Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Quilt for April

As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I have met with a lot of difficulty photographing my quilts. This one was a real challenge. A black and white reproduction Toile de Jouy framed with black material, all in cotton.

The print is a pastoral one, with sheep, which makes me think of spring. I love whole cloth quilts and I enjoy the meditative exercise of hand quilting, even a simple design such as the one on this quilt, my favourite  - squares on point.

This quilt measures 48” wide by 54” long.  The printed section is 40 ½” wide x 46” long. The larger images are approximately 8” tall and 6” wide.

Strictly speaking, this quilt is not quite a reproduction one as the black border and backing material has a very subtle black and white pointillist pattern of leaves and vines on it.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Shirley Temple and Knitting Redux

Her birthday was last week but I want to share these images as they are just too delightful to hold back – the knitting, her clothes and, most of all, her knitting box on the dressing table!

Thank you, Tamar, for pointing me towards the site for the second image (http://sourisvalleymuseum.tumblr.com/)

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Famous Knitters – Carolyn Jones

Carolyn Jones (April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983)

As Morticia Addams, she was an exotic, elegant, refined beauty, wife, mother and knitter.

have not seen all of her films or television performances so I don’t know if she knit in them. 

I loved, and still do, the Addams Family (in print and on the screen) and the knitting was fabulous!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Tobacco Pouch with Knitted Cover

 This pattern comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 125, Thirty-First Series (1896). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004.
The cover is described as “an appropriate present for a gentleman who smokes and does not find the addition of such a cover lessens the usefulness of his pouch.” I find the end of this sentence very interesting as the needlework books from the latter part of the 19th century are chock full of items to make that are not necessarily needed but never question their existence. In fact, several functions are suggested for some items. All of that, of course, was a marketing ploy for the pattern and materials.
The original pattern calls for “two shades of the same coloured knitting silk…dark and light blue, and a very little red knitting silk,” and “four steel needles No. 14” (modern equivalent 2mm/US 1.50) “and a coarse steel crochet hook” (no size stated.)
The pattern is knit flat in two separate matching sized pieces which are then sewn together to contain a tobacco pouch in contrasting shades with a central opening. An edging is crocheted in red all around the pouch.
I used DMC Mouliné Spécial 25 embroidery floss on the suggested size of needles - eight skeins, each, of Number 167 (light blue) and 798 (dark blue) and one skein of 817 (red.) This was one of my least favourite projects as, in spite of the very easy, repetitive pattern, I kept making mistakes, stopped and started over four times (note the unraveled, crinkled floss), and can still see errors in the completed cover.
I do not have a leather pouch inside of the cover and so could not get it to stay open as it does in the illustration; hence the position in my photograph. The pouch measures 3” across (flat, folded, as pictured) and 5” high.

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Eleven, Interweave Press, 2004

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Famous Knitters - Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple Black (April 23, 1928)

I don't know if she is truly knitting but note the knitted knitting bag.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Punchinello Caps for Knitting Needles

This pattern comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 125, Thirty-First Series (1896). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004.
The original pattern calls for “Berlin wool” and “four steel knitting needles No. 17” (modern equivalent 1.50mm/US 000.)
The first cap I knit was on the original sized needles and with Paternayan crewel wool. It came out much too small compared to the illustration although it could have been used as a point protector. The second one (and third) was in the denser Knit Picks Palette (Edamame, Pimento and Canary) but still on the original sized needles.
These caps “are useful for protecting the points of knitting needles when work is to be carried about or packed.” Once knitted, they cover small pieces of a divided wine cork with “cotton wool” stuffed in the “cap.” “Tufts” are added to the tops, and a braided/plaited cord joins the two caps as recommended.
The last line of the pattern suggests that “One little Punchinello cap, cork lined, makes a good shield for a steel crochet hook and may be united by its gay plait to a small bag or reticule in which to keep delicate fine work.”

The caps stand 2 ¼ ” tall (including the tuft) and are 3“ wide around at the middle section. The cord is 12” long. Two of my late 19th/early 20th century needles, which measure 7 ¾” long, are being held by the caps.

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Eleven, Interweave Press, 2004

Monday, 8 April 2013

Famous Knitters - Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford (April 8, 1892 – May 29, 1979)

From stage to silent films to founding major motion picture companies, philanthrophic efforts, etc., etc. – all, and more, add up to an extraordinary life.

Credits for this photograph throughout the Internet date it from 1925 and state that in it Miss Pickford was knitting a sweater for disabled veterans of World War I, in support of the American Red Cross. She was on the set of the film Sparrow (1926.)

The needle in sight is slightly curved and there are about six rows of ribbing on it.

Further credits:
Library of Congress
                Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-112726 (b&w film copy neg.)
                Call Number: BIOG FILE - Pickford, Mary [P&P]
                Notes: American National Red Cross Collection (1914-1921).
No. R.C.16312.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Famous Knitters – Bette Davis

 Bette Davis (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989)

An avid knitter, and she crocheted, too, both before and behind the camera. As mentioned in a previous blog post, crochet work starred with her in The Letter (1940.)

Note the knitting bag which seems to be the same one as in all three of  the photos and appears in the previous blog post. It seemed to have a long and distinguished career, as did its owner.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Carrot Pincushion

No, not an April Fools’ prank but a pattern which comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 130, Thirty-Second Series (1896). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004.
This is a pincushion “in the shape of a Brobdingnagian carrot” which should be “stock(ed) well with hat pins of various sizes and makes.”
The original pattern calls for “single Berlin wool” in “pale scarlet…deep orange…dark yellow” and “pale yellow,” knit on “four steel knitting needles, No. 15” (modern equivalent 1.75mm / US 00.) Stuffing and “streamers of narrow pale green satin ribbon about half an inch wide” are needed to finish the cushion.
I first tried to make this in Paternayan crewel wool but it required too much wool for the main part of the carrot so I switched, successfully, to Palette fingering weight wool in Sweet Potato, Semolina, Custard, and Peony, knitting both times on the suggested needle size. The pincushion is stuffed with carded and washed fleece – any remaining lanolin would act as a deterrent for rust on the pins. The pale green ribbons, with “a good long loop of some of the same material to serve as a means of suspending the cushion” was added last.
The pincushion measures 12 ¼” long and 8 ¼” wide around at the top.
The text of the pattern also suggests that this object could serve as an ornament for a Christmas tree where “It could scarcely fail to cause comment, and a little amusement.”

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Eleven, Interweave Press, 2004