Friday, 23 May 2008

Miniatures and More - Updated Projects

The knitting for the body of the handkerchief case is complete. Note garter stitch interior horizontal edge. Now I just have to knit some more Van Dyke edging for the two sides, crochet a loop and find an historically accurate button. The case will be lined with the pink silky fabric shown in the photo.

Miser's Purses In Progress

The second purse is knit and now I have to weave in or use the ends in the decoration at both ends. It is still a little bulky so I have started another one in embroidery thread (at right) hoping to achieve a result that will more closely resemble silk. The Nelson purse (awaiting finishing touches) is on the left. Both still need their rings, as well.

Mini-Canonical Knitting

This is purely whimsical, self-indulgent knitting in various stages of progress. I have been creating a very detailed list of all of the clothing in the Canon on this, my fourth voyage through the books. I tend to work on the miniatures when I really should be doing something else. So here it is so far but BEWARE OF SPOILERS!

Stephen’s red comforter knit by Louisa Wogan (DI)
Appleton’s crewel wool Red 203/2.25mm needles

Stephen’s “garment” loom/hand knit by Matthew Paris (PC) - the back and almost up to the neck. I am knitting this in two pieces because of the size. The life-size one is being knit in the round.
Dritz Sports Yarn (wool, lace weight), brown/1.25mm needles

Stephen’s blue stockings (MAC)
Morehouse lace wool/1.50mm needles
I started these in the round but 33 stitches on 8” needles is enough to drive one mad so I switched to a flat leg. The foot, however will have to be in the round.

A Guernsey frock, maybe Babbington’s, but have not yet fully decided so no book is cited.
Morehouse lace wool, grey/2.00mm needles

Blue and undyed wool for a Gurnsey “shirt” which may have been loom knitted, worn by Mr. Mowett (MAC)
Morehouse lace wool, blue and undyed/1.50mm needles

Still to come:
Monmouth cap
“Silk” stockings
Gloves (DI) and more!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Purse Update

This second purse is coming along a treat. I am trying out different patterns I have seen on various purses and I will put tassels or loops of yarn at each end. These purses were sometimes decorated with beads or other ornaments similar to jewelry but since I actually dislike jewelry, I shall decorate mine with the yarn used for the knitting of them. I am knitting the middle section as a solid one in the traditional green. I still am not happy with the texture but I do like the colours which I based on ones found in decorative arts (furnishings, china) as well as clothing from circa 1800.

Many thanks to my friend Karen for the photo.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

1800 Purse

Just a teaser. I have to say that I am not very happy with this one. The DMC Pearl Cotton Size 5 is too thick. It moves comfortably on the 2.50mm needles (those gorgeous (visually and physically) Harmony Wood ones) but I do not like the look of the finished knitting. I will try this style of purse again but with embroidery floss for a closer match to silk, and then, again, in lace weight wools. There is plenty of inspiration for patterns in the collections of various museums, especially the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

Invisible Knitters

Josephine Knitting (1916)
Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)
Oil on canvas
Bequest of George M. Oyster, Jr. 24.2
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

This painting, although suggesting the isolation or, perhaps, invisibility, of women, has always had a calming effect on me. I love the light, the related tones, the open doorway and corridor or room beyond. Josephine, unfortunately, is composed of the same tones as the walls and furniture but that also reminds me of how knitters are often largely ignored especially in public. I have knit in public for many years and have found that people often think we knitters are so absorbed in our work that we are not aware of what is going on around us or are even interested in anything but our knitting. A few sensitive observers have said to me, "I hope I am not disturbing you" or "I hope you are not counting" and then ask a question or make a comment. The invisibility factor, however, does sometime buy peace on crowded trains and buses. Think, too, of Miss Marple who quietly knits away, absorbing and collecting clues all of the time, perhaps, also using the steady beat of her needles to sort out in her mind the various suspects and motives in a crime. As for Josephine, I also like the way she is sitting and holding her knitting. She truly looks as though she is knitting unlike many other models in paintings with *knitting* in the title. I choose it for all of those reasons and also because we cannot see the knitting. Just like the readers of this blog. No knitting posted for quite a few weeks. There are a lot of things on the needles and some of them are even approaching completion! Nelson's purse, another purse from his era, the lace handkerchief case and a homespun stocking. A few contemporary projects have also invaded the historical knitting sphere but they will soon be dispatched to their recipients and then I can settle back down in the past.