Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby Bonnet for a sample

so i needed a sample of what SuperLamb knits up like and had bits left to play with. here's the little bonnet that i came up with. I LOVE it. I would have taken 5 when amanda was little. Brenden did not appreciate me trying to take a picture of him in it tho! hehe
Amanda and I decided that i needed to design a matching set of booties... and maybe even a baptismal gown.... too cute!

Monday, March 23, 2009

SPOILER ALERT sock... sleeve... one down, one to go!

clearly, i should have been a hand model! hehe
or perhaps Vanna White!

or perhaps i should be a foot model!

i just have such cute feet!

Friday, March 20, 2009

happy spring

i wandered out into my yarn this morning. it is grey and brown and in spite of the spring equinox... nothing much is happening. we had snow on the ground just last week...

i guess i shouldn't expect much... it's just too early in South Dakota to expect much else. i want there to be more... i planted several hundred bulbs and was hoping.

and then, i see it. a tiny bit of green. there.

and there

and then i see the flax... it's green too!
and i realize they're everywhere!

it truly is SPRING!!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

wool sleeves and socks (spoiler alert)

the wool sleeves are coming along well. Unfortunately at the expense of the Pride and Prejudice Socks, which MUST be done soon. so inspite of my new project i must go back to the old one and finish this pair of socks. MUST.

in the meantime i continue to look for evidence of purling used as decoration in knitting during the 12th or 13th century.

the first sleeve is coming along nicely. it is almost long enough now without any squish-down to create the lines. (almost)

so i figure if i add a couple inches after it is long enough i'll be good.

the shaping is coming along well. the sleeve isn't all the interesting looking as a flat item,

so i'm not quite sure how i'll put together the display for the A&S contest so that it is not utterly boring. i figure i'll keep a bit of the wool to show were i started, then show a bit of it on a spindle, and some plied and ready to knit. sort of "sheep to shawl, um sleeve" like. then show this sleeve, one with the "decorative purling" and a linen sleeve (not attatched to a garment) all of which can be tried on to show which looks closer to the illuminations. maybe i'll also include photographs of each "on" as well.

the socks do not look terribly much further along than last time, because i frogged and reknit all the foot that is done. I decided after some thought to add a decorative pattern on the top of the foot. so i starting doing the lattice work in knits and purls on the top. NOW, i'm not quite sure i like it well, actually pretty sure i don't. not because it's not interesting but because *I* like things to move along quickly without a lot of thought, and this does NOT allow for that. So, i'm going to suggest that the faster/easier pattern would just do garter stitch, but if one is interested in true fabulosity, they should try this. (the next sock will not have it) in my socks.
as you can see, the decorative top is really lovely, but perhaps not for me!

Monday, March 09, 2009

knitting history

a bit about the history of knitting and my little project.
there are some small pieces of knitting probably as early as 1000 AD, possibly earlier... much of the earliest pieces that were once identified as knitting are actually naalbinding. these socks, for example

were naalbound, a technique similar to knitting, but done with a single needle.

by the 10th century there are actual knit socks (altho many were done entirely with twisted stitches). Most were middle eastern, likely Egyptian and done with colored band (almost always indigo dyed) and cotton.

by the 16th century knitting was quite advanced and had spread all over Europe. From hats knitted and fulled in England

to tunic-y items knitted (likely on frames) in Italy

to gloves in Spain
knitting was everywhere.
My little experiment will be somewhat like armwarmers. scoggers and knitted sleeves were ( i believe) both separate items that were not connected to a garment. I'm researching the history of purling, because i think perhaps the lines that can be seen on the arms in the illuminations and statuary are actually purl lines. My plan is to make this set, another one with the purl rows and a linen sleeve. just experimentally, which will look the closest? i'm not sure... i guess i'll find out.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

busy busy!

well, it's been productive and good, but i've been uber-busy and haven't blogged lately. I'm about 3/4 done with the first P&P sock. i keep pluggging along. I started a project for the A&S throw down. (for those who don't know i belong to a medieval reenactment group SCA). It's at the end of this month, and i'm working on wool sleeves. I am positting the idea that the tight sleeves seen under the big bell sleeves in Bliaut's were knitted. check out these images for example:

although it's hard to see, all show the under sleeves very wrinkled. the wrinkles are always horizontal (if the arm is up and down) and very tight. This is a very difficult look to produce with woven material. I've tried all kinds of things, but without very careful cutting and fitting (which wasn't done much in this time period --12th century) the sleeves don't fit this snugly and wrinkle this way. they just don't. So, a while back while wearing knitted wrist warmers that were very long, i noticed that these sideways wrinkles happen all the time. and making a knitted item really fitted and snug is easy. in this time period in spain and the middle east there were unquestionably socks and such that fit very tightly on legs. not so very long afterward scoggers and silk sleeves were not uncommon in both Spain and England. so, it's not an unreasonable theory. i think.
i've started knitting a pair in a lovely brown handspun (with flecks of yellow, blue and red) the brown is the natural color of the wool, and the bits of silk were blended in on combs and then it was all spindle spun and plied. it's lovely soft stuff! YUM.

anyway... we'll see how it turns out. it even occured to me that perhaps the illuminations and statuary are not showing rucking, but perhaps the sleeves were knitted with occasional rows of purling creating the little regular lines shown. I'm not doing that with these sleeves but i may try it on the next ones.