Winter cap

1894-95 winter cap...handmade.

1894-95 winter cap…handmade.  Costume Museum of Canada collection.

Winter in my neck of the woods is, in a word, brutal.  This little cap may have been worn indoors or on less frigid days for quick trots out to the back yard.  It is hand-made and more utilitarian than fancy so I’m guessing it wasn’t used by a lady use to the finer things in life.  It also seems more “old-fashioned” than the date implies so may be worn by an older woman.

Left side view

Left side view

Back view.

Back view.

Right side view.

Right side view.

Top view

Top view

As a lover of knitting, I attempted to figure out how it was made.  I have thought I’d made one or two more “common folk” wear outfits and this would do nicely as an accessory.  The ties and edge trim was easy to figure out.

Hairpin lace technique.

Hairpin lace technique.

It has been awhile since I took these photos and my cell phone takes crappy pictures, but I think it is 3 strips of hairpin lace.  The red line is an outside edge of one strip.  Red wool has been worked into it to finish of the edge.  The next line is the inner stitches of hairpin lace.  Here is a good description of a basic hairpin lace stitch.

The next wavy line is the edges of the first strip joined with a second strip of lace A strand of matching wool snakes over top of the join.  Unfortunately, I can’t quite make out how the join was made.  I have a few ideas how I could mimic but I’d have to trial and error that one.

The process is repeated with a third strip of lace and an edging of red is added to that out edge.

For the back edge, it looks like the same process is done but the three strips of lace are joined as above and then folded in half lengthwise, gathered and then attached to the “body” of the cap.

Now the body of the cap is the real tricky part.

1894-5 CMC h

It is possible that this is a knit stitch similar to this one. But I really think it is actually a weave.

I also had the sense that it was two woven pieces together (for extra warmth).  It was really hard to tell without really yanking on these old fibers!

So someday I would like to give this a try.


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