Wednesday, October 8, 2014

HSF '14: Grey Mitts (or Muffatees)

I'm not a big poetry fan.  My tastes run towards Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein.  And the only clothing reference I could think of in a poem had to so with my half-remembering a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker riding around in a boat with their night clothes on.

I was prepared to accept defeat on this one, but in Manchester, in one of the rooms at the Manchester Art Gallery, there was a book of poems compiled by students that accompanied the paintings in the room.  And there I found the following:

A Gloaming
John Everett Millais, 1836

If I could just paint the long fetch of the last light
the delicate thorns of the telegraph posts

fencing upon Sannick Hill      the sky's opalescence
mother of pearl with a slight golden flush

and clouds pale gongs   homecoming smell of parts
and smouldering straw and the moon

a gash into the light beyond with a rime of scarlet
along her prow.  My favourite neighbor

shelters where the burn falls
into white shell-sand.

And, recognising the knitting, asks
Is yun mammy's glivs? Yes

what's left of them, frail as spider-web,
and held together these seven years by a series

of scabby darns.  Our autumn's brief,
subtle and very dear:

the sky worn thin,
Quink-blue shadows on the hill.

If I could even get the ground right, a nacre
of gleaming gesso on which to begin.


Behold, I was saved!  I was so relieved that I forgot to take a photo of the painting the poem was accompanying. But I remember it was actually a Millais, with three peasant girls standing in a field of some sort, dressed very shabbily and looking tired.

I don't know how to knit, though I thought about learning for this challenge.  But life (and the 1880's corset) meant my priorities were elsewhere, so I quickly whipped up a pair of crocheted muffatees (an old fashioned word for fingerless gloves) instead.





The Challenge: Poetry in Motion

Fabric: About 50g of Katia Merino Tweed I had left over from another mitts project.

Pattern: These were loosely described in the book 'A Winter Gift for Ladies', published in 1848 and found here.

Year: mid 1800's

Notions: None

How historically accurate is it? Not very.  The stitch is fine, but the yarn is part acrylic so that's obviously not.

Hours to complete: maybe about 5.

First worn: Today.  It's cold here today!

Total cost: Free as it was leftover yarn, but I used about 1 skein so about $5.

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