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.
It came out, however, rather too big in the body and much too big in the waist. I am thinking of letting the ribbed part fall down on my hips and sewing on a wide satin waistband, probably drawstring. If it is all still too big, I will have to make another one, this time in a fingering weight wool which I already have. That weight is closer to the original in the pattern but I wanted a dense, warm petticoat so I decided to use the sport weight instead.
There are, of course, what seems like hundreds of ends to sew in! Tedious as that sounds, I spent about an hour working on just that and got half of one seam finished so another four or five hours should do the trick. I will have to space this part out over a few days or I shall run mad! Even though I am a quilter and do 98% of my piecing and quilting by hand, and also do canvas work, crewel and embroidery, I hate the sewing part of any knitting project. The panels are meant to joined in “single crochet” but that, combined with my skill in crocheting, would truly drive me over the edge.
The petticoat was knit on 3mm/2.50 US needles, in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport, using five skeins of Scarlet and two of Snow. The original pattern is from Godey’s Lady’s Book, December, 1864. It does not suggest a needle size, gauge or garment size but does recommend “four-thread scarlet fleecy” (laceweight modern equivalent)