Monday, March 24, 2008

Swatch Notebook #3

Traditional Latvian Mitten pattern from Lizbeth Upitis' "Latviesu Cimdi (Latvian Mittens)"
Lanette Sock Yarn
Knit Circularly
19 sts/2"

-I had trouble understanding the Cuff Braid ("Pines raksts valnitim") but got it by the end of the swatch. It is a bit tedious, but v.unique and well worth the effort.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Season

I am very fond of Easter -I'm an Easter baby (Good Friday, no less) and this year I am trying my hand at Ukrainian Eggs; something I haven't tried since afternoons at Glanmore House I also learned Paper Quilling there, and picked up some handy tips on exorcisms.

On the needles this Easter;

Paton's SWS in solids and self stripings. There are Fair Isle motifs, corrugated ribbing and mosaic shadow and band patterns.
Is it because of my fixation on Russian head gear/getting back into my Latvian Mittens project or is it just because this sort of 'stream of conciseness' sweater is being knit bottom up, that I want the top of the sweater to explode into something -maybe cables ala pig tails.
2 colour corrugated ribbing is good fun. Soundtrack: "Good Friday", The Black Crowes
...Please; no comments asking me what I think about the latest Fleetwood Mac debacle. I am crushed.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Growing up Daisy

Using the Bloom Loom to create Tenerife Lace:
(I made this up and have not tried it yet)
Fill loom's radii before looping the entire diameter of the loom (use a finer gauge thread than usually called for-my examples of normal Blooms are dk.)
At the last stage of the Daisy stitch loops together and weave through/group together what would have been petals to create new patterns. Use an extra long tail, and stitch the centre as you would a spider stitch in Crewel work. The solid colour work in these examples could be created with simple weaving.
It might also be an idea to use the bloom loom (or daisy maker) to make the ground-if it were removed from the loom and then pinned out as lace typically is, any number of needlelace techniques could be applied (?)

Tenerife diagrams and photos taken from Dillmont's,Bibliothèque DMC La Dentelle Ténériffe[c.1895],
Available in pdf form here

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Monarch '40s Head Scarf

Materials Used
2 Balls White
1 Pair No. 2 Needles
1 Large Crochet Hook
Cast on 19 sts.
1ST Row-Purl
2nd Row -(K1 P1, K1) all in 1st stitch, P2tog. *(K1, P1, K1) all in next st. P3tog, repeat from * to within 3 sts. P2tog, (K1, P1, K1) all in last stitch (23 sts. on needle).
(Note.-There are 4 sts increased every 2nd row).
Repeat the last 2 rows, until work mesures 23 inches from centre. Cast off loosely, do not break wool, turn.
BORDER -Chain 14, work 1 sc in 3rd st, *ch 14, miss 2 sts, 1 sc in next st, repeat from * across the cast-off sts to corner, ch 14, 1 sc in same st as last sc, ** ch 14, 1 sc in 2 nd row of pattern, repeat from ** along side edge, across the cast-on sts, and up other side. Fasten off securely.

Monarch’s Hand Knit Styles for “Teen-Agers”, 1940s

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jersey Jumper

Fair Isle update: The Elephants are now Yellow.



And you thought yellow was last year.

Soundtrack: "Baby Elephant Walk", Henry Mancini


Tiara Friday #2 (belated) Ukrainian inspired tiara. Vanna White's wonder worsted, 3.5mm hook. Based on an edging pattern found at Moonstitches. *or so I thought...can't find it there now) Should really be starched.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Blackwork Sampler #1

Blackwork Embroidery was introduced to the Tudor Court by pious Catherine of Aragon who was no doubt taught the technique by her Mother, Queen Isabella-Catherine's suitcase was stuffed with the stuff when she married Prince Arthur. It's mainly comprised of running stitches, and cleverly placed backstitches. Many of the designs are equally impressive on the reverse, making Blackwork on cuffs, collars and ruffs popular well through to Elizabeth's rein. Less Moorish than Catherine, (and less boorish than her father) Elizabeth used her needle to change Blackwork in to a more 'English' (organic, free form) needleart. The printing press was making trickier designs accessible, and the influx of Italian lace makers enjoying low import taxes meant that cuffs were frilly again -no more reversible, geometric demands on Blackwork designs. So now you know.

1. Portrait of Mrs Pemberton, Hans Holbein, 1535. Catherine of Aragon's influence
2.Lady Kytson, George Gower, 1573, Elizabethan all-over Blackwork.

Blackwork became so popular under Catherine's Spanish influence that Master Holbein's Court portraits are full of the embroidery. His careful eye for detail helped propel the technique and he favoured it in the real-life decoration of the King's court-soon Holbein stitch was borne. A double running stitch, it seems to be a chicken and egg situation. I shall tackle it next. Maybe on a sleeve like Jane Seymour's?

Excellent Double Running Stitch tutorial available at The Blackwork Archives
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