Category Archives: History

Dyeing in History

This is one of my favorite shows… The Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson aka. I-have-a-cunning-plan S. Baldrick from the Blackadder series. I’m sharing the few bits from this show that describe old and ancient dyeing techniques.

Purple makers using rotten shellfish to make ‘royal purple.’

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZw3Z2ms9-8]


Dyeing blue with Wode

Part I (Part about wode dyeing is about  5 1/2 minutes in. There is an interesting bit on pin-making at the beginning of this video)

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xznkMDBG1S8]

Part II

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftH9k6htQPI]


Cleaning  and fulling wool cloth with… yes… Pee. The part about the fulling is actually 3 1/2 minutes into the first video. It’s continued in the second.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwTn2e73QfQ]

Part II

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8A7dC7xUwU]

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Filed under Colors, Dye, Dyeing, Fibers, History

Went to the Beach.. and reflections on what I want in a sweater.

Last weekend… it was pretty cruddy and rainy most of the time, but we were able to get a wee bit of sun towards the end of the trip. I finished my Elizabeth Zimmerman Fair Isle sweater en route to the beach. Eric took a picture of me on the beach wearing the sweater, but I will not post it (because I look fat in the picture…. heheh, vain me). Instead you just get a picture of a very happy pug:

beachbumotto.jpg

I was just listening to Episode 44 of Stash and Burn, and it sparked some consideration of my tastes in sweaters for knitting and my taste in fashion in general. I love some of the beautiful patterns in Interweave Knits, but I find myself not wanting to knit many of them because my gut tells me that they can be dated given a few years (not to say there aren’t good classic patterns in IK). I think I’m a bit conservative when it comes to the sweater style. I don’t want any really distinguishing features in the sweater that might date it and I tend to go for a classic look a.la Sarah Dallas and Erica Knight patterns. I adore 1920’s and 1930’s style knitted goods and accessories. I might try to alter the stitch pattern or use a different yarn, but I really don’t want to veer away from classic patterns because I spend so much time knitting the darn things, I don’t want to wear it five or six years later and realize that I look like I need to unburden myself in a thrift store.

Really, if I’m going to spend up to three months making a garment I want to make good use of it for a long period of time. I feel like I’m going to have this sort of relationship with my Central Park Hoodie (even though it took me only a month to knit).  Having a good sweater is a lot like having a really good friend. They’re dependable, they go with you most places, and they make you feel comfortable and good about yourself.

Recent search of sweater images on line revealed the following treasures for inspiration:

Fair Isle Cardigan

I recognize this image… it’s from the Book: The Art of Fair Isle Knitting

I have this book and absolutely love it! Love it! I recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about the art and history of Fair Isle.

leafcardigan.jpg

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Filed under Fashion, History, Knit, Knitting, Patterns, Reflection, Sweater

Green Wedding? Check out this yarn and dress.

So I just got my copy of Vogue Knitting (Summer Edition) and I saw the most absolutely gorgeous lace dress…

weddingdress.jpg

Looks like Elann used the same pattern to do a version of the dress in Hemp (their new Hemp yarn). Now for all of you girls who are looking to plan an eco friendly wedding and who like very nice simple and elegant lace numbers… even if you don’t know how to knit you might be able to enlist friends to help you out with this or a similar dress. If you have the money you might even hire someone to do the entire dress for you.  Also, you can decorate the dress even more by doing light adornment with small glass or pearl beads.

I think that also creating a nice shawl or wrap might be nice for receptions that occur during cooler or breezer evenings. An easy lace pattern in Bonsai might be nice… and it doesn’t have to be in white… you can do green or red.  Roman brides used a red veil during their weddings.

Or if you don’t mind using synthetic fibers you can always do the simple drop stitch and garter pattern in silk or poly ribbon like I did for my wedding (see image below).

shawl.jpg

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Filed under Bamboo yarn, Beads, Dresses, Eco, Fashion, Green, Hemp yarn, History, Knit, Knitting, Wedding

More Dr. Who Knitting Trivia and Daleks

I’m a sci-fi geek. At lunch I spent some time working on my husband’s Dr. Who Scarf. I just found out today that Lalla Ward who played Romana, a companion to the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) actually has a line of knitting books out there. Here’s an example: Beastly Knits by Lalla Ward.

Lalla Ward as Romana

romana2.jpg

I’m a history buff, so it was also neat to know that she’s a descendant of the Plantagenet family known for their part in the War of the Roses.

If you’re interested in viewing the first series of episodes Lalla Ward appeared in “Destiny of the Daleks.” Here you go:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT1d9uB0pZE]

Speaking of Daleks I did an image search and found a number of neat links.


Beautiful Dalek Cakes:

dalekcake.jpg
Image found here.

dalek_cake2.jpg

Image found here. This person actually has quite a nice website dedicated to Fiber Arts.


Building a Dalek:

http://www.thinkythings.org/dalek/

dalek-complete5.jpg


How to Make Your Own Knitted Dalek:

http://www.entropyhouse.com/penwiper/who/extermaknit.html

knitteddaleks.jpg

And finally…

The Top 10 Geekiest Yarn Creations on the Web:

My favorites are the Atari with TV Set and the Katamari Hat.

katamari.jpg

http://www.threadbanger.com/post/433/the-top-10-geekiest-yarn-creations-on-t

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Filed under Craft, Crochet, Fun Stuff, History, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Patterns, Pop culture, Robots, Science Fiction, Toys

Robot based on knitting?

I just saw the Transformers movie yesterday. What a wonderful treat!

Great visual effects mixed with appealing robots and decent performances by John Tuturro and John Voight (two of my favorite actors).

So what do robots have to do with knitting? Well my husband actually found a post on one of the first viable robot designs ever made and it’s programming was based on management of strings that is not to unlike knitting. Unfortunately the article doesn’t reveal that much without paying a membership to view, but still Imagine that… knitting piloting a robot (or something like that). Makes sense to me since chart patterns often remind me of number arrays or programmed patterns.

The robot was designed by Hero in 60 AD. He must have left good documentation. Imagine that leaving excellent documentation on code even in antiquity!

http://www.newscientisttech.com/channel/tech/robots/mg19526111.600-the-programmable-robot-of-ancient-greece.html

http://www.newscientist.com/blog/technology/2007/07/programmable-robot-from-60ad.html

[Youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=xyQIo9iS_z0]

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Filed under Curiousity, Gadgets, History, Knitting, Pop culture