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.
I know that I am taking a long time working on this project. One of the reasons is that I keep adjusting the design. The legs have been knit several times as have the rows which join the two legs and sides at hip level just below the fall. I think, however, I have finally got it right this time. There are the legs, hanging out of the cloth bucket which makes a perfect knitting bag. That photo also is the most accurate representation so far of the shade of brown of the wool.
The other reason I am moving slowly is that I adore this wool. It is strong, feels good in the hands and on the needles, and rips and re-knits beautifully. The colour is gorgeous with flecks of lighter wool that show up from time to time.
It isn’t as bad as it looks and it is, in fact, much more organised. There are currently no socks on the needles in the sock/Crabtree & Evelyn bag, the latest pair being finished last night and posted on Ravelry tonight. The contemporary wips number about five at the moment with the reproductions far outnumbering them:
1. Lady's 19th century garters 2. Cord and tassels for a completed sontag 3. Knitted counterpane shells (one a day or at least five a week – they only take twenty minutes each to knit) and design the sides and corners and think about the edging 4. THE GARMENT – finished as a birthday present for Stephen Maturin (March 25th ) which that is the goal 5. Child's handspun 18th century stockings (one foot and a complete stocking) 6. Child’s marled 18th century stockings (same as above) 7. Handspun gauntlet gloves (one down, one to go) 8. Lady's 19th century fingerless gloves (second one) 9. Vanity Fair purse 10. 1918 Dutch baby cap 11. Infant's 17th century jacket 12. Gentleman's 19th century underdrawers (only the top on the second side) 13. Stephen Maturin’s blue stockings (peeking out of the 18th century pockets) 14. Lady's mid-19th century brown stockings
Planned reproduction projects include
1. Lady's 19th century underbonnet cap 2. Man's 19th century nightcap 3. Child's 19th century nightcap 4. Lady's 18th century mitts 5. 19th century purse (yes, another one!) 6. 1918 boudoir cap 7. 17th century red stockings to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Washington Irving’s satirical first book, A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty by Dietrich Knickerbocker in which he describes the stockings (also blue) of the inhabitants of New Amsterdam. 8. 18th century stockings with re-knitted foot 9. Lady's 19th century undersleeves 10. More Aubrey-Maturin miniatures
I would also like to reproduce one of the little knitted shawls from the television production of Cranford.
Well, that’s the plan. Finishing is not difficult. Resisting starting new projects (contemporary and historical), including the unplanned, will be the challenge!