Tagged ‘Gunnister man’


April 8th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Thanks for all your encouraging comments. I will photograph more motifs tomorrow at the office and post them.

About the plaited braid stitch, I know Tricia is working on a set of instructions with great photos that can be posted here and downloaded, like she did for all the other stitches we’ve been doing.

She and I are still thinking about how to marshal the troops to actually do the gold work. The plaited braid is one long motif, so to speak. Each pansy, or rose, or columbine is distinct and separate from every other pansy or rose or whatever. They don’t bump up next to each other, so variations in stitch tension or density don’t show so much. And in the originals we’ve looked at we saw differences like that in different motifs, so we’re not so worried about that. But the vines are like one continuous line. If we have very different hands working on the same sections it will show pretty dramatically.

I’m still hoping for some of our serious fund-raising efforts to result in a chunk of money so we can pay someone to do large sections of the vine, and fill in with volunteers, in such a way that the variety of hands is not so glaring. We do have some proposals out, and we’re working on another packet of materials to send to a bunch of different places, so keep your fingers crossed there.

Even if that happens, though, we’ll still need embroiderers, so don’t worry, you aren’t being put out of a job here. There’ll be miles of chain stitch gold work, little curlicues that spring seemingly randomly from the vine, plus top stitching on leaves that has to be done in gold, too.

We’re close to having another recreated thread to add to the jacket. Tricia did a gold thread series of blog posts a few weeks ago, and the end was that Bill Barns was going to do another sample of gold wrapped around silk, but this time use two ends of silk as the core rather than three, which would hopefully give Tricia the flexibility she was looking for. I haven’t heard that she’s got that sample yet, but we will of course post pictures as soon as she’s tested it.

I don’t know the answer to the question of how the acorn caps in yesterday’s picture were done; but I’ll send a note to Tricia to see if she knows.

Embroidery sample received today from Carolyn W. Also we’ve gotten more stockings! From Susan J, Sarah N, Susan Y, and Carol H. All absolutely lovely.

Tomorrow Penny will be attending the Weavers’ Guild of Boston’s meeting. The members of the WGB have, over decades, been willing hands, knitting and weaving for the living history program. Tomorrow Penny will see if anyone would like to take some stockings that need re-footing (old ones) or gloves to be re-fingered (also old).

Two spinners have volunteered to spin some combed top I had in the closet; I will be packaging that up and sending it out tomorrow, and we’ll see what we’ll see. I’m hoping for some hand spun worsted yarn that we can dye and knit into stockings at a gauge closer to the original 17th century stockings than our current pattern. The stockings on the Gunnister man, who was found preserved in a peat bog in Scotland, were about 7.5 sts/in. Gunnister man is no earlier than the last quarter of the 17th century, dated by coins in his (knitted!) pocket, but they are very close to our time period, close enough to be used as a model for the Plimoth colonists’ stockings.

I guess I still can run on, despite feeling like I’ve nothing new to say.

Pictures of motifs tomorrow, and thanks again for the help.

A Good Day

March 18th, 2008 by Jill Hall

Today was a good day in Colonial Wardrobe. For one thing, we got to see Wendy.

Wendy holding gilt ribbon for spanglesFor another, we got to see Mark, and the way cool gilt ribbon. He kindly brought it up to show us and he and Wendy measured it. Over 18′ of gilt ribbon. We figure it’ll make, oh, plenty of teardrop spangles. Mark’s going to make some next week in preparation for the weekend lace trial.

Months ago, Tricia and I identified as one of the objectives of the embroidered jacket project that we could interest new embroiderers in the craft, and encourage people who already embroider to try new and more advanced techniques. That has certainly happened, and keeps happening. A surprise by-product, though, has been the whole Knitting Stockings phenomenon, and consequent spreading of knitting skills.

Here’s Kelley re-footing an old stocking. When the feet wear out we darn them, and whenKelley refooting an old stocking they’re too thin to darn anymore we take off the feet and reknit them from the ankles. When Kelley started working with us in January she didn’t know how to knit at all. Now she’s re-footing stockings. This is testament to the general enthusiasm and optimism running rampant around here, to Kelley’s perseverance and patience, and to Penny’s excellent teaching.

Wendy’s gunnister pocketLook what Wendy brought us! This is a pocket or pouch based on the one found on Gunnister man, a 17th-century body preserved in a Scottish peat bog. This is Wendy’s first attempt at knitting in the round, as well as her first attempt at knitting with two colors. Pretty successful, I’d say, especially since she only started it on the last day of the last embroidery session. So that’s two new knitters added to the fold. Pun intended.

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