Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

28 August 2008

Historic Double Knitting

I haven't been blogging very much, but I have been knitting.

After the Michigan Fiber Festival, I decided I needed a double-knitted nametag with my given name on one side and my blog name on the other. You can't see the name on the back, but you can see that this is not the back of the "A" in Alwen.

It's finished except for hiding the ends. The blunt needle I like to use for crochet thread is hiding.

The thing dominating the second picture is a double-knitted hotpad using a chart from Johann Siebmacher's Neues Modelbuch, found here, and available from the Digitale Bibliothek as a 20-megabyte .PDF file.

Neues Modelbuch was printed in Nurmberg in 1597. Does the mind boggle?

It boggles.

I re-charted the stag onto knitting graph paper, which bunched his extra-long body up nicely. But I started him on too small a knitting needle, so his hindquarters are a little too squished. I think I'm at about the right needle size now, a US 5 (3.75 mm). I just discovered I have no size 5 circulars, so I'm using bamboo.

In any case, having all these interests in one project tickles me. Old books (really really old books), history, double knitting.

Neues Modelbuch has twenty-something regular charted patterns, including a great dragon-slaying scene, followed by ? needle lace patterns? I don't know exactly what they are for - maybe reticella?

All I know is that I'm knitting from a chart that is over 400 years old. Cooooool.

And speaking of books, the other activity that took up most of yesterday was adding a bookshelf.

I realized that if I moved the wall track I already had down about 11 inches, I could add a 4th bookshelf behind my studio door.

But only if I took all the books off all three shelves first!

That was work. But now most of the books have shelf space again. When I said I needed more shelf space, my husband said, "Or fewer books." What is this "fewer books"? I'm sure he was speaking another language!

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Fewer books? Fewer BOOKS?!?

'scuse me, I just had to put my head between my knees for a sec.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Fewer books. Snort. Tscha. Thbbt.

I am in love with the idea of knitting from a chart that old. What an amazing thing.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

I echo the fewer books comments! My husband suggested that we get rid of some of my books before we move. I had to stop myself from asking for a divorce right then!!

Love the knitted name tag - fabulous! And the 400yo chart - that is SO VERY COOL!

11:19 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

beautiful Alwen! So clever. I have not explored double knitting at all and don't really have the first idea about how it's done. I kinda like it being a mystery for now, so I can ooh and ahh at what others do.

And 400 years old? Nice. Very cool.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Felicia said...

What wonderful double knitting - both the new name tag and the old chart. I haven't ever done any.

Fewer books? Is he home from the hospital yet? Because I'm sure he got a knock upside the head for that one!

2:40 PM  
Blogger the boogeyman's wife said...

that is way cool to knit a pattern over 400 years old. and fewer books? my books multiply like rabbits when i'm not looking, so i'm almost certain it's impossible to have fewer books.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

I had not thought of putting words in the knitting. Clever. Thanks for the link to the book you are using. The patterns in it are wonderful. Who would guess they were that old. Isn't the Internet wonderful.

Fewer books? Maybe after the kids all leave and take their books with them. Then again, maybe not.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Fewer books? And you married this man? The only time you get rid of books is when you run out of food. then you sell the duplicates and the ones you haven't opened for eleventeen years. (except then you will skim them to make sure it's ok to release them, and there will be six things you absolutely need right now in each book . . .)

The double knitting is pure magic, and the 400 year old charts are stunning! imagine those patterens embroidered as borders on your hems and cuffs. Wow!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I have such a hard time letting books go. I'd rather give up space in the room than give up books. I know a woman who's daughter I used to work with who has told me she is leaving me her library in her will because "my kids are jocks and they wouldn't enjoy it like you". While I am thrilled that she would think of me, I'm not sure at all what I will do with all the books. She has a room in her house called the 'library' and it's filled. I guess I'll need more shelves.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

whose, I meant whose.

4:56 PM  
Blogger TinkingBell said...

What is this'fewer books' you speak of? I do not understand?

Love the knitting - you are a great role modelo (although i am currently knitting cardi after cardi because it is cold, uses stash and provides me with nice things to wear to work!

Congrats on the Job!

2:23 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Fewer books? LOL! Naw, but I have an even worse response, hopefully you will find it punny, are you ready? You just need some...

(wait for it!)

lighter reading. (Snort! I crack myself up!)

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link! I'm guessing I just promised not to use my copy for commercial profit, or gave away my firstborn rutabagas; i'm not sure. :-)

I love how he's provided graph paper at the end so you can chart your own!

Gwyndolyn O'Shaugnessy (no URL)

5:45 PM  

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