I suppose going back to school is an acceptable excuse for leaving us.
I suppose going back to school is an acceptable excuse for leaving us.
In the comments Meg asked about the small knitted bags several of the female interpreters wear suspended from a belt. In the early 17th century pockets in clothing weren’t as universal as they are now (although Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 1560 – 1620 has several examples of extant items with either pockets sewn in or evidence that there used to be). People, men and women both, often carried a pouch or bag on their person to hold small items.
We base the bags used on our sites on one found on the Gunnister man, a late 17th-century body found in the mid-20th century in a peat bank in Scotland. The Gunnister man’s knitted possessions are described in Richard Rutt’s book A History of Hand Knitting, and also in an article by Deborah Pulliam that appeared in Piecework magazine.
About 20 years ago Plimoth Plantation, in conjunction with the Weavers’ Guild of Boston, published a booklet of knitting patterns, including one for this sort of little bag. The booklet is out of print, and most of the patterns have been vastly improved through further research in the intervening years. A few years ago a former wardrobe department tailor developed a pattern for a bag the same size as the Gunnister man’s but with a different pattern. I’ll find out if it is available through the museum gift shop and let you know.
Tomorrow is Emily’s last day with us. She did great work this summer, as did Lacey, who arrived home safely a few days ago. We’re going to miss them both, especially since we’re only in the middle of the process of finding a replacement for Shaina, who departed in June. This autumn will be a major transition time for us.
Kandy asked about the exhibit opening in May. I guess I have neglected to mention that much, since we won’t shift into high gear on the planning and implementation of that for another couple of months. We are planning to open an exhibit which will include the completed jacket in May of 2009. I will of course share the details as they develop.
I also have more pictures of Rebecca transforming into her 17th-century character – on a disk at the office.
Betty-Anne, Rosemary and Abigail all brought lovely show and tell objects to the last session. Wendy kindly photographed for me, as I had very cleverly “lost” my camera in the trunk of my car. We missed getting a snapshot of Rosemary’s gorgeous Victorian style beaded scissors case, with the beaded fringe and beaded neck cord.
Here is a photo of some of Betty-Anne’s doll beds. She has made eight or nine of them illustrating different historic styles of bed hangings. She brought these two to show.
And this is Abigail’s blackwork truly-a-sampler. She adds to it as she finds designs she wants to record, has used at least one (the double acorn on a garment) and in working another discovered she never wants to use it again. That’s just how samplers were used in the early 17th century.
And here is a picture of Lacey modeling her Plimoth souvenir hat and holding the coveted Janet Arnold book. Lacey dyed the yarn with madder and Penny knit it for her. Turns out the Virginia girl collects winter hats. I’ve been told it gets cold in Virginia. Mmm-hmm. (Lacey spent ten years in Germany, where it really does get cold. We just like to tease her.)
Lacey headed home about a week ago, and we all miss her very much. She’s promised to come back for the exhibit opening in May. This is Emily’s last week with us and today she’s fighting off a cold and valiantly soldiering on with the green canvas suit. She’s determined to finish it before she has to go home. I’m not liking the empty nest.
Our next embroidery session starts Friday August 22. We’ll have several embroiderers and a lacer or two. There’s still room if you have some time, come and join us.
To answer Robbin’s question, there will Not be plaited braid stitch instructions in the needle-gold thread kit, so go ahead and order Linda’s from Calico Crossroads. There’s a link in the upper right portion of the blog home page. Go to her searchable catalog and look for plaited braid stitch. That should bring up the $6 + shipping packet of full-color instructions. If you have any trouble you can email Linda through the contact page on her website.
Thanks for the note about the comment box being overrun by text. Unfortunately we’re between Webmanagers right now; I sent Rich a note about it on his last day. I don’t think he laughed, but only because he’s not that kind of person. He did say that issue was already on the list for the interim guy to work on, but I have a feeling the interim guy had a lot more on the list….cross your fingers that another talented webmanager wants to work here and we find him/her soon.
Here are two tantalizing pictures of the excellent stuff Penny, Emily, Lacey, and two volunteers from the Landmark program did here on Tuesday and Wednesday. I know Pen, Emily, and Lacey want to blog about the whole experience, so I hopefully won’t be treading on their toes by posting these two. The first is their cushy setup outside the Crafts Center. Chairs! And a tent! It looks comfy, but it was scorching hot those two days.
They all had an excellent time, worked really hard but said it didn’t feel like work; the visitors loved it, the other Crafts Center artisans loved it, and Penny’s so pleased she’s already talking about doing it again in September. That much makes it a ringing success. But they also got loads of gorgeous yarn out of the deal, and that’s just gravy. They all three looked really tired on Thursday, though.
Tags: Calico Crossroads, Crafts Center, dye, Emily, flip-flops, gold thread, gold thread kit, interns, Lacey, Landmark, Linda, madder, Penny, plaited braid stitch, yarn
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There’s not a great deal going on with the jacket this month. I decided a while ago to not schedule any work sessions in July, and it turns out that was a very good idea.
I have been spending Sundays in the Crafts Center working on the jacket, but today family concerns prevented me; Emily stepped up on short notice and covered my commitments to the site and the jacket. Thanks, Emily.
Aside from embroidering whenever possible, I’m also working on the mock-up of the jacket. By working on, I mean cutting out a model from the same linen and a similar but commercially woven silk. I wrote to Susan North for advice on the making up, and she wrote back with some notes based on her examinations of the Laton jacket as well as others in the V&A collection.
The two most significant points in my opinion are that several different techniques seem to have been used on both the Laton jacket and the others, and that these different techniques don’t seem to be standard from one jacket to the other. In other words (because those ones were pretty opaque) 17th-century tailors of embroidered jackets seem to have used a variety of methods unsystematically. Good news for me, then, as I’ve got precedent for doing what works.
I’ll keep you posted, of course, but if I’m this nervous about working on the mock-up, how will I feel about sewing the actual thing? At least that will be worth taking pictures of – plain linen and plain white silk make a very boring photo.
Hi everyone, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Husband Away turned into Husband Home but with Appendicitis. He no longer has appendicitis, no longer has an appendix even, but I’ve been a little preoccupied. Distracted. Frazzled, as a co-worker so eloquently put it this morning. And then last night we had the Thunderstorms. Thou shalt not fire up the computer during a violent thunderstorm.
Anyway, Jill H (the lace making Jill H, as opposed to me, the non-lace making Jill H) asked about finding 1359-1900. The key is to search the V&A collections. You can’t use the search function in the upper right hand corner of their website. That searches for things like exhibits and lectures and new books. You have to click the ‘collections’ option (other options on that page are exhibits, things to do, your visit, support us, contact us, etc.). Once in the collections section, you have choices of which collection to look at. There is also a ‘search the collections’ box. It’s the top left section. Click on that and you get a screen with a search box on the left. Continue to ignore the search box in the upper right. It does not love you.
The search box you want says ‘all fields’ above it, and below there are two buttons: clear field and search. Put ’1359-1900′ in this search box and click search. This will get you the embroidery-pattern jacket. If you instead put in ‘Laton jacket’ you will get the garment-and-lace-pattern jacket. Have fun!
Emily and Lacey have been exceedingly busy while I’ve been frazzling. Lacey has made three pairs of canvas breeches and is working on her fourth. She’s also knitting mittens. Emily is making a gown for a small child who soon will be volunteering in the English Village. She’s also making a green canvas suit for one of the interpretive artisans. Emily left me a note saying that yesterday’s late-afternoon fitting with him went “swimmingly. He says the fabric is the same color as his truck. I’m assuming this is a good thing.” Hope so. Penny is taking a well-deserved looong weekend. When she comes back Monday she and Emily and Lacey will be preparing for a two-day dye fest. On Tuesday and Wednesday of next week they’ll be dyeing wool yarn with natural dyes outside the Crafts Center. I’m so excited about this, I can’t wait. If you’re in the neighborhood, come see.
Emily is guest-posting today. Send her comments. We love comments. JMH
My mother and I shared several squeals and a victory dance this New Year’s Eve Day. This was the day I first opened the door of Plimoth Plantation’s intern house, standing under the colonnade in the freezing cold of the December afternoon. I was immediately overtaken by the strong urge to let fly with a loud, self-congratulatory expletive, but my mother came up to me, my bags in hand, and beat me to the punch with a grin on her face. Cursing thus achieved and dispersed of, we moved all of my stuff up the stairs and into the two-bedroom apartment, wondering at what were going to be my proverbial “digs” for the next six or so weeks. I appreciated the house entirely, but to be very honest, all I wanted to do was get to work. I had a few days to wait, so I hunkered down with a book and some coffee to wait out my anxiety, to wait for the day that my internship with the Wardrobe Department began.
To appreciate the abject form of costuming geekery that dwells within the tiny body of one Ms. Emily Woods Hogue, or yours truly, there really is only one thing to understand.
Sarah Morton’s Day was my favorite book kindergarten-second grade.
For those of you unfamiliar with the book that planted the seed for what would become a history/ costuming double major, it was published in 1989, and it features a young girl going about her quotidian activities on Plimoth Plantation in 1627. Pages 6-7 feature Sarah getting dressed, putting on petticoat after petticoat, along with everything else that made up a young girl’s garb in the seventeenth century. I was the kind of little girl who wore overalls like it was her job, so this fascinated me. I had one “twirly skirt”, but as a general rule I wore what was best for kicking around the back woods of my New Hampshire home, i.e. pants. This era in which women wore more than one skirt and men wore pants that often did a darn good impression of a skirt befuddled me, and I vowed to learn more.
So I learned more. And more. And more.
As my majors might tell you, I have made it my business to continue learning more about not only the social history of dress, but also construction of clothing through the ages. Hence, the amount of time that I have spent in the Plimoth Plantation Wardrobe Department makes a great deal of sense. I am incredibly glad to be back this summer… so glad, in fact, that when Jill asked me to return, I danced an impassioned victory dance and cursed an ecstatic blue streak, just like I did upon my initial arrival.
If you have any questions about what it is like to be an intern at Plimoth, in the wardrobe department, living in the intern house, or really anything else, just ask. I will be more than happy to receive your queries.
Friday August 8 – Monday August 11
Friday September 12 – Monday September 15
Friday September 26 – Monday September 29
Wendy left a note in the comments. I was too distracted by the news that done does not mean done to listen to the explanation of what exactly the funny wrapping is. Debbie explained this morning that it is an under-over-wrap-around the horizontal lines of the ceylon stitch. Debbie compared it to a straight-line spider rose type thing; Penny said that maneuver is a stitch used in tapestry weaving. Speaking of Penny, she’s answered the Earl Grey tea cupcake question for us:
Hi there! The Earl Grey cupcake has the tea as an ingredient. Originally, the recipe called for green tea powder, but Emily is a big fan of the Earl of Grey tea combined with chocolate, thus the cupcakes. The recipe comes from the bookVEGAN CUPCAKES TAKE OVER THE WORLD by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.