Meet the Ladies: Dr. Erma Melanogaster

A lovely fall evening to you my colleagues!  Now that we’ve concluded our multi-part lace shawl adventure, it’s about time to highlight another fabulous Lady who will be featured in the upcoming book.

Dr. Erma Melanogaster

Dr. Melanogaster is the Lady’s resident (semi-)mad scientist: a brilliant botanical and clockwork researcher whose laboratory mishap gave an extra twist to her already eccentric personality.  She often puts her work above all else (even her health and safety), much to the chagrin of her dear friends.  Fortunately, they tempt her out of the lab often enough to socialize and offer her unique insights on their latest endeavors – whether domestic, mechanical or sartorial.

And I would also like to take a moment to mention that the Ladies Of Mischief Archival Blog Project has recently passed the One Year mark!  Oh, what we’ve learned and shared in a year; I can hardly imagine my life without these outstanding Ladies being a part of it.  I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the Adventure so far, and are as excited as I am for what the next year will bring!

~The Archivist

From Paris With Lace, pt 4: The Sierpinski Gasket Shawl

Original photo of Miss Julia Sett wearing her shawl

Greetings my colleagues!  I hope you enjoyed our little side trip last week to share the amazing photos in the works for our book!   Things are really coming along now, and I can’t wait to show more teasers along the way.  Though those patterns are under wraps for now, as promised I have a special treat for you today!  One of our collaborative designers Amanda Williams has worked her magic yet again to re-create Miss Julia Sett’s lace shawl.  I’ll let her describe the project in her own words, and leave you to enjoy the wonderful finished product!  I’m sure Julia would be proud to know her cunning and creative design has reached a far larger audience than her original letters to Miss Alyssa.

Dear Archivist,

Thank you for the opportunity to recreate another of the Ladies items from the trunk. I enjoyed the Lace Gear last year, and this shawl was as much of a treat. Using Miss Julia’s notes and letters was a big help, as was having the original shawl itself. It was interesting to see she had issues running out of yarn; she wanted to create a true interpretation of the Sierpinski gasket which, with our charting, would look like this (click for full size view):

I did some calculations for that. It appears she would have needed at least 2100 yds of laceweight yarn to complete her shawl. Instead she created this variant, which is just as lovely and appears to use approximately 1100 yds.

When I wrote up the pattern, I charted the first section of triangles only, and provided a diagram and directions for the placement of that chart within the larger pattern. I thought that many of your readers would prefer a quicker, snuggly knit as we head into winter and gift giving season, and this smaller size works up beautifully in a soft, bulky yarn.

For your readers looking for a classic, elegant lace weight shawl they can substitute either of the full diagrams above in place of the one in the pattern.  The yarn in Julia’s original shawl is a spot-on match for Silk Hand Dyed Knitting Yarn – Lace Weight from Sunnyside Ellen (3 1/2 oz (100g), 1100yds (990m) 100% Silk in lace weight), which I would highly recommend for this project.  You can use 1 skein for the smaller version or 2 skeins for the large version.

Thank you again for the opportunity to bring a little history to life – I can’t wait to see what you find next!
Enjoy!
-Amanda

Photo Shoot Update

So a few weeks ago we got down to business and photographed two whole chapters of the books! I thought I would interject here and give you all some lovely teaser pictures from the shoots. So here it is! More on the exciting mathamatical adventure next week. Enjoy!

The Ladies of Mischief

%d bloggers like this: