Thursday, August 27, 2009


I know, I know, I haven't posted for a while. I've been spending a few days with Mother (she of the tattoo):

She was a bit miserable and I went to cheer her up. All done now and back at home.

I've been suffering a severe bout of startitis. I spent several days trying to start a new project and getting nowhere. There is quite enough yarn in the house to start any number of new things but the difficulty is to decide exactly which new thing to start.

I didn't feel like socks (having made so many in the recent past); I didn't feel like lace (let's hope that doesn't last long!); I didn't feel like working on any of the numerous FOs lying round the house. I did a few squares on the interminable sock yarn blanket (just over 600 squares now) but nothing really grabbed my attention.

Then I found a facsimile copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Needlework, originally published in 1870 (when Dickens was busy dying; Lenin was busy being born and Queen Victoria was well settled on her throne). It's available online to download from Project Gutenberg but nothing beats having the thing in your hand.

There are some very interesting patterns in there, among them a "Rosette for Antimacassar". You are meant to make several of these and join them together with small knitted squares, the pattern for which is also given. I took up the needles and this was the result:

It reminds me of a jelly mould, for some reason.

Just for interest, I always thought an antimacassar was a thin fabric laid on the back of a chair to stop macassar oil, used as a gentleman's hair preparation, from soiling the fabric of the chair or sofa. Mrs Beeton's version appears to be more of a blanket or cover of some description, though I have no idea what the original yarn ("grey and violet fleecy wool") would have been like. Mrs B also calls it a "berceaunette cover". Now, I don't really know what that is, but a "berceuse" is a lullaby so I'm guessing a pram cover/cradle cover. Any clues?

Anyway, I made the thing and looked at it and thought, "Well, what am I going to do with that?"

#1 daughter had no such problem. She looked at it; picked it up; put her hand through the hole; waved her arm about and said, "It's a wristwarmer, silly."

It is now:

I picked up stitches around the hole (30, if you are interested) worked a few (16) rounds of 1x1 rib and cast off.

Doesn't it look nice poking out of my sleeve:

All I have to do now is make the other one.