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 made this piece many years ago, as a teenager. It was, unfortunately, damaged in a move - the brown water marks are still visible.
This was a kit, purchased at The Needlewoman in Regent Street, London, one of the most fabulous shops ever and now, sadly, gone. Every trip there always resulted in wool for knitting or stitching kits or supplies for some sort of hand work - there was so much to choose from and plan to buy the next time! Alas, I no longer have the packaging or directions for this kit nor can I remember the name of the piece of art it was based on although there is a nagging sliver of a memory whispering, "Spring" and, though it seems unlikely, Salvador Dali. If anyone can identify the original sketch, please let me know.
This piece was difficult to photograph as it is framed under glass, hence the sideways angle of the photograph.* The design was stamped on linen and stitched in wool. The finished area measures 15 ½” x 19 ½”.
P.S. April 5, 2011: The image is Autumn (1970) by Salvador Dali - at least I had part of it right! His signature appears, in reverse, near the pointed foot of the woman. Many thanks to members of The Gunroom of HMS Surprise for their assistance in identifying the original drawing.
This is a steampunk version of the 1840’s muffatees or wristlets in a swirling pattern knit in the round on 3.5mm/US 4 size needles in the round on Lang Yarns Lanalux, a metallic brown/rust coloured yarn.
One skein makes the two muffatees with a little bit left over. This pair was not made for me so they are a little big.
The wool pair was knit in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted in Pomegranate on 3.5mm/4 US needles in the round. They were featured in an earlier post on this blog. The corkscrew pattern is very easy to memorise and can be knit flat, too, with a little bit of working out and care taken with the direction of the spirals. Working out a tension/gauge (none is given, of course, in the original pattern) is essential for a snug fit for different sizes of wrists, and it is not difficult to adjust the stitch count.
In both pairs, I added two rows of garter stitch at the top and bottom to create more elegant and tidy edges.
The pattern is Corkscrew Muffatees from Exercises in Knitting by Mrs. Cornelia Mee (1846.)
A stocking in her lap and a gentle warning look on her face. Perhaps she was counting and did not want to be disturbed. One of these days, I will do tallies of knitters in art who look annoyed, slightly put out or are fully concentrating (or appear to be) on their knitting.
If anyone knows of the ownership or location of this painting, please let me know. I like to give full credit and details of any piece of art I post on this blog.