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:
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
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.