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.
"My wool garment? You have noticed it, have you? I had forgot, or I should have pointed it out. Have you ever seen anything so deeply rational?"
Post Captain, Chapter Twelve
This miniature version of the life/man size version that I am also knitting was worked in Dritz Sport (sock) yarn which I believe is from the 1950’s, on 1.50mm needles with 14 stitches/inch. The mini-Garment is 7 ¾” long and the sleeves and legs are extra long and there is a cowl for the neck and head. It would be stepped into pulling the legs up to the hip, then slipping the cowl over the head. The arms would be slid into next, pulling the torso section up over the shoulders and fastening, like a shirt, down the front, pulling up and buttoning the fall last. As Stephen Maturin further explains, “See, I can withdraw my head entirely: the same applies to the feet and the hands. Warm, yet uncumbering; light; and above all healthy – no constriction anywhere.”
The black headed pins are simply holding The Garment in place and are not part of it.
“’But no exposure to the sun as yet – I recommend the wearing of a close Welsh wig.”
Master and Commander, Chapter Eight
This was knit in Morehouse lace weight wool on 1.25mm needles at a gauge of 15 stitches/inch. It is 1 ½” wide and almost 1 ¾” long.
“Jack…put on a comforter knitted by his wife, still full of warmth and love though somewhat mangled by Brazilian mice…”
The Far Side of the World, Chapter Five
I knit this in tapestry/needlepoint wool from the 1970’s on 1.50mm needles with 12 stitches/inch. It is almost an inch wide and 8 ½” long. I cut holes and pulled it about a bit to create the mouse damage.