I am home, since driving the roads in the Miata seemed like something I wanted to avoid this year (though at least once a season, I end up in a harrowing slalom-ride home from work on roads that are not compatible with rear-wheel drive).
I love watching the snow fall, banal as the sentiment is.
I need to clean, and sometime this week (I say this, but it might not happen, so don't get too excited), I want to update my web site, and I need to officially record my A&S Stash stuff, so here we go:
Item #1: Pink knitted wool socks:
The socks were made from commercially made Paton brand wool (pink) and a hand-spun, hand-dyed wool (purple) that I purchased at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. The purple clocking is on the outside of each sock.
What I learned: The first sock had many mistakes, so I ended up knitting three of them, not least because I changed the clocking by acident on the second one (I like this density better). I learned how to knit a heel thanks to pinkleader</lj> , who is knitting socks for Plimoth Plantation, and she showed me how the heel is finished, and the stiches picked up for the foot. The change I made from the Plimoth pattern was to rope the heel rather than knit it straight, which requires knitting one way and purling the other, and a bit of cursing when you make it a little too tight, or get absorbed in the TV show you're watching and knit the wrong way.
Let's just say I did quite a bit of frogging, and leave it at that.
I also learned as I went about how to gusset the heel, fit the sock to my leg (try it on a LOT), and the merits of customizing the sock to the left and right toes (don't bother; I did it on the first one, didn't on the second, and they basically look the same, since I have shoved my feet into pointy shoes all my life, and they are pretty even on both sides). I also worked out (based on experience with my first sock) that I shouldn't make the toe too pointy. Thanks are also due to pinkleader</lj> and stringmonkey</lj> for explaining how to finish knit the end by threading all the stitches onto one needle.
Turning the sock inside out for a smooth finish I worked out by myself. I am so not an accomplished knitter, but I do enjoy it, and the socks fit perfectly. I also added a checkerboard knit decorative to to the sock, which looks nice and also prevents rolling at the top:
Item #2. Supporter ("pickadill"):
(Seen here with the collar still attached - the lace is the standing collar, the supporter is pink with white tapes attached at the inside curve.)
This was actually an experiment, so I used materials at hand to see what happened: The base is stiff paper (one step thinner than cardboard), and the boning is cable ties attached with (eep! *shame*) double-sided tape. I tried to redeem myself with a layer on both sides of pink wool (which creates a smoother base, and also a place for pins), and then the whole thing covered with pink silk Dupioni and stitched in place with pink silk thread. Then the tape (a single length of linen tape) is sewn around the inner curve.
What I learned: Everything! I followed the style of the ones in PoF4, and played with the measurements until they fit the standing collar dimensions. If I make another (you bet I will), I'll use all period materials, and see how it turns out. But over everything else, I learned how the collar stands up without any modern costume construction.
Item #3 - Standing Collar and Cuffs:
I've had plenty of experience making falling bands (the next stash item is a drawn-work falling band I'm working on for a friend), so these were easy for me to make, but they were also an experiment, and the thing I really want to do is make a drawn-work needle lace collar and cuffs set (one of my goals this year is to drastically improve my white-work technique). The materials were a 2oz linen that I bought masses of when it was on sale - its not the finest linen, but it's the most translucent you're going to find easily today (I have a couple of whitework fichus that belonged to my great grandmother that are of cambric linen, and they are exquisite), and some store-bought lace I had handy. The insertion section (that looks like drawn-work from a distance) is actually a length of pointed edging lace that I doubled and sewed together point-inward to create the insertion lace:
And the edge is just some 3" "bridal" lace I picked up for one of my slightly silly ruff experiments. It ends up working quite well here, though I hate the stupid daisies they put into every lace - I had some really great stuff I used on the Wadham shift reproduction, but I didn't have any more of it, and this is a stash challenge.
The pleats are all sewn down to create the flat collar (the entire thing is hand sewn) and cuffs, a technique documented as period, and super attractive, since it produces that "ray" effect around the head, as well as helping to stabilize the curve (on falling bands, it also helps the collar to lay flat, as you can see on my web site: http://www.extremecostuming.com/gallery/handsewn.html (scroll down to the picture of Bob).
Detail of the stitching, and the end effect:
Everything is pinned into place; I need to get some tinier pins for the aesthetic effect, but the pins stayed in place and didn't stab me at all.
I'm really pleased with the first three; each one became a learning experience for the next one, and a proof of concept that one can actually wear is rather satisfying. I plan to make more pickadills, I need to knit socks for Bob, and he needs a falling band and cuff set that will also become part of the challenge.
Once I update the web site, all these will be on there, with instructions where applicable, and more information on sources and period examples (so, maybe I won't be getting to it this week - but it will happen).
Stay warm, and if it's snowing where you are, enjoy it if possible. Or, stay inside and pretend it's summer (pretending it's summer not applicable in Australia; some restrictions and planetary rotations may not apply).