And we're back.
And you won't believe what I want to make. Let me show you the engraving.
Yes, engraving. Because you know how I am.
Gentleman's Bathing Drawers, as offered by Weldon's Practical Knitter in the 1880s/1890s.
You may well ask what I'm going to need these for. For bathing, silly. Specifically for bathing on the "Nautical Knitting" cruise with Melissa Leapman aboard the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas in December. We leave from Ft. Lauderdale, and stop in Belize and Cozumel. There will be lots of water in between.
(Booking is going on now–more details are here.)
You can't very well go to the Caribbean in December on a boat with ten swimming pools and not have a pair of bathing drawers.
I've had little fond silent dreams of knitting my own swimming costume since the first time I saw one. I think it was in Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting. Or maybe not.
I haven't said much about that particular fond silent dream because people don't take it too well when you say you plan to knit something and then wear it into the water. They don't give you the ol' thumbs up and shout, "Godspeed, you crazy bastard!"
They act, instead, as though you've just announced that you intend to row across the Atlantic Ocean in a teaspoon, or shoot an apple off the cat's head with a BB gun, or watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians un-ironically.
It will itch! they cry.
It will sag! they cry.
You will look stupid! they cry.
You will waste time! they especially cry.
Allow me to address these questions one at a time.
1. I know.
2. I know.
3. Have you seen me?
4. I'm a man who knits lace shawls. Tell me more about this "wasting time."
I'm going to knit them because I wanna see what they're like. If they're terrible to wear, I want to know that for myself. I want to put myself into not the shoes, but the drawers, of a man of the 1890s who didn't have the luxury of going to Mister Fred's Sassy Swimwear and Video Salon on Halsted Street and picking up lycra shorts in a retro palm print. I expect to learn something–both about history and about garment construction–and if that's wasting time, well, that's how I most love to waste my time.
Will I regret it? Possibly. Especially since Melissa is insisting that she be allowed to photograph me modeling them for the knitters on the cruise.
So yeah, I may regret that; but you may regret it more.
The new Knitty is up (First Fall 2012) and for the first time, my "Stitches in Time" column features a new pattern instead of a translated antique or vintage pattern. It's for mittens, but the mittens do have one historical tie–the use of nineteenth century French embroidery charts to create the floral motifs on the hand and thumb gussets.
Because I am so very, very tired of winter gear with snowflakes on it. Florals in spring are a cliché. Florals in February, less so.
The yarn is Zitron Lifestyle from Skacel. I seem to have become slightly obsessed with it. I used it for these, for all the demonstration pieces in my "Heirloom Lace Edgings" Craftsy class, for this new design...
The Pleasant Morning Baby Bonnet
...and for one more design that's coming out in an e-book about which I shall yell and scream when the appropriate time comes.