Tell Them of Us is a documentary film being made to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of World War I in 1914. It is based on the lives of the fallen men memorialized on the Thimbleby war memorial, concentrating on brothers William and Robert Crowder. Their letters written from the frontline, family photographs and memoirs will help tell this story from the perspective of those left behind in Thimbleby.
I am thrilled to be able to play an itty bitty role in this film with some......knitting, of course!! Oh, how I've been humbled looking at the skills of some of the knitting historians participating in this project. These designers can look at a vintage photograph and recreate the knitted garment beautifully. Many other knitters are knitting from vintage patterns, which are sketchy at best!!
I once had a very basic introduction to working with antique and vintage patterns and was rather intrigued with the knitting 'language'.
Back stitch, reversed stitch, seam stitch, ribbed stitch, welt, pearl = purl
Plain stitch = knit
Narrow= decrease; widen = increase
and the abbreviations: (phew, totally confusing!!!)
P = plain stitch (or knit stitch)
B = pearl, bump (or purl stitch)
T = take in (decrease)
A simple vintage sweater may have as many as 8 or 9 pieces to fit together!!
This is pretty much what I expected I was getting into. (YIKES!! Yes, I volunteered for this!!!)
But, I got lucky. Very, very lucky. I was asked to knit a mourning shawl, and was referred to a pattern that was already 'translated' into modern knitting lingo. Kallingesjal 1897 is the recreation of a Danish 'Bindesjal' from the Vendsyssel historiske Museum in Denmark.
The shawl is as beautiful as it is practical...Mette Rorbech (the pattern writer) discovered that what appeared to be simply decorative elements, proves to be very utilitarian: the border ties up more comfortably than cords would have...the band of stockinette is more elastic than the garter stitch and snuggles up around the shoulders--keeping the shawl in place, and the top border folds to make a lapel that you can unfold and cozy into around your neck.
The pattern (so far!!!) has proven to be an easy, relaxing knit---although a construction I've never done before. Knit 1/2 the bottom border to 'a wingspan' length(!!!) Then knit the center bottom section. Then the other half. Do some crocheting. Pick up from the crocheted edge and knit the body. Bind off. Then knit the top border and sew on.
I was dreading the evil C-word crocheted part, but it went smoother than I expected.
just a teeny bit of fudging to get the center stitch centered in the middle of the central border motif (got a little carried away apparently with the crocheted stitches on one side!!? hee hee )
I must admit, I'm very glad to be knitting this in 2014, rather than 1897----
how would all these stitches have fit on straight needles????