23 Jan 2014

A while back I saved these images from Pinterest and the Metropolitan Museum of Art website:

Click Image to Enlarge

Click Image to Enlarge

When I went back to the site last week to learn more about this amazing apron, I got a 404 “page not found” error on the museum website. So for now, all I know is what is shown on the image here that I captured on my phone.

Besides the fact that it is knitted and beautiful, why am I interested in this apron? Because it’s a sampler. Each section is knit in a different stitch pattern, giving the knitter an opportunity to learn and practice a variety of techniques on one project. There’s something about these sampler projects–like Shetland and Orenburg shawls, or even like a quilt– that gives them an extra level of beauty that is not always present in simpler designs.

Stories In Stitches 2 is all about samplers and using stitch patterns together in interesting combinations to create doilies, shawls, sweaters and even a pence jug. But we didn’t get to feature an apron, so we are planning to do this in the second series of Stories In Stitches: The Civil War that will be coming out after another year or so. (First we have two more Around the World volumes to complete in 2014.)

Click Image to Enlarge

Click Image to Enlarge

When I think of aprons, the first thing that comes to mind is my grandmother wearing one while making potato pancakes or home made kielbasa in her New York City apartment kitchen. The second thing that comes to mind is a 1950s housewife. Wait, those are the same thing! But in reality, aprons have had a much more interesting life than simply serving as a more beautiful substation for a towel tucked into a chef’s waistband.

In many societies, a woman would not be dressed completely if she did not have her apron fastened on over her dress. And not just when she was working in the kitchen!

 Here’s a picture of typical outfits of Lithuanian women from the 19th century. These are reproductions made for members of a folk-song group. All of them include an apron, but in each region of Lithuania different styles of fabric and embellishment were used. Some aprons were striped, some were solid with brightly embroidered borders, and others were made with floral motifs woven right into the base fabric. These outfits are reproductions of what women would have worn on holidays or for special events. For day-to-day life, I suspect they may have had much plainer aprons. 

Lithuanian National Costume Recreations.

Lithuanian National Costume Recreations.

Knitting was not used for aprons in Lithuania. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone knitting an apron to be worn in the kitchen and more than I could imagine wearing the beautiful aprons in this photo in the kitchen. So what was the elaborate lace apron we started this post with made for? I don’t know but you can bet I am going to find out. 

So, we’ll be back to aprons next year. Ava has already decided that she wants to make a lace apron out of size 50 crochet cotton! Don’t say you haven’t been warned.


For a variety of sampler stitch patterns and more, see Stories In Stitches 2!
 

Stories In Stitches 2
Electronic PDFBook + PDF

SISBUYNOW

$19.99
Download
Secure PayPal

SISBUYNOW

$25.99
+ Shipping
Secure PayPal

 

 

 

Like it? Share it?

[top]
0