I have been intending looking at this occupation but was given additional impetus to do so by some very kind words from a modern-day exponent of the craft:
Christian Campbell, 60, Spinner and Knitter, Scarista, b. Harris
Flora Shaw, 73, Stocking Knitter, East Tarbert, b. Lewis
Marion Kerr, 65, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Effy Kerr, 35 Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Christy Kerr, 32, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Flora Morrison, 14, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b Harris
(This family group are relatives of mine)
Ann McDermid, 60, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Margaret Macdonald, 50, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Ann Macleod, 40, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b. Harris
Christy Macleod, 19, Stocking Knitter, Strond, b.Harris
Mary Maclean, 60, Stocking Knitter, Borisdale, b. Harris
Ann Maclean, 26, Stocking Knitter, Borisdale, b. Harris
Mary Macdonald, 40, Stocking Knitter, Rodel, b.
Christina MacKillop, 49, Knitter, House at Direcleit, b. Harris
Marion MacKillop, 17, Knitter, House at Direcleit, Visitor, b. Harris
Catherine Macleod, 22, Knitter, House at Direcleit, b. Harris
Effy Kerr, 29, Knitter, House at Direcleit, b. Harris (Another relative)
Ann Macdonald, 37, Knitter, West Tarbert, b. Harris
Christy MacCuspick, 32, Knitter, House at Little Urgha, b. Harris
Catherine Morrison, 65, Spinner and Knitter, Isle of Scalpay, b. Harris
Catherine Mackinnon, 14, Stocking Knitter, Wool Spinner's House, North Harris, b. Harris
1891 Non Listed
1901 Non Listed
These results demonstrate the strength of the 1871 Census in recording the Occupations of all those present as a key item.
Unless this happened to have coincided with some (so far unknown) reason for a one-off explosion in the knitting activities of the ladies of Harris, I think it is safe to say that all the other censuses simply missed recording the majority of the knitters.
Nevertheless, we have here a good picture of the situation in 1871, a time when there were 11 Stocking Knitters between Strond and Rodel, 4 Knitters at Direcleit and only 2 in North Harris.
It is almost a surprise that 'Strond Socks' never got the marketing treatment that gave us Harris Tweed!
Or was that indeed what had been attempted in 1871?...
Fàilte! (Welcome!)This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...
©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved