Friday, October 6, 2017

Receiving a Little Piece of History

A copy of correspondence in de Laroche's own
handwriting circa November, 1912, along with
the beginnings of the front of my own Aviatrix
Pullover, my design included with the article
about the Baroness in the 2017 issue
of Knitting Traditions Magazine.
Yesterday was a good mail day. As you may (or may not!) know, I authored an article in the recent Knitting Traditions Magazine about the first lady of licensed flight, Raymonde de Laroche. This in-depth piece is an extension of my overview of her story in the self-published book, Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace. 

The process of writing the Knitting Traditions article was a real treat, as it allowed me to dig deeper into the Baroness's story. I wanted, however, to unearth bits of history in her own voice which, almost two centuries after her death, with an ocean separating me from much of the scant source material, made that somewhat of a challenge.

Nevertheless, I managed to uncover articles not found in my original research for the book, and I continue to receive copies of research materials from sources not local to me. Much of those research results can be read in today's blog entry over at the Interweave Knitting blog entitled "Take Flight with Baroness Elise Raymonde de Laroche and Knitting Traditions."

However, yesterday's mail packet from The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum was a real gem, as it contained a copy of the Baroness's own correspondence from a Reims hotel dated November 19, 1912. Not incredibly long, yet in it she wrote of her eye on the Coupe Femina as a distraction from her sadness at the death of Charles Voisin. The Baroness would win the coveted European racing competition the very next year. Seeing her handwritten note, complete with signature, made her grief and flying focus all the more palpable.

I hope everyone will read the Interweave blog entry as well as the article in Knitting Traditions. Of course, making your own version of the pullover would be great, too, during Slow Fashion October. Just sayin'.




  1. Cool! Ho'omaka'i on being part of that publication. I like how you brought to our awareness the female pilots we haven't heard about school.

    1. Thanks so much! There are more of them, unfortunately. I could only successfully work 11 into the book. :(