They’re Finished!

I finished Taylor’s mitts! Hopefully Taylor will have pics of her wearing them at Saratoga, but for now I’ll have to do.

And the pattern is here at my knitting blog.

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Getting There!

I have been working away at Taylor’s mitts. The second is going a bit slower than the first, because I have had less free time this past week, but I am nearing the thumb gusset. I hope to have the finshed and sent off to her new house (!!!!) by the end of next week.

Here’s a pic of the two mitts side by side. I’ve gotten farther on the second since this picture was taken.

A Little Bit of Progress

I have managed to make a little progress on Taylor’s mitts. I knit a couple more inches of the body of the second mitt.

I did start a corded petticoat a couple months back, but I got stalled on that project. I only have a measly four rows of cording done. I’m using Jenni’s tutorial on her website.

Here’s a pic of my pathetic progress after 2.5 months

Another Update on Taylor’s Mitts

First, I thought I should post a picture of the first mitt with the point turned back and a photo of the other side of the mitt:

And a pic of the palm side:

Plus, I have been hard at work on the second mitt. I finished the knit hem last night and started working the arm shaping. The hem is one of the most time-consuming parts, so hopefully I will pick up speed now that I am done with that.

Here you can see the provisional cast on I used (the black yarn):

Then I knit a purl row, so that I could turn under the hem:

After that I undid the provisional cast on and transfered the live stitches to another set of dpns:

Then I folded the work in half, wrong sides together, and knit the two sets of live stitches together:

More Mitts

I have been hard at work on Taylor’s mitts. I’m through most of the thumb gusset on the first one. It’s relaxing to have a project that’s all stocking stitch in the round, as I don’t even have to purl!

Here the mitt is flat:

And now a blurry pic on my arm:

Knitting and Costuming Collide

I’m starting in on an exciting new mini-project. Taylor mentioned that she is afraid of freezing to death at the Saratoga reenactment in October. She said she didn’t have mitts to go with her outfit, which got me thinking about knitting some. Long story short, I am now making Taylor some knit mitts.

I began with some research, starting with Richard Rutt’s A History of Handknitting. This book deals mostly with European knitting, but I was able to confirm from it that most knitting was done in the round in the 18th c. The book also seems to indicate that bar increases for thumb gussets were common. Then I looked at No Idle Hands: A Social History of American Knitting by Anne Macdonald. This book is more about the social meaning behind handknitting, as opposed to talking about knitting techniques. However, there is is nice picture of an 18th c mitten, which clearly shows a worked thumb gusset.

With this knowledge in mind, I looked at some pictures of mitts on the MFA website. They have some gorgeous pieces here. In particular, I found this one interesting. Looking at these examples made me realize that 18th c knitters had one major difference when compared to modern knitters. 18th c knitters didn’t mind rolling edges due to the way stocking stitch curls. The MFA site is littered with mitts where the top edge and the thumb edge roll in on themselves. A modern knitter (like me) would freak out if this happened, and would instead use ribbing to finish off these edges. But I haven’t seen any garments with ribbing from before the 1830s. So I guess I will have to suck it up and deal with the slight rolling. Maybe I can do something with the bind-off to make it less noticeable. At least I’ve found examples of mitts with turned under hems, so I don’t need to worry about rolling there.

Anywho, after looking through these sources, I came up with a plan for Taylors’s mitts. I got some lovely wool, Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport, in the color “ash.” It’s a sort of beigeish white. The Naturespun is made from US wool and is a plied yarn, which seems to be a good modern substitute for period yarn. It’s a little heavier weight than would have been the norm, but not too bad.

Then I drew up a rough pattern:

And now I have been knitting! You can see here I finished the knitted hem. I used the method described here.