I was lucky enough to get a few amazing books for Christmas, which I'd like to tell you about here.
A history of hand knitting by Richard Rutt (listed on Amazon for £80 or so, my DH got it from Wingham Wool Work for £26). This is, quite simply, an absolutely amazing book. It is so well written and researched. I'd highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about the history of knitting in the UK. I was struck by how people used to fit knitting into their daily lives and around other chores, just to make ends meet. We're so blessed that we no longer need to knit to earn our daily bread.
Following on from that book, The Old Handknitters of the Dales by Joan Ingliby and Marie Hartley is a very interesting read too. I still cannot fathom how the knitters used hooked needles and only one hand... The only thing missing from this book is a map of the area.
If you're interested in knitting history in the UK, here are some links which may be of interest and provide you with some interesting days out this year:
The Fashion Museum, Bath
The V and A, London
Knitting Together All about the East Midlands Knitting Industry
Scottish Knitting History from NMS You have to pay a subscription to view the images/packs, but it's well worth it if you're researching this...
FURTHER READING: The History of Knitting - Knitting History, website of the Knitting History Forum