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.
This charming little Acorn Purse, designed by Sally Pointer
of Wicked Woolens*, in the style of a medieval purse, was a delight to make, not
only because of the clear instructions in the pattern but because I knit it with
one of my most favourite yarns, Unger Britania, 100% wool and in some of its
best colours, namely Schiff, Borke and Kamelmeliert. I have knitted so many
garments in this wool from Scribble items (one with 19 colours) to plain but
elegant round-necked, Shetland-style pullovers. Gloves, hats, scarves –
everything! Now sadly discontinued, I have a fair amount of scraps and some
small collections of skeins with the same dye lot number in my stash but they
have almost all achieved the status of Pet Yarn. I was very glad, therefore, to
use some of it for the Acorn Purse.
The purse measures 6 ½” across and 5 ¾” long. Its cords are braided/plaited in strands of all three
colours and the loop is an I-cord. The button is made of horn and I do like its
Autumn is my favourite time of the year. I love the colours
and changing shades of green, yellow, orange, red, gold and brown, and just wish that
this was the longest season instead of the shortest.
This scarf, however, helps to remind me of autumn throughout
the year. The yarn, Araucania Atacama, 100% Alpaca, is gloriously soft. It is
complimented by one of my favourite lace patterns, number 29, from Knitting
Lace: A Workshop with Patterns and Projects, the book about the 19th
century knitted sampler in the Brooklyn Museum.
I have used patterns from this
sampler over and over again for all sorts of projects. This scarf has a four
row garter stitch top and bottom edge, and a four stitch garter stitch border
on both sides framing the lace repeats. It was knit on 4.5mm/US 7 needles.
Another item added to the list of
the completed projects – this charming little Tassel Vandyked in Two Colours
from Wedon’s Practical Knitter, Number 109, Twenty-Seventh Series, (1895). It
is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Interweave
The object is two-layered, with the
fairly substantial tassel sewn under the outer “cover” knit in “a series of
vandykes,” a slanted and openwork stitch. I followed the final instructions of
adding a “gold chain of gold thread…at the top to hang it by” (a kntted i-cord)
but omitted the addition of “tiny silk pompoms” to the chain since I don’t
really like pompoms.
The suggested colours are red and
white but “any preferred tint” may also be used in an unspecified weight of
cotton thread. I choose DMC Mouliné Spécial 25 embroidery floss in 902
(burgundy) and 3820 (gold) on 2.25mm/US 1 double pointed needles.
The needle size is also unspecified
beyond “four steel needles” which, in this era, would be fine ones although larger
tassels could be knit with coarser
(larger), as they used to say, needles for ones for home decoration.The pattern ends with the comments that
this tassel could“be made up into
an excellent penwiper for a bazaar if the cover is made in coloured silks and
the strands of coarse black twist.” Since I have made several penwipers in this
style, I opted, instead, for a tassel that might be used for a small curtain
The finished tassel measures 3” long
and 2” wide, the cover is 4” long and 1” wide, flat, and the i-cord chain is 3”