Saturday, 15 November 2014

Tudor Merchant's Knitted Cap update

In March this year, I attended an excellent workshop run by Gary Hayton on behalf of the Knitting History Forum. I wrote about the worshop in my earlier blog post here. At this year's Knitting History Forum Conference, Jane and I brought along our completed work to show.

At the workshop, Gary had gently led us through the process of making a Tudor Merchant's knitted cap. Although we began knitting on the day, I needed to complete my cap at home. After unpicking a couple of times (due to knitter error!) I began to see an even, loose knitted fabric emerge. With the Knitting History Forum AGM and Conference rapidly approaching, I decided there was no better time to finish the cap. So, a few more rounds later, the gap is closing and the rounds are getting quicker and quicker as the stitches decrease.

The cap before felting is huge! Gary had told us that the looser the knitting before felting, the more the fibres can felt. 

I decided to be cautious with the felting, so it took three goes in the washing machine at 40 degrees C to felt the cap to the correct size. I measured it after each wash to check how the felting was progressing. After the three washes, the fabric was firm and thick, the yarn colours merged beautifully and my corners are the correct shape. Gary's pattern placed the decrease lines exactly at the corners so that when the cap is felted, the top part retains its square shape. The fold-over brim gives good structure to the shape of the cap.

I really enjoyed Gary's workshop. It was an excellent way to learn more about felting and knitting history and I am delighted with my Tudor Merchants Cap! For more information about knitting history and upcoming events, visit the Knitting History Forum website.

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