Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thought I Would Dye a Bit

I have been percolating an idea for a wall hanging. I sort of envisioned an autumnal mix of browns and oranges with some leaves or maybe just one leaf. I had a cotton/linen blend tablecloth with some holes in it and decided to dye it for this project. I tore it into pieces and dyed those pieces yesterday. Take a look at the beginning of an idea:
Here is the tablecloth with little worn holes.

Here is the first experiment with orange. I left the pieces in for different amounts of time without stirring AT ALL to get this mottled look.

Here is the Brown left in for different amounts of time and not stirred.
You can really see the weave in the tablecloth here.

And here is my
Gunnister Bag. On 12Th May 1951, two Shetlanders came across the remains of a body buried in a peat bog. Hardly anything was left of the man other than his clothes - this is a replica of the purse he was carrying. The man is thought to have died in the 1690s, and his knitted clothes are the earliest ever found in Shetland.

The purse, although a dull brown when found, was probably originally a natural mixed grey, with a red and white pattern. Dutch and Swedish coins were found in the man's purse, but as these were common in Shetland at that time it gives no clear indication of his origin.

It is difficult to know if the man's garments were knitted in Shetland or elsewhere, but even if they weren't, it proves that stranded knitting, know known as Fair Isle knitting, had been at least seen in Shetland by the end of the 18Th century.

The Gunnister man’s knitted possessions are described in Richard Rutt’s book A History of Hand Knitting, and also in an article by Deborah Pulliam that appeared in Piecework magazine September/October 2002. Rutt also describes one of the hats the burial had with it as a Monmouth cap. I'd like to try knitting one of those too. My replica was knit on size 00 double point needles using Smith and Jameison lace weight yarn with 15 stitches to the inch.

Love this historical stuff, don't you?

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
Napoleon Bonaparte

1 comment:

TM said...

Wow, you are on a creative roll! Love the dying and the bag.
The photos are good, but don't show how small and intricate the bag really is. You are so talented! tm