Friday, August 22, 2014

Claire's Gloves: Investing Them with Meaning

I'm a morning person. It's the time of day when my energy, creative and otherwise is at its peak. Plus, everyone else in the household is still abed, so there are no distractions. Creative thought also requires time for ideas to ferment and ooze around in the brain. Often ideas come while in the midst of boring physical tasks, like walking, taking a bath, etc.
All this is to say that this morning I woke up and decided to scrap yesterday's ideas completely, because a whole new and better idea had come to me somehow overnight. I'm going to knit these gloves in the traditional way (with a few quirks, see below) from wrist to fingertips. The important thing, though, is to invest them with meaning. They will feature the following:
1. Chevrons, ribs, and steps, a gansey pattern from Inverness (photo from a favourite book, "Cables, Diamonds, and Herringbone" by Sabine Domnick). Why Inverness? Because, of course, it's the jumping off point for "Outlander", the book.

However, I plan to separate the elements, with the herringbone on the back of the hand,

 and the bars and ribs on the cuff.

2. I intend to try out a different kind of gusset (which isn't really a gusset), cleverly designed by my friend Deb Gemmell. This "arched" gusset follows the lifeline on the palm of the hand. "Outlander" readers: think of Claire's tea leaves reading with Mrs. Baird.
3. What yarn will I use? I've chosen a wool/silk mix because that would have been available in some form in the 18th century for luxury items. Wool for warmth, silk for beauty and strength.

This is a dk weight. Fingering wouldn't provide sufficient warmth (as a Canadian, I know all about that). And I'm knitting on size US 3 needles to make a dense fabric that will not only keep the wind out, but will highlight the texture of the stitches.

See you in a couple of days.....
P.S. This is NOT an attempt to design and knit historically accurate gloves.