Thursday, March 17, 2016

ChiaoGoo New Twist Mini Interchangeables - And Mini Skirt History!

ChiaoGoo Twist Mini Interchangeable Set
This is something BIG!  . . . . Well, no . . . actually it's very, very small.

This spring, ChiaoGoo is releasing the smallest-sized set of interchangeable circular knitting needles to hit the market! The new Twist Mini Interchangeable Set will contain five sizes of surgical-grade stainless steel needles from US 000 to US 1.5, three standard cable lengths, and all of the standard accessories that you'll need to put them to immediate use.

It's a big deal because they're so small.  Sometimes you want the speed of chunky yarn and big needles, but for fine projects like knitted lace, super-luxurious socks and baby garments with teeny tiny stitches, you simply must have the smallest possible needles.  Until now fine gauge knitters could not enjoy the flexibility of interchangeables.  Well, mini-knitters, "Welcome to the club!"
Egtved Girl's Clothing, National Museum of Denmark
Say "mini" and I can't help but think of miniskirts, the icon of fashion of the 1960s.  But did you know that miniskirts actually have a very important place in the ancient beginnings of fiber-wearing history?

The string skirt may be the oldest form of textile clothing.  Early carved figures show women wearing string skirts of various lengths, including miniskirt length, and examples from the Bronze Age (1700 - 500 B.C.) still survive.   

One of the best preserved examples is the string skirt worn by Egtved Girl.  Egtved Girl died around 1370 B.C. when she was 16 to 18-years-old.  Her grave was discovered in 1921 near the village of Egtved in Denmard.  Buried in a hollowed-out oak log, her bones were completely gone but her hair, fingernails, clothing and burial goods were amazingly well preserved.  She (still in her log-coffin) lays in repose in the National Museum of Denmark, and made the news last year when strontium isotope testing revealed that she was no home-girl.  Egtved Girl was extremely well traveled, a German girl from the Black Forest area who in the last two years of her life traveled to Jutland (part of Denmark) for 9 or 10 months, then back to the Black Forest for four to six months, and back to Jutland a month or so before dying near Egtved.  (For more details on her travels click here and here.)

Reproduction of Egtved Girl's Outfit
The mini string skirt of the Bronze Age is a wrap-around skirt (Egtved Girl's skirt was wrapped around her twice) that ties at the waist.  The waist band is a woven belt of wool threads, but on one edge the weft threads are extended before bringing the weft back through the warp threads again, leaving long loops that make up the skirt.  A skirt of loose loops would become a knotted mess when you walked, so another thread was brought through the individual loops to secure them along the bottom.

Egtved Girl's shirt was a woven wool garment short enough to expose her midriff.  Imagine the shock to the formal world of 1921, at the very beginning of the "Flapper" era, when Egtved Girls' tummy-revealing miniskirt outfit was revealed!

But I digress ... Back to the ChioGoo needles ...

The ChiaoGoo Mini Twist Interchangeables will arrive in April, but there has been so much interest that we suggest you pre-order them now.  And if you want to use your ChiaoGoo Mini Twists while wearing a string miniskirt, well, you go Girl!

Don't like sets?  Prefer to mix and match yourself?  Each of the items in the Twist Mini sets are available individually as well so you can pick and choose what you want.

Happy Knitting . . . . Scout

Egtved Girl in her Log Casket

For more information on ancient string skirts read Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years - Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. 

The photo of Egtved Girl in her log-coffin and her clothing are both from the National Museum of Denmark, which owns and displays the Egtved Girl. 

The reproduction of Egtved Girl's outfit is from Science Nordic.  The photo is by Lejre.

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