Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sew Historical Fortnightly #7

So I just realized today that these challenges are the Historical Sew Fortnightly, not the Sew Historical Fortnightly. Well, it's in my brain wrong, so it will take a while to correct. Anyhoo.

I had originally planned to knit a pair of socks for this challenge, but I'm having difficulty getting motivated to make the second, so I only have one sock to show. The socks are for Crowley, in a Scotch Plaid pattern. Since Crowley's Scottish, and since my Crowley has notoriously cold feet and could benefit from some thick colorwork stockings, it seemed perfect.
This is the image from Weldon's Practical Knitter, Twelfth Series. Though I can't find a date for this specific series, the publication started in 1885, and then were reprinted into larger collections in 1888. So the pattern is late 1880s. The original pattern was top down, knit on size 14 needles (Modern size 00, or 1.75mm). They were also intended for a man. Since I was making them for a friend with small, girly feet, I decided to knit the pattern from the toe up, since this made it easier for me to keep the pattern centered. I also used larger needles, size 3 or 3.25mm. These are a bit too large for Victorian stockings, but acceptably small for modern socks.
I used Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One to work out a new pattern. I love this book. I use it for all my socks. There's charts where you match your foot size to your gauge and it tells you how many stitches you need for each section of the sock. It's literally a book of how to math socks. Also, I totally spilled tea on it at one point. Here is what I came up with:

It was hard keeping the sock in the light, and my phone didn't want to pick up the colorwork. You can see the Scotch Plaid pattern starts after the single color toe, continues up the leg, and ends at the striped ribbing. The heel is also striped. The breakdown:
The Challenge:  Tops and Toes

Fabric:  Brown and blue wool yarn

Pattern: Gentleman's Stocking, from Weldon's Practical Knitter, reinterpreted by Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters

Year: This pattern shows up in the Practical Needlework compilation Vol. 5, and assuming those came out once a year, would put this pattern between 1885 and 1892.

Notions:  A set of Size 3 double pointed needles.

How historically accurate is it?  The gauge is too loose, and while socks knit from the toe up have been found before this time period it wasn't common in the Victorian era. The colors and yarns are good, though maybe a little thick considering the suggested needle size. I'd say 50% at best, the construction is extremely modern if you know what to look for.

Hours to complete:  No clue. I didn't have all the numbers when I started this project, so I was stalled waiting for my friend to measure her feet and text me the numbers.

First worn:  Not worn yet. I'm sure once I complete the other one and get them to my friend they'll get regular use.

Total cost:  $27, but that was for the two colors. A single ball would have been enough to knit a pair of stockings, so I'll have a lot of yarn left over.

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