21 August 2007

If I knit a big enough blanket, I won't need to put my head in the sand

I have my mail set to deliver Merry Rose traffic into its own folder, and I know better than to open that folder this week. I've said as much as I want to say on the subject on the Bright Hills list. The only thing I'll add is that for me the SCA has become a question of whether the fun outweighs the BS, and lately, it hasn't. If you've been wondering why I haven't been out at events, that's why.

On to more pleasant things.

I finally found some time to play around in Ravelry this weekend, and it is good. I haven't gotten much put in yet but I got a start, and I like it.

I've also been playing around with some Victorian knitting patterns. I've been on sort of a Victoriana kick recently for no good reason I can explain, reading Victorian novels (good ones -- I just finished Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone and if you haven't read it, you should) and staring at reprints of needlework books. I picked up a couple volumes of the Weldon's Practical Needlework series secondhand (Vol. 4 about a year ago, actually, and volume 5 more recently) and some of the patterns, especially the ones for babies and toddlers, are just charming. Since I have a lot of friends and family who have either had babies recently or will be having babies soonish, I can indulge myself a little and still feel like I'm doing something useful.

So here's a start on that:

'Vest of a Child of Three'

The front (or back) of 'Vest for a Child of Three,' from Vol. 4, done in fingering weight on 3.25 mm needles. The pattern calls for old UK size 14 needles, which is a modern 3.25 mm, so the needle size is correct, anyway. I haven't taken measurements yet, so I can't say what my gauge worked out to be or if the finished item will be an appropriate size for a modern three-year-old or not. I'll do that when the whole thing's done.

This particular pattern is kind of nifty because it's knit sideways. The stitches used are double moss and garter, and the front and back pieces are identical. The vest is supposed to be finished with a crocheted edge which would probably be too frilly for a boy by modern standards, but you could easily pick up stitches for a ribbed edge at the neckline and armholes if you preferred.
Also, very quick knit, and the Weldon's patterns don't require a lot of translation to make sense to a modern knitter. If you are a faster knitter than I am, or could dedicate a whole weekend to knitting, you could probably cast on the vest on a Friday evening and be done with it by Sunday.
I've also been playing with a knitted counterpane square from Beeton's Book of Needlework -- a pattern which, unlike the neckerchief I was annoyed by last year, is easy to decipher and makes something which looks like the engraving. More details on that when I get the first square finished and can take a picture of it.

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