Carrying on from the last post about attempting knitting, the best way forward appears to be to rope in more experienced knitters from among the volunteers at Trerice! This week one lady came in with 10 knitted coifs, yes ten, that she did over Christmas. Very impressed. She got it down by the end to three hours per hat and without the pattern!
A regular of the Costume Group has undertaken knitting a thrum cap to go with our sailor’s outfit. I’ve been told it’s supposed to be very weather/water proof… I think a volunteer is needed to test it!
This one looks odd, but more hat like (?) than the next photo which was possibly pulled too far on the stand and looks like some weird sea creature.
Returning to safer ground, a gown for an adult lady, for the summer costume days, is under way. It’s turned into a group effort with various bits being stitched by different people. The skirt needs attaching to the bodice, some jewellery applied and a whole load of lacing holes are still to be done. It’s loosely based on portraits of Mary I in the 1550s and a portrait of Joan Tuckfield of Exeter in 1560.
Succumbing to a clearance sale in Hobbycraft I bought a set of five double pointed needles and a ball of cheap wool, and thought it a good excuse to have a go at the knitted coif in Tudor Child. Just to clarify, I’m a complete novice at knitting, with not much idea about all the various stitches let alone reading a pattern! Thank goodness for YouTube!
The initial eagerness started to wane after the twentieth failed attempted to get started knitting with five needles. It was really tricky to see what was going on with two stitches on each needle, and everything ended up in a large knot several times. Not willing to quit, I thought it would be easier to start with four stitches on each needle – it was easier to see and keep it in the square formation, however there was quite a large hole in the middle. (There were a few too many holes in this attempt).
Almost lost the will at one point when having to do 18 rows of the same thing, not helped by losing count on occasion. Just after this it all started to go a bit wrong reading the pattern… the knitting must have got turned inside out at one point so the last bit looks the reverse of the crown. Then confusion fell when creating the back and ear flaps, the opening became far too small, and K10 I later realised meant knit 10 stitches not 10 rows. By this point it seemed best to abandon ship! Somehow ended up with a holey flat cap type thing which may or may not be useable…
Not wanting to be defeated I started again, and this time managed the two stitches on each needle at the beginning.
It seemed a lot easier/clearer the second time around. Until near the end when you go from one ear flap to the other, which was a little unclear, but I made something up and it seems to have worked ok. There was one point doing the back that I used the wrong stitch and have ended up with an unintended ridge but I suppose it will help to distinguish the front and back for the wearer.
It was only when I finished I noticed various dropped stitches, although not so bad as the first attempt, which I’ve sewn up. The coif is supposed to be felted next, which if it works will hopefully hide any repairs that have been added, but I think the cheap wool was acrylic…