Back in action

I’ve been MIA for a bit.  As you may recall, I have been juggling drama at work, a newly diagnosed diabetic dog, a son’s wedding and a house guest here from Germany for the wedding.  Work is still drama and likely will be for the rest of the year (sigh), the dog is still diabetic but we are starting to get used to it, the wedding is over and the happy couple is on their honeymoon and the house guest is back home in Germany.  It is time for me to try and get settled into my routines for my new normal.  That means I should try and put out a post or two a week here.

For the wedding I made my own dress.  Nothing difficult.  A tube with sleeves really.  I took a sleeveless dress I have that I find comfortable and relatively flattering and used it as a pattern (only I added sleeves).

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Original dress

 

I don’t have any good pictures yet because I vowed that for the wedding, I wouldn’t take any pictures.  I would just be there “in the moment.”  Once I have a good photo I will share.  For now, you will have to settle for a blurry selfie with my eyes closed.

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Sure, I would have felt prettier in a super fitted dress with all kinds of support systems in place (like a corset) but the day turned out to be brutally hot for an out door wedding and I was frankly happy I was wearing a loosey goosey gown.  Father of the bride was smart and brought three shirts and a pair of shorts to change into as he sweated his way through everything!  My hubby had to drive and hour and a half round trip, home to change!

There is a long weekend coming up and I have no real plans so hopefully my next post will be another completed project or at the very least, more Victorian in nature!

HSF 2017: Challenge 5 literature

Gosh this is late.  And not really finished how I wanted! The plan was to knit a pair of stockings and use the quote from Jane Eyre.

” but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”

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As you can see, I only got one stocking done.  A little late I can handle, but over a month late is too much.  So I quickly switched to garters.  The pattern is from Godey’s Lady’s book from the civil war era.  The pattern is on line.  Those I finished.  I wore the one stocking with a garter to see how well they held up.  They didn’t.  They might work on knee highs but not on crotch highs.  Gravity is too strong a force.  I may resort to some sort of belt system or elastic for the socks and try the garter on shorter socks.

Here are the stats:

What the item is: Garters

The Challenge, and how this item fulfills it: Literature-see above quote.

Fabric/Materials: yarn-synthetic blend with a silky feel to it.

Pattern: Godey’s Lady’s Book

Year: 1860’s

Notions: double point needles

How historically accurate is it? The only thing that is off is the fibers.  I’d give it a 90%

Hours to complete: about 6

First worn: around the house last week

Total cost: I used scraps left over from the one sock I made.  Mere pennies.

Modern shawl

I have a wedding to go to this summer and I plan on wearing a sleeveless dress.   This could be okay, unless it is cold, or the mosquitos are out.  Or there are cameras out there, ready to take pictures of my bat wings.  So I decided to whip up a shawl. Sorry for the crap photo.  I just can’t figure out how to take good selfies.  I’d make a lousy 20 year old.IMG_20170509_103702572 Sure, it looks like a lot of work but the “wool” comes half crocheted.

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Here is a close up of the “wool” once it is opened up and crocheted together in strips.  I like the little sequence in it.IMG_20170509_103718562

HSF 2017 Challenge 4

I had much bigger plans for this project.  I was going to knit a Canadian Cloud which is a rectangle about 2-3 meters long.  But it is slow going.  Each row takes 45 minutes and each inch takes about 6 rows.  It was never going to happen for this challenge.  So I decided to go for the easy project we all love.  The reticule.IMG_20170430_212233064

The Challenge: Circles, squares and rectangles.  The four sides are rectangles and the bottom is a square.

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Material: grey polyester satin, pink cotton

Pattern: self drafted

Year: Reticles were used for decades but I intend it for an 1890’s dress.

Notions: lace (I used needle tatted lace I made years ago) and ribbon

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is plausible.  Anyone needing a bag and wanting use up scraps could come up with the same thing.  The fiber content is TERRIBLE! (But it was in the stash.) Plain (no print) fabric was used.  The color was used.  I don’t know enough about weave to claim “accurate or not accurate.”  I machine sewed the main seams so it wouldn’t be accurate if used with an outfit earlier than the late 1850’s.  The ribbon is poly.  The needle tatted lace is probably the most accurate thing as it was a handwork done in the Victorian era and the thread is at least natural if not silk.  I intend to use it with an evening dress from the 1890’s and my Victorian alter ego tends to be upper middle class and slightly matronly.  I think this bag suits that persona.  I give it about 55%.

Hours to complete: 5

First worn: not yet

Total cost: 0$  I raided the scrap bag and lace and ribbon stash.  The cost of these things were factored into earlier projects.

HSF 2017 Challenge 2 Remake Reuse Refashion

February’s challenge is done.  It is two months late but worth it!

The Challenge: 2 Remake Reuse Refashion

Material: Battenberg lace table cloth

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Pattern: TVE41  Plain Blousewaist

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Year: 1903

Notions: Bias tape, buttons, hooks and eyes

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How historically accurate is it? The pattern is good (thank you Truly Victorian for your dedicated work).  Linen was used as was Battenberg lace (though the lace was added after the shirt was assembled).  It is a vintage or older table cloth so the weave might be more accurate than a modern linen, but I am only guessing.  The color is good.  My buttons are plastic which is not ideal-possible but not common.  It is intended for day wear for my persona (upper middle class middle aged woman).  I think the silhouette is good.  Biggest problem is the corset-not the shirt itself. I give it about 85%.

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Hours to complete:  Not bad, once I got going.  I’d say about 30.

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: $15 for the table cloth, $5 for the buttons.

I’ve juggled around my projects and gave myself an easy one to work on next weekend.  That should get April’s challenge off my dance card.  Stay tuned.

 

UFO finished!

It must be nearly 2 years ago that I bought my little Spin Well spinning wheel.  I spun up some wool fairly quickly but got hung up on the plying.  I couldn’t figure out how to get my wheel to take up the wool onto the bobbin once it was plied.  Basically, I had to ply a strip of it and stop the wheel and turn the bobbin by hand.  I got hung up by the frustration.  (I tried looking on line.  Every video and blog spoke about different makes and models of wheels that had parts and doodads that my wheel does not.  I can’t find any reference to parts that my wheel is missing.) Anyway, if you are interested, here is a link to the posts about the wheel and my drama trying to get it to work.

Anyway, I finally knuckled down and finished that ball of wool.  It is thick and lumpy (which makes it very fashionable, by the way) but I am proud of it.IMG_20170404_095115310

It knit up quickly.IMG_20170405_083517651

I was hoping for a scarf but realistically, I knew it wasn’t very likely.  So I went with neck or ear warmer.

Wow!  Those photos really showcase the wrinkles and turkey waddle!  I probably need to start adding filters to my photographs!

HSM 2017 Challenge 3: The great outdoors

The Challenge: The great out doors

What the item is: knitted undersleeves

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Material: 100% wool yarn

Pattern: 1862 Petersons Nov issue knitted undersleeves

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Year: 1862

Notions: 4.5 mm knitting needles, darning needle

How historically accurate is it?: 80%.  Pattern is an original from the time and fiber content of the wool is correct. The color is plausible but I can’t speak to whether the dyes are accurate or whether the spinning technique is comparable to Victorian wool.  I used wood knitting needles so very true to form!  It is intended for winter wear for most occasions.  I believe all classes of women would wear this item. Both working women and would knit them so both would wear them.  The silhouette is a bit off when compared to the drawing.  I had to increase stitches and rows to get it to fit.  If I were to make them again, I would decrease the number of rows between the two puffs by 8 and add them back into the larger top puff.

Hours to complete: about 30

First worn: not yet

Total cost:  balls of wool x $8=$24

Here is the pattern, in modern terms, enlarged to fit a “stout” modern body, with the changes I mention above (that should improve the shape).  To get the best fit the number of cast on stitches you need is the number you would need to go around the widest part of your fore arm.  The number of rows, in total is the number you would need to go from the widest part of your upper arm to your wrist, with extra added to create the puffs.

Worsted weight wool.  One ball of white, two balls of main color. 4.5 mm knitting needles. With the exception of the ribbing at the top, the whole thing is done in the knit stitch only.

Cast on 52 stitches with the white wool.

Knit 14 rows.

Switch to the main color and knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the cast on stitches.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second cast on stitch.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the cast on stitches have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off the white and tie it off.

Knit 17 rows in brown.

Switch to white.  Knit 14 rows.

Switch to brown.  Knit 26 rows.

Slip one stitch onto the right needle and pick up the first of the white stitches in the block of white.  Slip the second stitch onto the needle and pick up the second of the white stitches in the block of white.  Continue in this fashion until all the stitches and all the stitches of the first row of the block of white have been transferred to the right hand needle.

Transfer all the stitches back to the left hand needle. Add the white wool (you can leave the brown still attached) and knit 2 together across all the stitches.  Knit one more row in white.

Leave the white attached and pick up the brown wool.  Knit two rows in brown.

Leave the brown attached and pick up the white wool.  Knit two rows in white.  Break off and tie off the white.

In brown, *knit one stitch and increase 1 stitch in each of the next two*.  *Repeat across the row*. Knit 52 rows in brown.

Switch to white and knit 2 together across the row.  To create the ribbing, knit 1 purl 1 across the row.  Next row, purl 1 knit 1 across the row.  Repeat until the cuff is 26 rows long. Cast off LOOSELY.

Sew the two side edges to create a tube.  If the ribbing is too loose, I think you could add elastic or a cording without messing with the authenticity too much.  In 1820 elastic was patented for use in clothing.