This antique knitting sheath is carved in the form of a shoe. Shoes were suppose to bring luck and were often given as love tokens.References state that this shape of knitting sheath probably came from Teeside.
The top of the sheath where the needle goes is capped in brass, then there is the decorated handle with X's on (often the X symbol was used to ward off evil spirits). On the underside or sole of the shoe there is chip carved edging and also the slot to under the heel for slotting on to the band or belt.
It measures 23cm l x 4.4cm w x 1.5cm h
Antique treen knitting sheaths are wooden sticks to aid knitting. They all have a hole in the top to allow a knitting needle to be inserted. The knitting sheaths were worn on the right hand side in a sloping position usually tucked into a band or belt. Some knitting sheaths are designed to slot over the belt, or have diagonal slots to fit over apron strings and held in place. A hook known as a “clue holder’ was often attached to the belt to support the knitting and prevent it hanging down.
The sheaths held the bottom of the knitting needle allowing the hand to hold the top of the needle releasing the fingers to throw the wool. They also took the weight of the knitting and stopped stiches slipping off. Knitting needles were shorter and thicker and were bow shaped than the ones we know.