into a slot in the bottom of the haft (the part of the sheath which receives the needle). Some Yorkshire heart sheaths are also etched with decoration and initials.
Because I want to have example sheaths on hand for my guests to examine during my teaching session, I have gradually amassed a very small collection, comprising two Dentdale style goosewing sheaths, and a couple of the aforesaid spindle sheaths. Alas, brass sheaths rarely come up for auction. Last summer I saw only one and bid for it, but sadly the price went too high for me. Then, amazingly, two came up in the same Doncaster auction last weekend, and this time my bids were successful. So I am now the proud owner of these two beautiful Yorkshire hearts: