Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I have so much to be excited about in my little knitting world!

Plimoth Plantation Kit and the Search for Historically Authentic Knitting Needles

Yesterday I received the knitting kit from Plimoth Plantation!  It came with a large skein of brown wool, a pattern for a flat cap, a flyer about the knitting club at Plimoth Plantation, and a note from Denise Lebica (manager of clothing and textiles at Plimoth).

I am so looking forward to knitting this up!  Historical clothing and textiles is my passion!  The only problem is that the pattern calls for #3 double point knitting needles, which I do not have yet.  (I usually knit a little loosely, so I probably need #2's.)  I would really like to get historically accurate knitting needles for this, for both the fun of it, and also because I would like the option of knitting on-site at the local museums while in period costume.

I have been doing research online regarding the types of knitting needles that people used throughout the last few centuries.  I have also been reading "A History of Hand Knitting" and asking questions on Ravelry about this.  What I have found out so far is that during the 17th and 18th centuries, people were using knitting needles, called knitting "pins," that were very thin, steel double pointed needles.  (When I say thin, I mean really thin.)  They knitted mostly in the round.  They didn't start using wooden knitting needles with balls on the end (used to keep the knitted items from falling off) until around the middle of the 19th century when they started knitting flat pieces.  So now I am looking for some thin, steel, double pointed needles in size 2, as historically accurate as possible.  This is a project all unto itself!

The hat is knitted in the round, which means that it is now time for me to learn how to knit in the round.  I have seen this done when my Mom was knitting socks, and I watched parts of a video on how to knit socks.  However, I have never attempted it myself.  I think I will just try to go by the pattern and see if I can do it.  If I have problems I can call up my Mom or go to the local yarn store.

My Pink Needles!
Something really great happened to me the other day!  I have been purging,  sorting, organizing and cleaning a lot lately.  Sunday I worked on organizing my craft supply cart and shelves.  (I converted Cosette's diaper changing table into a craft cart.  I love it!)  While going through everything I found the pink, plastic knitting needles on which my Mom taught me how to knit as a child!!!!  So exciting and cool!  I had no idea that I still had them!  I showed them to Cosette and she, of course, loved them!  Now when she is old enough, I can teach her on the same needles that my Mom taught me on!  How cool!

Pic of Winter Mouse on Ravelry
Another neat thing happened to me the other day!  A volunteer editor on Ravelry asked me to give them permission to use the picture of my Winter Mouse as the featured picture on the Jean Greenhowe pattern page (on Ravelry).  I couldn't hit the "yes" button fast enough!  How flattering and exciting!  (Of course, I think mine is one of two of those mouses on Ravelry, but hey! it is still so neat!)

Neat Patterns
Okay,  maybe this is stretching it, but I am so excited about some neat patterns that I got in the mail today.  I have been scoping out Jean Greenhowe's Little Dumpling Dolls 2 on Ebay (I am using part 1 for the Vanna White contest).  Well, while I was looking for that book, I saw a lot of others that I liked.  We are on a budget, so I have to be pretty choosy.

Today two came in the mail.   I got Alan Dart's Gnomes at Home pattern book.  It is for a little Gingerbread house and two little knomes that you knit.  SO cute!  I also got Jean Greenhowe's MacScarecrow Clan (A Scottish Scarecrow Family).  SO neat!

There is also a story book that Jean's daughter wrote, and that both she and Jean signed, that is all about the MacScarecrow family.  I really want to get it some point in the future (oh, that budget!).  Anyway, the MacScarecrow Clan is very cute, though I wasn't that interested until I found out about the storybook.  I thought it was such a neat idea to be able to read Cosette stories and also knit her the characters.  The pattern book also has a story in the back, so that should hold us until we can get the storybook someday.  :D

Read more about the MacScarecrow Clan here.

Vanna Contest
Well, I am almost done with the main doll that I will be admitting into the Vanna's Choice Contest.  I still have a lot to do,  though, so I must go so that I can knit away.  I hope you will all be knitting away too!

Have fun on your knitting clouds!


  1. So cool about your mouse :) pink needles :)and pattern books wow :)

  2. Hi there!! i have been searching all over the internet trying to find patterns with Scottish themes. I came across your Blog! I was really hoping you would be soo kind to give me a couple of patterns from the Jean Greenhowe's MacScarecrow Clan...i make Diaper Cakes and knit baby wear for baby showers and gifts and I will be decorating someones baby shower who is Scottish and these patterns would be GREAT!!! please feel free to email me!!

    Thanks sooo much!

    -Ang (www.BunkaBooBaby.com)

    email: Angela@BunkaBooBaby.com