Archive for February, 2014

HSF Challenge 3: Pink

Technically I am a day late posting this, but I did finish making it in time. Some things happen which are more important. But life goes on and so does crafting, so here is my pink challenge.

Like many other HSFers I am not really into pink. But when I was browsing the historical knitting and crochet patterns I linked to last time, I came across this ideal pattern with dangling fuchsia flowers. Fuchsias are pink, right, they even have a whole shade of pink named after them, fuchsia pink. Perfect. Especially as I do like the strong bright pinks like this. The pattern is from 1850, from this book:

http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/pub/PDF/6-JA008Riego7.pdf

Victorian crochet bag with fuchsias as tassels.

Victorian crochet bag with fuchsias as tassels.

How cute is that? I love it! I wanted to make the whole bag, but things didn’t work out that way. Not least because we have recently “upgraded” to Windows 7 which is not properly compatible with the printer, so even though I tried twice to make a printout of the instructions (8 pages, so I wanted 4 per sheet double sided) I have not yet managed! It won’t print from the pdf reader, neither will it print from the open office version of powerpoint. I have some more ideas, but it all takes time and effort, so I just copied out the instructions for the flowers and worked from notes. I plan on making the bag itself for a future challenge.

So I grabbed the nearest close enough ball of DK acrylic and a hook and gave it a go. Here is my version of the instructions (UK terms) in case anyone wants to try it:

1st 4 ch, join, 2dc in each ch = 8sts.

2nd 2dc in each dc = 16sts.

3rd and 4th 1dc in each dc = 16sts.

5th dc2tog, 2dc, 4 times = 12sts.

6th dc2tog, dc, 4x = 8sts.

7th 3ch, 2dc, 4x = 4 chsps.

8th 1ch, skip 1, (2tr, 3ch, 2tr) into 3ch space from prev round, 1ch, sk1, 1dc into gap between dcs 4x

9th 3ch, sk2, 2tr into the 3ch space, 3ch, turn, sk2, 1dc into the 3ch sp, turn, 2tr into the first 3chsp with the first 2tr, 3ch, sk2, 1dc into the 1ch, sk1, 1dc into the 1ch, 4x and fasten off.

The first 8 rounds went fine, but I just could not figure out the final one. The problem is that you get a totally different effect depending on which way you turn, and it didn’t specify. My first one eventually came out fine, but when I came to do the next a few days later I had forgotten what I did and it came out different! Basically, if you want the tips of the petals to point down, like in the picture, you turn the left side of the work towards you, then away from you when you turn back, and if you want the tips pointing upwards then you turn the right side of the work towards you, then away to turn back.

I hope that made sense! If not, just play around yourself until you get it 🙂

My 4 Victorian fuchsias.

My 4 Victorian fuchsias.

The first one I made is the second from the left, using DK and about a 4.5mm hook (it was an antique bone one so that is a guess). The next one is second from the right. It is also DK, but wool, and with a much smaller hook. You can see the petal tips point upwards! I only got around to adding the yellow tassel stamens to the first one, but I think they do help, otherwise the thing tends to look a bit like a 4 legged octopus…

Yes, the botanical accuracy leaves a little to be desired. Fuchsias are much narrower than these very rotund flowers and usually two tone. Some have drooping petals and some turning up, so either of those is fine, at least! And having just checked, I realise the stamens are not yellow at all. Ho hum.

The pattern specifies ‘needle no.20, bell gauge’ (yes, they used to call crochet hooks needles!) which is quite fun as I recently acquired a bell gauge from an antique shop! Here is an illustration of one from an 1885 book:

Bell gauge illustration.

Bell gauge illustration.

Mine is also a Walker brand one. They have a rather fine distinction, measuring with a ruler seems to suggest that numbers 19-22 are all close to a 3mm! Also 6 and 3 seem the same, as do 4 and 7, and 5 and 8, so I find it a little odd, but mine seems to match the picture, so I assume the middle ones were maybe wooden and the bottom edge ones bone or some such thing. Anyway, I found I did have a bone hook which fitted the number 20 hole, so I used that, even though my DK wool was surely thicker than the silk the pattern suggests. At the end it also suggests the bag can be made in wool as a carriage bag or as a pillow.

It also says the flowers make suitable tassels made on their own, so even though that is all I have done, I can still call the challenge complete.

For the third one, on the far left of the pic, the giant one, I had some super chunky in a fuchsia colour so I thought it would be fun to make a monster one! I used a 9mm hook.

Pale pink Victorian fuchsia.

Pale pink Victorian fuchsia.

Then I found some very fine yarn on spools which my Mum gave me, so I tried that also using the small bone hook. I think this is the most accurate one, although what I thought was wool was so squeaky I have no doubt it is actually acrylic. I like the effect of it on this scale, so although I have bought 3 colours of the DK wool intending to make the bag, I might actually make a finer one with some of these (there are quite a few different colours). This is the one on the far right of the bigger pic, which illustrates how much of a difference yarn makes to the size of the finished thing, as it uses the same hook as the one next to it.

Nearly forgot the HSF data!

The Challenge: Pink

Fabric: Various yarns, one wool, the rest acrylic.

Pattern: http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/pub/PDF/6-JA008Riego7.pdf

Year: 1850

Notions: bone crochet hook and a plastic one.

How historically accurate is it? The wool one is not bad, but the rest are acrylic, the pattern is original and the hook I used for 3 of them.

Hours to complete: Once I figured out the pattern it took about 1 hour for a flower.

First worn: Not.

Total cost: Small amounts of yarn, some from stash, so not much.

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February 16, 2014 at 3:57 PM 3 comments

Wonderful Victorian Poem

I was looking through a Victorian magazine the other day (as you do, well as I do, I am rather addicted to them since I discovered them late last year) and I came across this fabulous poem which is so apt for the re-enactor and fan of wearing historical clothes.

I love the script and also the illustration – the old lady peering down her lorgnettes reminds me of the Dowager Lady Violet from Downton Abbey 🙂 I can just imagine her cutting remark. My scanner is not working since we “upgraded” to Windows 7 (not as much of a disimprovement as I expected, but this I hadn’t expected, and the printer is playing up too) so I had to photograph the page, making a shiny blob from the flash.

A Rhyme of no Consequence

A Rhyme of no Consequence

A Rhyme of no Consequence
by Edith Brignall

1. I dressed myself in an old-world gown,
“Why should I not?” said I,
‘Tis the presttiest thing I have seen this Spring
With a world of gathers to fall and cling,
‘Tis fit to be worn by the queen of a king
Oh! I’ll set the fashion,” laughed I,
“The robesof the days gone by
Were lov’lier far, they had colour and grace
And deserved to be near to a maidens face
While ours of today! I sigh,”
Proud as could be was I
As down to the town in my old-world gown
I tripped as the folks came by.

2. But_never again_ah me, the pain!
Did you ever think to try
To alter a fashion from this to that,
To wear for example a Gainsborough hat
While those a la mode are petite and flat,
Did you ever think to try?
I nearly died, did I!
The whole world looked at me up and down
With something between a smile and a frown
Till I burned, I was so shy
In that dress of the days gone by
In that alien gown down there in the town
With so many passing by.

3.It is put away now in an old, old chest,
(Sufficient the reason why)
I never had courage to wear it again,
I walk in a dress that is rigid and plain
And think now and then of the horrible pain
I suffered when I was shy,
And never so much as try
To alter a fashion_the World may wear
Just what it wants to, for all I care
I follow without a sigh,
And yet-that gown of the days gone by
Looked sweet in the town though the folks did frown
At me as I passed them by.

It is from the Harmsworth Magazine volume 2 from 1899 which also has stories, pictures and fascinating articles on a range of subjects. Apparently the latest craze was a photograph album for the baby, documenting various stages of growing up, which people still do now (make baby albums that is, I guess they’ve always grown up, at least physically…). I might write further blog posts about various of these magazines, there is plenty of interesting material.

February 5, 2014 at 7:43 PM 2 comments


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