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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Wool at the Air and Space Museum

Yesterday we went to the Air and Space Museum Annex. If you've never been there, you should really go next time you're in the DC area. The annex is out by Dulles Airport, but they run shuttle buses from the National Mall (where the Air and Space Museum is) out to this new annex they built a year or so ago. Since its not on the Mall, its not as crowded as the regular museum is. Its in a modified airplane hanger so there is more room to put the planes (and you can actually see what you're looking at). But the best part is that its really kid friendly. If you go first thing in the morning, there aren't many other people and lets face it - giant airplane hangers were just made for whooping and hollering.

So what does this have to do with knitting? Well there are a pair of knitted mittens and some felted wool socks there. I guess early airplanes didn't have heat and its probably pretty cold zipping around in the sky, so you would want to pull on your airplane mittens (made in patriotic red, white and blue of course) before you went flying. They didn't give a date for these, but I love that knitters in the early days of aviation were plagued by color pooling too. If I knew more about mittens I could tell you what kind of thumb they have, but you'll just have to figure that our from the picture if you can. Want to know something funny? These are sized for men's hands. My husband will only wear black or grey, but some knitter, somewhere, got her pilot husband to wear these red, white and blue mittens.
These are labled as "embroidered Wool Stockings, Anne Murrow Lindbergh." They are felted socks with embroidery of green and red decorating them. I assume they were worn by Anne Lindbergh since they are small enough to be women's socks but it doesn't say if she made them or not. In addition to the two items I've shown here, they also have planes, jets, helicopters, rockets, and satellites at the museum (which is probably why they call it the Air and Space Museum Annex, instead of The Knitwear Early Aviators Liked to Wear Museum.) You can even see the Space Shuttle Enterprise (which is just so cool)!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Jenny said...

I'm sure most people who see the "hand knitted mittens" sign will say, "wow, how did people used to do that?" ... because of course, no one in their right mind knits *by HAND* anymore, right? :)

9:47 AM  
Blogger K.T. said...

What a great post. We go to the Annex alot. Like a couple times a month with the boys. Funny, we do the get there when they open thing, for precisely the same reason. I have never seen knitted items there. Clearly I have to look harder. Too cool.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Cassie said...

Wow, I love the felted wool stockings! And I laughed about the color pooling too -- some things never change.

8:10 AM  

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