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So I've been on this hat kick....(with an asian tangent thrown in..)

Posted by francesca_tessa on 2009.01.06 at 03:08
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
I've been practicing my knitting my making a lot of mundane hats of late, and am comfortable enough with my basic techniques to develop some period patterns. I'm familiar with the late period flat caps from portraiture, and some of what the call the monmouth caps. But what else is out there in knitted hats?

One of the girls in our shire has a mongolian persona and we don't have a clue as to if they knitted. Felting yes, Weaving yes, but Knitting? No clue. So what about these far flung asian countries? Was there knitting in Asia? What about India?

I know there is knitting in the Europe and the Middle East & North Africa, but beyond that I've never paid attention or remember anything. 



gcmadtown81 at 2009-01-06 09:50 (UTC) (Link)

Asian knitting

Having a Japanese persona, and being a fiber arts geek, I can assure you with fair certainty that knitting didn't exist in Japan until the Meiji era, which is very well post period.
Though my knowledge of Mongolian textiles is limited to the many images I've pored over, I must say I have yet to see a knitted Mongolian piece, though I will defer to the better informed members of this community for this bit of info.

annmariehardin at 2009-01-06 15:27 (UTC) (Link)
In practice, it kind of depends on whether you're wanting the piece for a practical part of a kit, or as an entry for an A&S competition. I say this because in reality, once you felt a knitted piece done in stockinette stitch (with 100% wool of course), you cannot tell it was ever knitted. The point being that felted hats can be created by knitting the right shape and then felting it to size. If you're doing and A&S competition, the manner in which the felt was made would play in and would probably need to be documented, but for useable practical felted items as a part of my kit, I love knitting and then felting. Shoes are particularly nice done this way. Just knit a shoe-shaped slipper (Knit 1 felt 2 has some nice examples, and there are some nice little ankle boots floating around out on the internet), felt it down to size, and add a sole.
ciorstan at 2009-01-06 17:05 (UTC) (Link)
I study string and its permutation. I have been on a hunt for the last 30 years to try to document paisley for Europe in the SCA period and have read a lot of books due to that hunt. As far as I can remember, I haven't seen anything knitted in that area; their felt seems to be the mash-a-couple-of-layers-of-combed-fleece-and-stick-it-under the saddle variety.

That said, their felting is ancient. I wouldn't be surprised if the ancient felt found in Pazyryk kurgan burials (look at the color pictures in Barber's "Prehistoric Textiles" as an example, or here: http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00104/s104t1.htm wow, look at the felt swan!) aren't precursors to the felt found in neighboring Mongolia.

Edited at 2009-01-06 05:06 pm (UTC)
celtwoman at 2009-01-08 21:01 (UTC) (Link)
No Mongolian knitting that I've ever seen, and I've done a fair amount of research there. They didn't manufacture much of their own textiles in general, though they were and still are wizard felters. Knitting seems to occur in Europe (not too early) and the Middle East - they have it in South America now with some distinctive execution styles, but I don't know that it isn't a European import. How far back does it go in the Middle East, for that matter? Try naalbinding - that occurred in China, Egypt, all over the place, and goes way, way back, and some stitches look so much like knitting it's nearly impossible to tell the difference.
I can help you with felting if you like, I teach classes :^)
Lady Francesca Tessa d'Angelo
francesca_tessa at 2009-01-08 22:15 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. Naalbinding would be a good thing to investigate.

Thank you for offering to teach felting, I already how to felt, I learned 3 dimensional felting at Pennsic ages ago right after I first learned how to spin. But if you are ever in Chattanooga, we can always work on a project together!
celtwoman at 2009-01-09 18:29 (UTC) (Link)
Careful what you wish for - I've applied to a PhD program in Nashville! Chances aren't great I'll get in, but I have a lot of friends in Nashville and Knoxville.
The offer to help you with felting was a just-in-case; I didn't mean to imply you wouldn't already know how. If you can 3-D felt you're pretty much ready to tackle the Mongolian world - just remember they quilt the heck out of almost all their felting. I don't know that the Mongols naalbinded, but it's the closest needle-and-wool art I know of, geographically speaking.
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