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.
The pattern for this variously called cap, hood or bonnet comes from Godey’s Lady’s Book, February, 1861.
This project was a KAL in the CW-Needleworkers Yahoo group this year and since I have sworn to stash-bust, I am happy to report that this project ate up three Lilac and a bit of one White skein of Morehouse Farm Merino Lace. The knitting needles were 2.75mm/US 2 and a 2mm crochet hook for the looped edging. The knitted gauge/tension is 9 stitches/1".
I had to knit the bonnet/cap/hood twice. Following the instructions in the original pattern resulted in an object half the size of this one, more like a 1960’s dolly bird's headscarf. For the second attempt, I kept to the same size needles but doubled the number of all of the rows in the pattern. This meant that I began with 480 stitches instead of 240 but luckily the pattern decreases four stitches every right side row and the knitting is simply all garter stitch with the four sets of eyelet rows so it is diminishing all of the time. Nevertheless, this is a tedious knitting project, especially with such fine wool.
I cannot really crochet so the wavy edges look ragged to me. I am sure a crocheter could have whipped around the bonnet/cap/hood's edges in a trice but they took seven hours to do (with lots of ripping, tears, chocolate and several dvds of my favourite science fiction series for stimulating high energy(apologies for bringing in a contemporary/futuristic element.)