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Knitting sheath

Knitting sheath

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1679 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved boxwood with brass lining

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 57, case 1

Knitting sheaths were attached to the waist and used to support one knitting needle so that the knitter only needed to use one hand for plain knitting. Many women supplemented their incomes by making knitted goods for sale and a knitting sheath made it possible to knit while carrying out other domestic chores, in particular carrying or feeding infants.

Knitting sheaths were often made as love tokens. This carved boxwood example bears the initials AT and the date 1679 with an inscription, 'I am box and brass within, my place is on your apron string'. The hole at the top of the sheath to hold the needle is lined with brass.

Physical description

Carved boxwood with geometric decoration and brass lining to hole.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1679 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved boxwood with brass lining

Marks and inscriptions

'I am box and brass within, my place is on your apron string'

AT / 1679


Length: 7.75 in, Width: 0.6 in, Depth: 0.6 in


Needlework accessories; Woodwork


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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