Tuesday 31 July 2012

18th century-style stockings

18th century-style stockings by Asplund
18th century-style stockings, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
I managed to finish the stockings just in time for an 18th century-style weekend at Skansen, an open-air museum in Stockholm. The purl stars on the calves are barely visible in this photo, but they show better in reality. And no, those aren't my legs but they belong to a member of an 18th century society.

I celebrated finishing the stockings by casting on to knit a sweater, Alice Starmore's "Cape Cod" from her book Fishermen's Sweaters. I knitted it in 2006 and will modify it the same way, keeping the shells and cables but changing the model. Here is a photo of the original design.

"Shells" 2012: Rowan Creative Linen

The pattern works very well with Rowan Creative Linen (50% cotton and 50% linen), I think.

At the back of the neck I have added an A for Asplund (and/or for Alice Starmore) instead of half a shell - shaping the neck would behead the shell anyway. Not that it will show, though, because I will use the same kind of collar as I did last time. I think it goes well with the "sea theme" of the pattern.

"Shells" sweater 2006: Rowan Felted Tweed

Ron asked about "Viften/The Fan" - it was lucky enough to get to move to my aunt Caroline!

Wednesday 25 July 2012

An exception

Stocking progress by Asplund
Stocking progress, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Normally, I don't knit socks - for no particular reason, I just don't enjoy it very much. (But I admire hand-knitted socks and the work and skills behind them.)

However, I'm in the middle of an exception after agreeing to knit a pair about a year ago, getting the yarn about half a year ago. What attracted me was knitting something to be part of an 18th-century style costume (they're for a member of the society of Gustafs Skål), trying to create something that could have been worn in the late 1700s.

What didn't attract me is knitting a lot of stocking stitch with hardly any patterns. Fortunately, I thought of a picture in a book I one saw: a pair of knee-length stockings with a stars on the calves, stars that grew smaller to harmonize with the decreases - and perhaps to accentuate and draw attention to a shapely calf? (Or a trompe-l'œil effect to make a less fortunate wearer's calves look shapely?)

However that may be, I tried to do something similar here - to make them less tedious to knit - even though I'm certain those stockings weren't that old, and for all I know stockings may not have been decorated like this in the 1700s.  

I had a lot more fun knitting Marianne Isager's Viften/The Fan for the fourth time, now a red one using Drops Silke-Tweed (discontinued) from my stash. I reused my modifications from last year.

Monday 9 July 2012

"Knit & purl" sweater no 2

"Knit & purl" sweater by Asplund
"Knit & purl" sweater, a photo by Asplund on Flickr.
Here's a sweater I finished for my mother recently, "Knit & purl" from Classic Knits by Marianne Isager. These pattern borders are a lot of fun to knit, easy but enough variation to keep them from getting monotonous.

I've taken a couple of liberties with the design, though:
1. The original is a raglan sweater. I do like raglans, but thought these horizontal borders would look better in a straighter shape.
2. I knitted the pieces back and forth instead of in the round. It's easy with this kind of pattern, and I wanted to accentuate the side seams with vertical lines similar to where I picked up stitches for the sleeves and the sleeve seams.

side seam

I was lucky enough to get to the right length with the diagonal borders, so the shoulder join looks nice:
shoulder join

The sleeves were too long first, but as I had knitted them top-down it was easy to fix: I ripped the cuff and let border above it become the new cuff. I thought of ripping that border too and reknit the 2x2 cuff pattern, but thought it looked nice with the diagonal lines.
The first sleeve version; I think the final one looks better.

Unfortunately, this yarn (BC Lucca Fino) has been discontinued, but at least I have enough of it for another sweater in my stash.