I dyed the yarn as planned on Tuesday and I have to say I’m quite pleased with the colors.
Unfortunately, I managed to strain my back again in the process. Different part of the back than the previous strain and I know exactly when it happened. I was fishing the blue-green yarn out of the dyepot and it came up in one big clump. Instead of dropping it back in and poking around until I found the 3 separate skeins I just lifted the whole mass up to let it drain. This meant I was holding several pounds of weight as high as I could reach while leaning forward a little. Very bad idea. Fortunately, it’s not a very bad strain and it already feels better. But it does mean knitting is off the schedule until late next week.
It’s annoying to lose all that knitting time but honestly, I probably wasn’t going to knit much early next week anyway. My husband and I share a birthday, which falls on Tuesday. He took Monday – Wednesday off from work. We’ve not yet made plans but history tells me I likely wouldn’t have a lot of knitting time while he’s home.
I’ve been filling my time going through old (mostly Victorian) knitting books on pdf. I’ve transcribed/translated some d’oyleys (doily) and counterpane squares as well as a few stitch patterns. I did a whole set of stitch patterns that had no pics. I’ve no idea what they will look like but they’re all pretty simple. It’s amazing how many of these old books have no pics at all. You just knit and hope it comes out ok. Even large items, like sweaters, petticoats, waistcoats don’t have pics. That’s an awful lot of knitting to do on trust and hope.
Of course, photography was still pretty rare at that time and I imagine drawing knitting was a specialized skill, plus it probably added cost to print either one in the books. It’s just interesting to me that back then people thought nothing of knitting from a pattern without a picture of any kind and these days, if there’s no picture or a bad one, no one wants to knit the pattern, no matter how amazing the pattern may be. Even the colors of the yarn in the picture can affect someone’s willingness to knit a pattern in today’s world.
I use the word pattern a bit loosely in some of these cases. Today’s patterns are detailed and exact. Clothing patterns are graded to allow you to make the size you want. Those old pattern leave a lot up for interpretation and usually are just one size. It’s up to you to alter it to fit. Keep in mind that there was no pic so you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. I’ve no idea how one would do it.
Still, for all the flaws and differences, it’s quite fascinating to see what people were knitting and a challenge to read the pattern and try to imagine what the item should look like.