Monday, February 19, 2007

Stockings with Back Cabling

Sunday, I played around with putting a cable pattern at the back of a pair of stockings. I spent most of the day trying to find a pattern that worked AND looked nice. I had one that looked nice but was nearly impossible to get right and it was easy to drop a stitch - which would leave giant holes in the stockings that were nearly impossible to fix.

I settled on a simple 10 row 4-stitch cable pattern. I used 7 ounces (188 grams) of the cochineal yarn to make the final pair. I wore them today at the George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, Virginia dressed as a 1st Virginia Regiment camp-follower.

I am also posting pictures of the light blue stockings that I made last weekend. I made flat knitted fabric and then cut out the stockings and sewed them together. I used a pattern and the socks seemed a little big. So, I felted them a little. Now they are tight and they have lost their knitted stretch.

Hopefully you can see the way that they were sewn together in the photo. The fit of them, even when they were big, come no where close to the fit of my fitted socks. It was nice to try to make a period sock using fabric but I can't see me wearing them. The seam on the bottom of the heal is too distracting.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Cochineal Dye and Silk Socks

I made a cochineal dye vat and dyed 1 pound of wool yarn. I can't believe how beautiful and how strong the color is. The color can definitely be called scarlet red. I used an Alum mordant. One half of the dye vat was plain water and the other vat was vinegar. The vinegar was supposed to make the red color more vivid. But, both of the reds turned out relatively the same dark scarlet red. I am going to try to knit up a pair of stockings with this wonderful color yarn.
The two small skeins of lighter red on top of the spools are samples that I did of non-mordant wool. According to the dye recipe, non-mordant fibers would not take the cochineal. The fibers are much lighter than the Alum mordant fibers and the color does not have as much depth.

I ordered an 8 oz cone of 100% dark blue (Orient Blue) silk from The Woolery and knit a pair of silk stockings. I had to double the yarn. The pictures I have do not do them justice. They are very fine and stately. I knit these for my fancy 18th Century Dress and Petticoat that the Silly Sisters made for me. They will go well together.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Catching Up

I haven't posted a Blog since Gwen had her Christmas message. That is not to say that I haven't been busy.

I got a 9" Robert Raikes Hope doll and dressed her in handmade 18th century style clothing. I plan on using her for education examples of how a woman would have dressed - especially to show all the layers. I tried to make shoes but I just could not get those to look good. I also purchased and painted the box that she is displayed on with Pumpkin milk paint.

I also made a sign for my laundress "business". I designed it myself. The blue and white checked is actually fabric while the rest is wood. It is really eye-catching.

I have so much more to post, I'll try to keep you updated (I'm working on Cochineal dye and have a pound of wool yarn in the vat right now).