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.
An Outdoor Literary Salon French School, early 19th Century Private Collection The Bridgeman Art Library Creative Image #79108854
Saturday, June 12th, kicks off this year’s celebrations of Worldwide Knit in Public which have been extended from one day to a full week! Seize upon your latest project, wips or start something new, and dash outside as often as possible over the coming days! Follow the example of the lady in the lower left corner of this image who calmly wields her needles in the midst of a volatile literary discussion. As usual in this genre, there is a great deal happening and even more being implied in the image but I am, for this post, just interested in the knitting although happy to have an illustration from one of my favourite eras in history. The industrious lady seems to have ony two needles in action – is she knitting something flat and, if so, what? A comforter, part of a shirt? Or is that the beginning of a stocking on four or more needles and we cannot see the others? There seems to be several strands of yarn hanging down from her work but she is only knitting in one colour. Could these strands and the fact that she does not seem to be holding her knitting in a very capable way suggest that her knitting skills are as pretentious or limited as the literary ones of those of her fellow members of the society? Or is this yet another example of an artist being unfamiliar with knitting, its tools and its hand positions? At any rate, the picture is bright and funny, and there is a knitter in it so I cannot really complain!