The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Sportsmen and their sweaters: knitting patterns as historical sources

Polley, Martin (2009) Sportsmen and their sweaters: knitting patterns as historical sources At Recording Leisure Lives: Sports, Games and Pastimes. 07 Apr 2009.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Old knitting patterns are easy to see as ephemeral, disposable items, artefacts of everyday life that we can see in our memory on our mothers’ laps, but that we don’t readily picture in an archive. They are produced for a very specific purpose, and are not designed to become historians’ sources. However, cultural historians and historians of everyday life can learn from them, and can use them as windows on to their time of production. Using sport-related knitting patterns from Winchester School of Art’s Knitting Reference Library as a case study, this paper will look at what historians can get from this type of evidence: both empirical evidence about disposable income, materials, and technology, and household economics, and more subjective, cultural evidence about class, identity, and gender. The paper will build on the call that I made for sports historians to use wider variety of sources in Sports History: a practical guide (Palgrave, 2007).

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 7 April 2009
Venue - Dates: Recording Leisure Lives: Sports, Games and Pastimes, 2009-04-07 - 2009-04-07
Keywords: knitting, sport, clothing, fashion, history


Local EPrints ID: 66740
PURE UUID: 8ecd3e5b-a8f3-40db-bf84-bc8d8f8f0718

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jul 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:22

Export record


Author: Martin Polley

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.