A Fishwife’s Shawl

The start of my fishwife’s shawl – modelled by my wee imp!

This week’s project is dusting off the knitting needles to make a more authentic shawl for my fishwife’s costume. It has been a fair while since I picked up any knitting – I used to knit when I was a student (before it was trendy) to chill out and to make myself chunky jumpers that weren’t in the shops… but it was only ever knit, purl or rib. Then I went through a phase in the early noughties when hand made gifts, floofy wool and knitting in the pub were en vogue. (My apologies to anyone who received a squinty knobbly scarf that probably went up in flames when merely in the same room as a candle!)

Now that I’m happy with my Pictish, Viking and the prospect of making my own Medieval clothing… I was unhappy with my rather modern Fishwife’s shawl which you can see in the photo below.

Telling a story with my Fishwife Puppet, Elsie.

After a fair amount of peering at old photos of fishwives (including one of my g-g-grandmother Mary Ann McConnell) and finding that there was nothing in the charity shops or available online that looked like what I needed, I decided the best thing to do would be to learn a few new stitches and knit my own!

Watch this space! 😀

(The apron isn’t correct for the North East of Scotland. Photos from our coast tend to show a dark cloth with some texture… but it’s what people imagine when they think of Scottish fishwives – the big colourful aprons worn by the Newhaven Fishwives – so I decided to go with that for my storytelling costume! I’ve already got a fantastic pair of (much mended) Victorian style boots too. )

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