Knitting like only a history geek can

Now that I’m fully rested from my trip to London, it’s time to knuckle down and finish some of the numerous craft projects I have in progress.

One item that has been crying out to me in the middle of the night (eerily, like a faint, fibrous ghost) is one of the projects I’m making for Plimoth Plantation. They sent me yarn some time ago — spun from wool right there at the museum, and hand-dyed using 17th-century methods involving vegetable dyes and other such wonderfulness — along with a couple of patterns for me to knit up. Everything I make will be worn or used by role players at Plimoth Plantation, the living museum not far from where I live.

I’ve got materials for a fantastic pair of ladies’ woolen stockings (thigh-high, with ridges for fastening the garter around the upper leg, and tapering down to the ankle and toes, with an inlaid pattern along the side of the calf), but I decided to start with the smaller project, a little knitted reticule (or “pocket”) in bright shades of yellow, green, and purple.

Tudor Rose for Plimoth Plantation

Don’t you just love those colors? Glorious.

It’s got a fussy little looped collar to it, which I’ve only just finished to my satisfaction, before I could proceed on to the intriguingly patterned body of the thing.

I’m just about to put in the first bit of purple:

Tudor Rose Pocket

I did do a trial run of the stockings, to see how the yarn would behave, and to test out a few components of the pattern that had me scratching my head. Only did one mini-stocking, though, which I will undoubtedly have to rip out so that I can reuse the yarn when I get cracking on the real thing:

Lady's Stocking

The silly little yellow flower on the cuff is my own addition. There was about five minutes this spring when I felt the need to knit little yellow flowers and put them on practically everything. Such whims, I find, are best indulged.

I’m also working on a shawl that I’m calling my Lady Ludlow Shawl, because it’s an attempt to recreate some of the amazing drape achieved by the shawls and hoods worn by Francesca Annis in Cranford.

I’m not even trying to replicate the patterns or textures of the shawls worn by her character in the films, just trying to replicate something of the effect — that kind of loose, languid drape is something I’ve long coveted in a large shawl, and I think I’ve struck on just how to achieve it. So the yarn is just a deep, dark black, a bit shimmery from the inclusion of a fair bit of silk into the fiber blend:

Cranford Shawl

Of course, a considerable amount of the effect is only truly going to be achievable by people whose first names are Francesca, and whose last names are also Annis. Woman can wear some clothes.

What else? I still need to finish another pair of these lacy mitts, which were long since promised to one of the winners of the Spring 2010 Eggplantia give-away.

Forsythia mitts

You see? Far too much in progress. Time to achieve some completion, wherever it can be had.

What have you been up to?

1 Thought.

  1. That yarn looks so delicious Beth and I love the lacy mitts at the end! And I’m totally right there with you about Lady Ludlow – Cranford, yum!

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