Wednesday, May 26, 2010

19th Century Stockings

I have finally decided to start working on a pair of stockings for myself. This is the swatch to help me determine needle size and gauge (the number of stitches per inch). The yarns weights and needle sizes that were available in the 1860's are significantly different from what is available today. With much help from fellow Ravelers and the Civil War Needleworkers on Yahoo, I have compared the historic yarns and needles with the modern and am ready to go. The yarn is Brown Sheep Nature Spun fingering (a sock weight yarn spun in Nebraska), a wonderful lady on Ravelry generously sent me two skeins to get started. Needle size is 000, for those of you non knitters that's roughly the size of malnourished toothpicks. Black is also not the greatest color for tiny stitches - it's impossible to see in any but the best light. I seriously doubt I will do two of these stockings, and will turn to white cotton for the final garments. This is my test run to work through the sizing, shaping and pattern instructions. Let's just say that historic patterns aren't the best at relating instructions. Besides, how did anyone wear wool stockings - these things would be terribly itchy, augghhhh!

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