Fairely Well Maid

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Historical Socks

I found this pattern in the last edition of PieceWork magazine.  It is based on a pair of stockings they found in 1951, in a bog in Gunnister, Scotland.  They have dated the material to the 17th century.

These are the actual stockings.  They were repaired (not well) in several places and the bottom of the foot was a separate piece, obviously the original foot wore out.

As the pattern was written for a man, the foot measurement had to be altered to fit my smaller foot.  I also had to alter the thigh and calf measurements to fit my, rather heavy, leg.  This was a fascinating project because it is a reproduction of an actual historical garment.  The original was in a wool yarn that would have been comparable to what we call sport weight.  I used a cotton ( 75%) and poly (25%) fingering weight.  I swatched it to find a needle size, because the pattern was written for a size 1.  I ended up using a size 3.

I'm thrilled with how it came out.  There is a clock pattern on the sides of the ankle, the back seam is 14 st wide starting with a garter stitch (p1, then next row k1), 3 knit stitches, another garter stitch, 4 knit stitches, a garter stitch, 3 knit stitches and ending with a garter stitch.  It makes the decreases very neat.

Here is the clock pattern.
This is the back seam.

The color is a dove brown, the top picture is closer to the real color.  I had a lot of fun with this pattern, even if I did have to graft the toes using the Kitchner Stitch :).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Black Tatted Choker with Red Beads - Finished

I did decide that it needed something.  I had this necklace that I have never worn (don't remember where it came from).  I think it is just the thing.  I cannibalized the chain for the closure.  This will fit a 14" and up neck.

If you like this, click on my Artfire shop at the top.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tatted Choker with beading

My latest project is almost finished.  This one gave me the figits.  The first problem was the black cotton.  It is what is, in my opinion sarcastically, called "Lively" yarn.  In other words, it twists all to blazes.  Not too bad if you are working with, say, a sport weight yarn and knitting or crocheting it.  When it is a size 10 cotton string you are trying to tat.  Yikes!

Second problem is that I haven't tatted with beads before, so, I was working on the assumption that stringing the beads on the ball and using that to create the chains.  This is what you do when you are crocheting with beads.  Not so easy, at least for me.  I found that stringing the beads on another shuttle and using the two shuttle method is easier, for me.

OK.  I learned a lot with this one.  I really enjoy the outcome.  Here is the band.  I need to add a pendant or something else.  Plus a way to clasp it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tatting Shuttles - Product Review

When I first saw these shuttles, I was excited.  For anyone who does Tatting they know how annoying loading a shuttle can be.  They "click" and it is sometimes hard to hold onto them.  These shuttles have a removable bobbin that makes it, in theory, easier to load.  At about $5.00 easier is nice.

Well, not so much.  Here is the problem.  In order to remove the bobbin you have to flip up these two little tabs on the reverse side.  After slipping and poking myself with various implements, including a pair of needle point tweezers, I was finally able to bend them up with a seam ripper.  Filling the bobbin, putting it back and bending down the tabs is easy.

Here is the other problem.  Because it is thin metal the bending back and forth weakens the tabs.  After only three uses one of the tabs has snapped off.  I'm not happy with this because, well, I expected it to last longer.  It is still usable with one tab, but how long will that last?

It handles OK and I like having the little hook at the top to join picots, but I will not buy them again.  Even though they were only about $5.00 a piece, I want them to last a bit longer without breaking.

Here are my favorite shuttles.  They are Clover plastic tatting shuttles.  Although they are a bit "clicky" to load, they handle very well.  I have had these for over a year and no breaking.  They are small and light and come in a variety of colors (usually two to a pack).  At about $4.00 a pack I am very happy with them.  I bought the top one because I wanted one that looked like cow horn.  This is a bit more period look for me if I'm going to bring them to a Renaissance Faire or Re-enactment (the bright pink and blue (not pictured) just doesn't look right).

These are the ones I will go to again and again.

I also own a beautiful bone shuttle.  It will not work with the size 10 thread I am currently using but feels so wonderfully smooth and silky in my hand that I use it whenever possible.  I would definitely buy another one.

This one was about $18.00.  A bit pricey, but I really love working with it.

This is a silver filigree.  It is larger than all my others and the metal edges can be a bit cutting on the thread. I like working with it, but it's larger size can make it awkward at times.

This one was about $20.00.  I would probably now buy this one again.  I don't "love" it enough to spend that kind of money when there are the Clover plastic that I like better for a fifth of the price.

If you have a favorite Shuttle I would love to hear about it and why you love it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pirate Socks - Part 3 - Finished

My Pirate socks are finished.  I added a bit of Stretchtite to the top to help keep them up.  I am very proud of them.