Monday, 24 September 2012

Stocking Cap Redux

Thanks to the comments on the first post (  about this project, I finished this as a double stocking cap, one that is folded inside of itself.  The first half, when I was not sure exactly what I was knitting, measured 29 ½” long, with a width of 16” around. I doubled the length, knitting the second part in the natural/undyed yarn as in the original painting.

The cap was knit on 5.5mm/US 9 sized needles using Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted in Winter Blue, Natural, Red Fox, Charcoal, and Lullaby. I put it through two laundry cycles with bed sheets in the washing machine on hot water, and dried it by air over a rack. The cap fulled in terms of width but not all that much in length, losing only 9” (down to 20 ½”) and  only 4 ½” (down to 11 ½”) around.

I based my original measurements on a comparison with the body of the young girl knitting in the painting, using a child of a similar age as a model. Shrinking the cap down by hand might have produced a cap that would fit a child but I think I really needed to have twice the width, and have worked on larger needles. As it is, my cap would fit a baby’s head but then I am not going to re-knit the whole cap to make it about twice its size to allow for fulling. It was just fun to reproduce knitting from a painting.

{Apologies for the two sizes of font. I cannot seem to correct it.}

Monday, 3 September 2012

Re-Footed 18th Century Stockings

These stockings would fit a four year old child and were made for demonstration purposes. I chose a child’s size as they would knit up quickly, and because people always love small versions of clothing.

The stockings, first of all, show how a pair that might have the foot or parts of it worn out, could have a new foot knit onto it or just parts of the foot replaced. I used different colours of wool to show that, in the passage of time, the stockings’ original wool might not still be in the knitter’s possession, and to illustrate the different parts of the foot. The heel, especially, stands out since this is a major point of discussion in the history of stockings. I also wanted to draw attention to the drawstring toes, which are easier to see in these two shades of yellow than most of the other stockings I have made in darker colours.
The completely re-footed stocking had its foot knit with a slightly larger needle which, in a demonstration, will lead to the discussion of 18th century needles, what they were made of, and their non-standard sizes.

The stockings were knit on 2.75mm/2 US and 
3mm/2 ½ US double pointed needles with Harrisville Designs Shetland wool (which I just adore working with) in Zinnia, Marigold and Mustard. They have several purl rows at the welt and the seam/purl stitch down the back of the legs.