• Herb Wheeler's Carpentry Shop

    New knitted mitts kit in the works

    Greetings and a very happy holidays to all! This past year has been one of change, challenges and uncertainties, for myself and I’m sure for many of you too. I regret that some projects I had meant to complete in 2021, thanks to the challenges both of COVID-19 restrictions and personal health issues, have had to be put on hold or indefinitely postponed. I’m sure many of you can identify with this situation. I am looking forward to 2022 with a positive feeling of hope. I wanted to drop a line and reconnect to let you know there’s one project I’ve been able to push through the challenges of 2021……

  • Testing Huron County Arcott wool

    In preparation for choosing a wool for the reproduction of Herbert Wheeler’s knitted gloves, I’ve been knitting up a few test swatches using a locally produced wool, a Huron County Arcott. The sport-weight wool is a medium grade with a tendency to create a natural nap on the surface after wet finishing, according to Deborah Livingston-Lowe, experienced weaver, textile designer and owner of Upper Canada Weaving. Upper Canada Weaving was founded in 2010 by Deborah to reproduce 19th century Ontario textiles such as coverlets, rag carpets and linens. I can tell you, fellow knitters, that Huron Arcott, sourced from a Brussels-area farm and purchased through Upper Canada Weaving, is an…

  • Herb Wheeler's Carpentry Shop

    The Huron Wristers: a story of connections part 2

    Continued from The Huron Wristers: a story of connections part 1 Was there a family tie to either Estonia or the British Isles? The answer would help to identify the glove pattern perhaps. When an instagram post by Best Dishes, a Goderich business owned by Sarah Anderson, appeared in my feed one day identifying the wristers pattern as based on a family heirloom, chance had dropped the perfect opportunity. It was time to connect. A couple messages back and forth and the story unfolded… History of the Wheeler Family Sarah as it turns out, is the daughter of Richard Anderson, great-nephew of Herbert Wheeler. Richard sent the following information about…

  • The Huron Wristers: a story of connections part 1

    The story of the creation of the Huron Wristers is a story of connections: the connection of past to present, of generation to generation. Back in 1972 Pearl Wheeler donated a pair of knitted gloves that once belonged to her husband Herbert to the Huron County Museum and Historic Gaol. The museum’s record notes that at the time the gloves were thought to date from 1870 and were knit by a man. Herbert and Pearl lived in Belgrave, Ontario. Herbert had seven siblings, four brothers and three sisters.  His parents were Charles Wheeler and Mary Ann Wilkinson. Herbert was a carpenter and apparently also the local barber. How long the…

  • Huron Wristers Kits now available for online purchase

    Hi, everyone! Just a quick update on the Huron Wristers Kits… the kits are now available for purchasing through the FACTS online store: https://factsblyth.ca/shop/ Inspired by a pair of historical gloves from the textile collection of the Huron County Museum, the Huron Wristers pattern features a recreation of the colourwork pattern from the original museum gloves. The kit is a unique reflection of the natural resources, history, and creativity found in Huron County. The wristers are fingerless mitts perfect for working on computers, devices and outdoor activities when you need your fingers free. The kit is $45 and includes 1 hank (100 grams) of off-white, undyed wool; 2 smaller hanks…

  • Huron Wristers and the Colours of Huron

    The Blyth History Stitcher is at it again… naturally dyed palette created by FACTS and beautiful wool from Steele Wool Farm, this is definitely a creative fibre collaboration; it’s time for an update on the Huron Wristers. The Huron Wristers Kits are now in production, with the coloured yarn being weighed and divided. The worsted weight wool is from Steele Wool Farm, a Blyth-area fibre producer owned by Margaret Steele. Naturally sourced local dyes, provided by FACTS Blyth, were used to create the palette of the ‘Colours of Huron’. Each kit will have enough wool to knit a pair of medium/large fingerless mitts and will consist of one ball of natural wool (220 yards)…

  • Researching vintage colourwork

    I’ve been doing some research on colourwork patterns and knitting histories and traditions as part of the development of a new pattern, the Huron Wristers. The wristers pattern is based on a pair of lovely knitted gloves in the collection of the Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol located in Goderich, Ontario. The museum’s gloves are approximately 100 years old, are knit with wool and are large enough to fit a man’s hands. The pattern is somewhat similar to Sanquhar and Fair Isle colourwork traditions. I went through many a pattern book and magazine, looking for where the pattern may have originated. I’ve come to think that the knitter (said…

  • Huron Wristers – an update

    I was working at finalizing & editing my pattern for the Huron Wristers, a pair of fingerless gloves. Gotta get it ready for a test stitcher or two. Wool is from Steele Wool Farm . Colourwork is based on a pair of knitted gloves in the collection of Huron County Museum.

  • How to Make a Chiton Dress

    A chiton, constructed from a rectangular piece of fabric, is a type of ancient Greek clothing worn in antiquity by both men and women. The chiton was wrapped over and around the body and held in place by shoulder pins and a waist sash or belt. Men wore the chiton knee-length; women always wore an ankle-length chiton. Today, the chiton is a popular and easy item to create and wear for a costume party. This no-sew method for making a chiton dress is quick and relatively simple. You will need: Flat white sheet 3 safety pins or brooches Waist sash, rope or belt Step 1 Fold your sheet in half…