Sunday, 20 October 2013

Portfolio for Knitted Items

(Click on the image to enlarge the view)
After some years of doing living history demonstrations, I realized that I needed a way to display various very small knitted items so they would not fall on the ground or wander off with visitors or, perhaps, discourage touching like this arrangement:

When the film, Miss Potter (2006), came out, I was intrigued and inspired by the portfolio used in the film by Beatrix Potter to transport her drawings from her home to her publisher. I don’t know if Miss Potter had such a portfolio in real life – is there one like it and connected to her that exists in a museum?

I had also long been fascinated by 19th century books of collections and instructions which had miniature samples of items in the book such as these: 

Whether the tiny objects were, in fact, a row by row rendition of the accompanying pattern or, like mine, an abbreviated version which is true to technique, I do not know. That is a research project for the future.

The resulting portfolio allows me to display and label items in a tidier and safer way. It was also a way to use up some of my vast collection of reproduction materials like these 19th century ones. The little flaps protect some samples and also offer more layers for display.

Seen above are two stockings with long heels and drawstring toes. Some other examples of pieces are:

Knitted Pattern for a Quilt, Octagons and Squares from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 54, Series 13, 1890, and the facsimile, Weldon’s Practical Needlework, published by Interweave Press, Volume 5, 2001

Narrow Vandyke Edging from Exercises in Knitting by Mrs. Cornelia Mee, London: David Bogue, Fleet Street, 1846.

Cyprus Edging from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Series 14, Number 55, 1890, and the facsimile, Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 5, Interweave Press, 2001. 
Metal straight pins hold all of the pieces in place.

The portfolio measures 42” long and 14 ½” tall, and is made up of fifteen different cotton prints. Some may look familiar to readers of this blog as I frequently use various parts of the portfolio for backgrounds in photographs of projects.  Sewn into the shape of a long rectangular sleeve with a flap made of fabric and then slipped over a long piece of cardboard cut from a large box, the portfolio is decorated and ties with grosgrain ribbon.

(Apologies for the odd formatting in this post)


judith said...

A very good idea to store things neatly :)

The knee warmer is an interesting practical item, I think I may have a pattern somewhere, I could make some for my elder father....

=Tamar said...

Box cardboard is probably all right for the short term. I have heard that the plasticky mounting board that posters are sometimes stuck to is less likely to cause acid damage over time. Or you might try archival matting.

One More Stitch said...

I have worn my knee warmer and it really does help!

One More Stitch said...

Archival matting will be my next choice. Of course, I just hope someone wants my collection in the future. As things stand now, however, I cannot think of anyone who would care in the least for all of the things I have made over the years. : (

judith said...

I'm glad to hear that the knee cap is functional and useful :)
I'm just knitting some for my father now...
I hope fit & sizing will be ok - some project on Ravelry reports it being too big..?

judith said...

Apologies for commenting again

I finished the first cap following a vintage pattern (it's titled "322. Knee-cap in knitting" - not sure if it's the same as the one you used). It's quite large and the gore is enormous... I will have to unravel and try with a much smaller gore (half or even a third).

I was wondering if you could perhaps tell me the measurements of your garment, as you mentioned that it is fully functional.