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.
When knitting contemporary garments or items, I often borrow from the past. The Sideways Spencer is such an example. Designed by Annie Modesitt and published in Interweave Knits (Fall, 2004), it is knit from wrist to wrist as one continuous garment. It is not a reproduction of a specific spencer but a way to wear a style from the past with contemporary clothing. My research so far has never yielded a knitted spencer, let alone cable knitting from the era of the spencer. I include it here, however, as it stretches its arms over two centuries.
The Sideways Spencer was knit on 4.50mm and 5mm needles in Aurora 8, Karabella Yarns, Extrafine Merino Wool.