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Hysterical History help?

Posted by silentmilk on 2010.04.06 at 22:49
I happened to stumble across this community by a stroke of luck.  Of course I should have known that Ye Olde LJe has everything... silly me.  Anyway. 

I'm working on a project to do with historical knitting. Basically, I take patterns, and intersperse with the instructions a story of my own, like the story of the knitter knitting the garment.  And I'm especially interested in historic patterns for this project, because knitting has such a rich history.  That said, I am having trouble finding patterns. 

I've searched the Intarwebz all over for a pattern for a stocking (not Christmas, but actual sock-like stocking)... to no avail.  Ideally, it would be a pattern like what might have been used in the 18th century.  My idea here is for a story about a tricoteuse knitting at the foot of the guillotine during the French Revolution.  A stocking pattern that is similar to what would have been knit then but not exact to the period will do, but I'm  having trouble even finding one.  

Can anyone be of assistance there?  Or, if you can think of anything else an 18th century French woman might have been knitting there (plus pattern) that would also be amazing.  And... if you want to see the results of my work, I'll be happy to post it.   

Likewise, if you have any interesting stories related to knitting history, especially regarding the origins, or male knitting, I'd be happy to hear them.  My local library is less than well-stocked on knitting history books, a lack which I find personally offensive, so my resources there are limited.  Any help is more than welcome and so very much appreciated. :) 


King Charles I's waistcoat...maybe?

Posted by bend_gules on 2010.04.01 at 11:30
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(Also posted at Ravelry, and on my own LJ)
I had the happy opportunity to see the famous waistcoat yesterday on a visit to MoL - it's on temporary display in the 1660 War Plague and Fire area. Surprisingly balanced article from Daily Mail from February.

Getty also has several pictures

Things I noticed, that are well illustrated in the Getty photos, are

  • the buttons: photo of buttons are quite flat, perhaps formed over a firm disc to give them shape. They are of the same knit as the garment, which made me wonder if they’d been individually knit, or if they had been cut from a length of knitting and sewn on, as documented for cloth buttons in medieval period (MoL Clothing and Textiles book).

  • the button holes are edged with lovely tiny buttonhole stitches the way you would with cloth. I couldn’t tell if the buttonholes had been created in the knitting, or if the placket had been knitted flat, and then slits cut and finished the way you would in woven fabric.

  • the side ‘seams’ side seams You can just see one ‘seam’ in this pic, which looks like 3 ‘rows’ of garter stitch (p,k.p). I was puzzling over how the garment was assembled - was it knit in the round, with stitches to simulate the side seam on a fabric shirt? or was it knitted flat, front and back, starting each edge with p, and then knit together by picking up stitches on the inside and knitting them together? I leaned this way a little, because the bottom ‘hem’ of the garment is several rows of garter stitch, and lined up with the side ‘seam’ there is a slight distortion of the rows. Someone possibly had to work them together somehow. The knitting is unbelieveably fine (can’t even guess at a gauge, but picture knitting with 2-3 strands of silk embroidery floss), and the wobbles in the rows are tiny. OTOH, it’s possible the wobbles are an artifact of storage, if the garment has been laid flat (no padding as shown in the pictures) - this might create a crease in the garter stitch hem.

  • the knitting patterns imitate the way cloth would look when cut into a garment of the same shape. The waistcoat is flared, and as the flare widens, the pattern repeat continues to the edge, even though it’s half ‘cut off’ by the edge ‘seam’ - the same way you’d cut through a patterned fabric. If you were designing a knit garment to take full advantage of knitting’s strength patterning abilities, you could make sure you always got a full repeat in, before reaching the ‘edge’, either by spacing them differently, or scaling the pattern towards an edge.

I find it fascinating - knitted clothing that wants to look like brocade fabric, that is potentially still using a lot of ‘cloth’ techniques for finishing. My main interest is in medieval clothing, so this is a bit out of my range, but it's a beautiful piece, with workmanship and materials to die for.


Mrs. Beasley

Piecework Magazine

Posted by moira_ramsay on 2009.03.04 at 12:21
The new issue of Piecework Magazine is a Special Issue:
Textile for Historical Reenactment.

They have a 17th knit shirt as well as some lovely American Civil War items.

I was delighted when I got my issue yesterday.


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. 


Moira - 12th Night 2006

Requesting Information

Posted by moira_ramsay on 2008.08.28 at 09:36
Husbandman and I want to have a go at dying our (my) own yarn. Honest to goodness he is the one pushing this idea.

For those of you who have dyed your own yarns ....

What yarns would you recommend? Are they local or online? I prefer Wools and Silks in Sock or laceweight yarns if that helps in the recommending.


Thanks. :)


Very pleased it's finally finished! early Islamic pattern

Posted by bend_gules on 2008.08.02 at 15:04
Current Mood: satisfiedsatisfied

Islamic pattern from Rutt Islamic pattern from Rutt
Finally finished, July 08! Very slow colourwork project, from a pattern in Rutt's history of hand knitting, graphed by someone on HistoricKnit yahoogroup. Shown here while blocking, w/ 20p piece for scale. It's going to be a very small, delicate pouch for moi. It qualifies as 3Rs because all the yarn is from stash, and the white is a remaindered cone of mixed wool fibre. The pink is a handspun gift. The maroon is a single ply of a 2-ply that I 'unspun' to try it as a knitting yarn. Getting consistent tension w/ colourwork remains my main problem! that, and following a detailed pattern.

Moira - 12th Night 2006

Does anyone have experience with.....

Posted by moira_ramsay on 2008.06.27 at 10:10





My husband sent me the link as a response to the post on my LJ this moring.
If spinning is something I want to graduate into, I need to do my research on what system might work best.

My LJ moira_ramsay for thos who are curious about the second attempt at drop spindle. I posted photos there.

Moira - 12th Night 2006

Embrace the Suck!!!!!

Posted by moira_ramsay on 2008.06.25 at 08:32
That is exactly what I did last night. I embraced the suck!!!! And I had a grande time in the process.

Last night was knit night at the lodge. My friends TT and Ba came out to play. Ba brought drop spindles and roving and proceeded to attempt to teach me spinning with a drop spindle. I have my first “Yarn/Spinning” ever and it’s suckage is so completely awful that it is borderline genius!!!! – you enjoy your delusions and I will enjoy mine!

I can get the spindle to spin, I think I had a reasonable handle on the drafting. Mix them together and that is where the suck occurs. I finally had to let the spindle spin, then stop the rotation and work on the drafting part of yarn making. It is going to take me a while to figure out how to get both of them to work together.

TT was doing a great job and I think that my ineptitude made her feel much better about her own project. GO ME!

Ba was generous enough to give me some roving and to borrow a spindle so I can practice. Though in her opinion (And one think is correct) I am most likely suited to a spinning wheel so I can focus on what my hands are doing.

Last night I hade SO MUCH FUN embracing the suck!!!!

Lily in Darkness

Hello! Look here! Oh PLease!!!!

Posted by road_emu on 2008.06.14 at 11:30
Okay. I'm a little enthusiastic about what I just made. Please forgive me. :-)

I made myself some DP knitting needles because I didn't want to work on the only things I know how to knit, extemely plain little bags, at events, with plastic knitting needles. I presumed that people would make their own wooden knitting needles, and when I came here to post this, I noted an entry about just such a thing, albeit 19th c (I'm a 16th c. girl, myself). Still, it's wonderfully serendipitous!

And, because I am a heraldic embellishment geek, I could not resist making my needles with my heraldry. There's 3 needles with black and gold tips, and 5 needles with my badge, On a water bouget sable, two ermine spots Or. If you would like to see larger pictures, please feel free to click these links:


Thank you ever so much for letting me geek at you!!!! :-)

Moira - 12th Night 2006

Knitquisition .....

Posted by moira_ramsay on 2008.06.11 at 09:05
Ball or Cake?

Do you prefer your skeins wound into balls?
Do you prefer the cakes that skein winders make up?
Do you use a knitty knoddy?

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