19th century knitting manuals, free online library

The digital Richard Rutt Collection offers free online access to a range of old knitting books, courtesy of the Winchester School of Art and the University of Southampton (UoS).

Thanks to their great digitalisation work, such rare items are now easily accessible:  simply visit their webpage and click on the book images that you see listed there. For each book, you will thus access a PDF document (which can be browsed and saved to your computer, if wished). No need to log in or register. Isn’t that cool?

A little example:

Myra’s knitting lessons. No.1. Containing the rudiments of knitting and various useful patterns for this work”, circa 1800.


I thought to share the info… hopefully it may be interesting to some of you or your friends. I just think they made such an amazing work to give free and easy access to everyone! Enjoy!

12 thoughts on “19th century knitting manuals, free online library

  1. Flora Poste says:

    Dear Judith, Thank you so much for this link. That is a treasure trove for the vintage knitting lover! I should do groceries but got distraced most seriously. Thank you for sharing, ♥Johanna

  2. Forest So Green says:

    This is very interesting. I love knitting and history. Annie

  3. Cinn says:

    Wonderful resource, thank you for posting!

  4. Thank you! This combines my love of needlework, history, books and digital technology!

  5. Martha says:

    This vintage book looks gorgeous!
    Have you come across any knitting handbook that would be devoted to continental knitting?
    I’m still in two mind for which option I should go. I do basic knit stitches in the continental way, just as I learnt them in my childhood, however I’d love to explore more knitting patterns and all are described in my English handbooks in a “rather English way”. Or is a particular knitting pattern universal for both ways of knitting and it’s just a matter of holding the yarn and making different moves? What do you think?
    It still feels to me like I’ve got to get my knitting skills sorted.

  6. MasonBentley says:

    This is when I LOVE the digital revolution.. xxx

    • itwasjudith says:

      cool, isn’t it?
      i’ve been thinking whether to look for similar volunteering projects, not sure there are any though for public participation… xxxx

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