Bog-Body Knitting

This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as a former child-dreaming-of-a-career-in-archaeology I am fascinated by this pattern: the Gunnister Purse Replica by Chris Laning. (The pattern itself is posted at the Island of Misfit Patterns—a welcome new find for me.)


This bag is a replica of one found in 1951 (1953?) with the Gunnister bog burial (c. late 17th C).

Interestingly enough, a bit of searching reveals that one can also find patterns for Gunnister gloves ($5) and Gunnister Stockings (no picture with these, but the pattern is free).

To me, there’s something simultaneously magic and deeply human about choosing to knit a replica of a knitted piece originally used over 300 years ago. I feel the same way as a quilter and prefer working with reproduction fabrics, particularly those reflecting styles from the mid-1800s and the 1930s. (I’ve got lots of sources for these on my links page, if you’re interested.) If you know of other replica patterns you’ve knit (or hope to knit) I’d love to hear about them.

P.S. Full details on the Blogiversary Raffle coming up on Monday. My friend Chris has generously donated two skeins of Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts as an additional prize!

February 01 2008 11:18 am | Quilts

3 Responses to “Bog-Body Knitting”

  1. ellen Strauss on 01 Feb 2008 at 4:21 pm #

    Many years ago, when Plimoth Plantation was just getting started ( it is the reconstruction of the original village in Plymoth, MA) they enlisted the help of the Boston Weaver’s Guild to weave reproductions of textiles and also to knit items for the docents to wear. They published a booklet entitled 17th Century Knitting Patterns. I don’t know if it is still available anywhere. I knitted one sweater – it was very fine wool, small needles and perfectly plain stockinette stitch and took forever, so I never knitted any others.

  2. ellen Strauss on 01 Feb 2008 at 4:32 pm #

    I have just located my copy of 17th Century Knitting Patterns. It contains patterns for two kinds of caps, an Oval purse, and patterns for five of the Gunnister items: the purse, the Gunnister cap without brim, the Gunnister cap with turned up brim, the Gunnister stockings, and the Gunnister gloves (all with photos) Plus some other things.

  3. Lella on 03 Feb 2008 at 11:28 am #

    What a beautiful little bag. One of the reasons that I love thread arts is that it unites women laterally and chronologically as well. Astrally even? ;o) I really don’t care of some men took over it all at one time. The Art is OURS! :-)

    Thank you for the very interesting link to all the garments and the historical info.

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