Yarny Wonders -and then some!

Adventures at the Work Table

June 28, 2010

Knit Undersleeves

I love undersleeves. They so appeal to me!! Ever since I saw this sweet photo of Mama and adorable baby, I've wanted a pair!

This is really cool. If you check out the original url of this daguerreotype from the Nelson-Atkins Museum, you can really get a closeup of the knitting.
Click Here.

If you zoom in and look at the construction, a couple of really neat things become apparent. You can see that the knitting is striped, using more than one kind of wool. The wool that looks almost metallic-y in the daguerreotype might even be knit in moss stitch and not garter. That's up for debate, since as I look at it, I could argue either way. But what really becomes apparent is that the cuff is knit flat, and not in the round, or in any type of rib stitch. How cool! You can tell that it is simple garter stitch knit into a band, and either sewn in or knit by picking up stitches on the edges (would have to increase quite a bit, and quickly with that method, though!) The cuff only appears to be 10 stitches or so wide, and is obviously knit on smaller pins than the rest of the sleeve. And you can see that metallic-y yarn again around the very outside edge of the cuff. I can't tell if it's a crochet edge, though it could very well be since it ruffles the outside edge of the knitting a bit like crochet can do.

With this image as my guide, I found a pattern in Peterson's magazine from 1862 that shows a knit undersleeve that has the grand poof that my inspiration sleeves do.

Upon reviewing the pattern however, there are differences from my inspiration sleeve. This sleeve is knit all together on one size of needle. Also, the cuff is knit in ribbing, and I do so want to try out that garter-stitch cuff!
So, what I've decided to do is knit this pattern sort of backwards, meaning instead of working it from the upper-arm down, I'm going to work it from the wrist up, omitting the actual cuff so I can sew in my own garter-stitch cuff afterwards, but using the pattern as my guide. This way also, I feel I can adjust the size better, since I tend to be larger in the frame than the ladies our lovely Victorian patterns were written for. I'm about half-way through the first large puff, and unfortunately, I've had to put it on the back-burner for a bit and concentrate on a few other time-sensitive projects, but I'm excited to have it started, and I'll keep you posted!

I'm going to post images of the original pattern, if any of you are interested in trying it yourself!

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This blog is mainly to document my journey in Work: Knitting, Crochet and learning to do things such as Tatting, Netting, Drawn Thread Work and Sewing. Plus anything cool I find along the way :)
Lately, I have become really interested in 19th century fashion! But I also have a huge interest in expanding my skills with the goal that eventually, I will be able to make my clothes. I love to wear Salwar Kameez, but I want to be able to design and make my own, especially outfits in fabrics that are suited to colder weather since I live in upstate NY!