Hey Knitting Enthusiants! (BPT Column)

The dates don’t necessarily work out to allow for celebrating this next random holiday on the actual date it falls on, but I can’t resist writing about it anyway because it’s tangentially related to knitting which is one of my hobbies. So, without further ado: it seems that since 2008, January 8th has been celebrated as National Argyle Day…at least in Scotland. And why not celebrate it here too?

Argyle, the pattern, is derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell of Argyll in western Scotland. This pattern consists of diamonds in alternating colors, typically only 2 color but nowadays often includes more, with overlapping diagonal lines. This tartan pattern was used in kilts and plaids worn by members of the clan and has been around since the 17th century. The pattern has been popular with knitters since the end of World War I when it was often used as a pattern on sweaters and socks with a solid colored background.

The popularity of this pattern can be credited to Prince Edward, later the Duke of Windsor, who started wearing it while golfing. This 1920s trend of wearing this pattern in golfing attire has continued to this day, most notably worn by professional golfer, Payne Stewart, in the 1990s. Argyle also became a part of the “preppy” clothing style in the 1980s and is also seen in blankets, wallpaper, and other home décor.

This design has even spread into the uniforms of other sports beyond golf. Such sports as curling, cycling, and soccer have also used argyle on their attire. Apparently, Argyle has even been used as a first name for at least 142 people in the United States since 1880, though I admit I haven’t double-checked the accuracy of that number. If there are any Stranger Things (TV Show) fans reading this column, then we can name at least one fictional character who claims “Argyle” as a first name.

Any hobbyists out there can find a variety of patterns and craft ideas in the multitude of craft and DIY books we have both on our shelves and available digitally. In addition, you can check out the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center databases for even more ideas, access to which can be found under our resources tab on our website. Happy hobbying! And if you’re not inclined to create your own, maybe have some fun wearing argyle socks or sweaters in honor of the day!

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Previously posted 1/11/2023 - Bossier Press-Tribune