I do research on and recreate garments and objects from the past. My sources range from original items to photographs in books, periodicals, art works, literary references and period patterns. My research also involves the history of knitting needles and related implements.
The portrait in the corner is by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) of Elisabeth Alexeyevna (?), location and ownership unknown.
Susanna E. Lewis's book Knitting Lace (1992) is a goldmine of historic patterns. I have used many of them for contemporary projects (hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, infant clothing, purses and handbags.) Her charting of the 91 patterns and hem of the "early to the mid-19th century" sampler of probable southern German or Austrian origin is a fascinating exercise in knitting. I started the sampler on 3mm needles using ecru DMC Baroque cotton and am currently up to pattern 39. I am also knitting it on 1.25mm needles using white Cebelia 30 cotton which duplicates the original 3" or so width and am up to pattern 9.