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Snow Day

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).



( 63 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
I am making a ruff. A cute little 4 1/2" wide ruff of merchanty goodness. I am rolling the annoyingly tiny edges on 120" of frickin' 3.5 oz linen until my fingers cramp!

...Because you needed to know that, apparently. =)

(We're getting this lace in stock that has Tudor roses in the pattern. *smiles*)
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Oooh, cool. :)
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Jan. 27th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info on he falling band collar - I've changed my planned method of construction. :)
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
I am deperately searching for very sheer linen (like your 2.0 oz) with no success. Any vendors you are aware of?? I'm trying to do an outfit from a miniture and she wears a almost "clear" Gomlick (sp?). 3.5 oz is too heavy. =(
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Help?
Gosh, I don't know - I got this stuff a couple of years ago, and it was a special order. Troll all the on-line sites and see what you can find is the best advice I have to offer, I'm afraid.

I bought 10 yards of the stuff precisely because I knew it was so rare to see it at all. :)
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Jan. 27th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have to admit, I am a bit addicted to your picture posts. *grin*
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the input. Any experience with linen from http://wmboothdraper.com/ by any chance? They have a 2.8 that is hideously expensive ($21.50/yd), but I could just do the sleeves in it and get away with 1 yrd I think (if it was worth the diff from fabrics-store.com's 2.8 oz.
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid not. I'm terribly cheap, and won't buy aything over $10/yd.
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Jan. 27th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)
I have some noob garb making questions:

Why is it called 'tape' when it's a string?

and the 'drawn work' is that related to pulled thread (some types of which are known as punto in aria)?

"Pickadills" isn't related to the word "Pickadillo" is it?

thank you!
Jan. 27th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
It's actually not a string, it's a ribbon. The period word in England is tape for that kind of stuff.

Drawn work is not quite like Punto in Aria, but it is a kind of needle lace. P in A is created (I think) with no ground, whereas drawnwork uses the linen as a base, then builds on that.

The two works are used as basically the same thing - and are not the same as the word "pecadillo", which means doing naughty things. They're from the name of a merchant who started making the supporters, as far as I can tell from PoF4.
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Jan. 27th, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
So very tempted to go home now that I am here cause snow that will hit seattle will be 2 inches today. That means 6 inches on my hill ...

I have too much sewing to do too!!!

I love that collar! Good work! :)
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous everything!

I know exactly what you mean about the whole rear wheel drive thing. When I lived there I had a little 2 seater sportscar too (Toyota MR2 Spyder) and it was horrible on any kind of snow or ice. When it would snow, I would take my husband to work and use the SUV.
Jan. 27th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
Audi TT. All the Miata cuteness plus Quattro!
Jan. 27th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
OMG I *heart* this collar, etc!!!! Now I'm gonna need one... darn it. ;o)
Jan. 27th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
To. Die. For.

Someday, when I get the opportunity, I amd going to come around and be a infosponge. The trick with the lace is really inspired... and now I'm cogitating something similar.

Thank you for being (the right kind of) inspiration :P
Jan. 27th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I was so proud of myself for the lace trick - I danced around the apartment smugly for a bit once I got it finished. :)

Use a cotton base lace - the machine polyester kind is too badly made to support the stitching. I had endless trouble with the 3" lace because the cheap manufacture meant that the line along the edge was falling apart in some places. >:(

I'm not sure how well cluny would work, but it's cheap, so getting a yard or so to experiment with won't break the bank.
Jan. 28th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
The fact that you cheat mercilessly, and end up looking so completely fabulous, makes me a very happy person. :)
Jan. 28th, 2009 02:50 pm (UTC)
I have several pieces (probably the best is Bob's applique doublet) that use very modern materials to create a period look - one of my goals in putting up this work on my site and blog is to show people how to use the cheaper artifical materials in a manner that imitates the period stuff.

Too often, people use artificial materials poorly, leading to the assumption that they cannot ever substitute for the real thing, which is not neccessarily the case. You just have to be careful how you do it. What cannot be substituted properly is the hand-work - machines cannot create the same look (this is especially the case on the applique doublet, as there is no way a machine could reproduce the look of all those tiny stitches!). :)
Jan. 28th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
re: the supporter.
One of the things I find interesting is how we can use modern things to make historical things. ie. We have different materials available now, so what is the modern way of making the object? (well, the modern way would probably involve a factory, machining, etc., but other than that) Double sided tape in particular is a fantastic modern invention! ;)
Anyway, it all looks fantastic. I might have to find out how to make those socks someday; they're really awesome.
Jan. 28th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
I will be posting te actual sock instructions on my site soon, so you can always play wth those. :) I write in a somewhat informal manner in my instructions, but I think they're easier for non-knitters to follow (they're certainly easier for me to follow!).

I use several modern substitutes on a regualr basis for certain things, but I know how to use the period materials as well - I think it's essential to learn how to do it right with the period materials before playing with modern substitutes, so that you really know te type of effect you're trying to create (I follow the same philosophy in my painting as well).

I was very grateful for my double-sided tape - I didn't think I could sew through the really stiff paper without hurting myself! When I make the period version (I plan to make a smaller pickadill to help my open ruffs to stand up properly), I'll be using a lighter paper, but reeds for boning, so the reeds will act as the rigid agent. The lighter paper will be easier to sew through, so I'll be able to get the top-sewn look to the picadill.
Jan. 28th, 2009 11:38 am (UTC)
oh, gorgeous cuffs and collars.
I love that lace!
and those socks - they have turned out exceptional!

Jan. 28th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I am actually quite impressed with how good the photos look. Normally I think my stuff is rather unimpressive (probably because I've looked at it for so long that it no longer seems special), but I have to admit, the cuffs especially look terribly good against the dark wooden table (which is a Jacobean revival piece made in 1910 - it has quite a story!). :)
Jan. 28th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
This is in the category of "fick questions" but... how do you attach the lace to the rest of the collar/cuff without leaving an obvious join?
( 63 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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