Love Lace, Not War…

by Knitsmith Linda on March 9, 2012

Ostensively a trip to see the Babbage Difference Engine at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, this Knitsmith was disappointed to find that said Difference Engine was not accessible due to renovations in the building. *Sigh*

There is a wonderful link however & also a gorgeous portrait of our beloved Ada Lovelace who is rightly celebrated for her achievements in science & technology

Not to be deterred, I found an exciting & intriguing exhibition about the creation of LACE, called Love Lace (but not connected to our Ada).

All kinds of lace – tradition, modern, hand-made, machine-generated, wearable, industrial. It is on display until April 2013, & had many elements which could be regarded as steampunk.

Here for your viewing pleasure are some personal highlights:

(Roll over the image to see the name of the Artist & the piece)

For more information about all these pieces and other incredible works from this exhibition link into:

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Beware the Devil’s Houndstooth…..

by Knitsmith Linda on February 29, 2012

It’s a little known fact that the houndstooth weave which has now become a staple of fashion design in fact had more sinister origins hidden in the mists of time in the Antipodes.

At the Sydney Town Conformation Show held in 1860 (known prospectively as a “Dog Show”), Devil, the prize Irish Wolf Hound bitch of Sir Aubrey Mangold, escaped when Her Majesty’s Steam Dirigible HMSD Waratah broke loose during a violent storm from its moorings to the Sydney Harbour Steam Bridge. Whilst Sir Aubrey Mangold gallantly made sure he was first aboard an air raft to help 16 to 20 year old ladies escape, remaining crew members and show officials were also forced to abandon ship.The Waratah drifted unmanned for five days until it crashed into the town of the Broken Hill in the far NW of the New South Wales. It has been deducted by Darwinian scientists that Devil had an unholy union with the dread Canis Lathyrus Odoratus Antarcticus, a particularly vicious and blood-craving Dingo, or native dog, only found in that region of Terra Nullis.

Its innocence conceals a bloodthirsty nature

Its innocence conceals a bloodthirsty nature

Upon satiating that union, and at the same time decimating the local population (from 40 to 20), Devil then partially recovered her senses, and instinctively made the arduous journey back to Sydney Town, some 215 leagues, to be found sixty days later, nursing her satanic litter inside Sir Mangold’s second favourite barouche.

I've got goosebumps just looking at it...

A skirmish of biblical proportions ensued, and Sir Mangold (still extending benevolence in his homestead to at least five young ladies following the Waratah incident) escaped with his life, not before managing to launch the damned barouche over a nearby cliff and sending his beloved bitch and hell’s brood melodramatically to their deaths. Whilst the immediate threat was averted, several young ladies swore (in a ladylike manner) to the fact that a couple of puppies managed to escape, and had scampered off into the mulga.

For the next ten years, gentle persons took their lives in their own hands if they were caught after dark in “The Rocks” area beneath the Sydney Harbour Steam Bridge. No less than 35 unfortunates were found savaged and brutally mauled to death by Devil’s heinious offspring.

As a consequence of the fear and panic, citizens took to wearing charms to ward off the evil, and the most popular was the Devil’s Houndstooth*, decorating gaiters (leggings with spats), as it covered the legs and protected the ankles.

Our humble Knitsmith’s pattern for the Devil’s Houndstooth Gaiters (for women & men) follows shortly…

One of the unholy brood escapes to the Mulga!







*Another reason for its popularity was also the fact that following Sir Mangold’s amourous escapades with an alarming number of Sydney Town’s pulchritude, many a young lass found that Sir Mangold, still shaken by his encounter with the Hades hounds, could also be effectively repelled by the sight of the houndstooth, which would cause him to cower in a corner.


Coming soon … Devil’s Houndstooth Gaiters (Leggings with Spats)

February 26, 2012

Prepare yourself for the blood-curdling tale of a Devil, hounds, a runaway dirigible, an irredeemable cad & some puppies! (Who will make your blood curdle* all over again …) Our Devil’s Houndstooth Gaiters were the height of fashion in their day, & were also a useful charm against the said devils. It features a unique “triple […]

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By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Antipodean Sea …

February 21, 2012

Though the Knitsmiths are rather fond of dry land, a fresh pot of tea and a plate of scones, occasionally we will be lured out of the Foundry to diversions over the sea. Or harbour (Sydney harbour, to be precise). We visited the Manly Art Gallery & Museum (via ferry as nary a dirigible was in sight) […]

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How to knit the Neck Insulator Be Mine xxx Pt II

February 15, 2012

Instructions Cast on 44 sts in Natural colour Top Edge (repeated at start & end): Row 1    Knit, slip last stitch without knitting Row 2    Knit, slip last stitch without knitting Row 3    Knit, slip last stitch without knitting Row 4    Knit, slip last stitch without knitting Row 5    Knit 3, Purl 38, knit 2, […]

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How to knit the Neck Insulator Be Mine xxx Pt I

February 13, 2012

Before Commencing… – Finished length (approx.)* One size fits all Mécaniques – length 190cm / 75” * According to our trusty Rabone Chesterman No. 1380 boxwood Rule – Yarn Main yarn DK Weight / #4 Medium   50 gr Qty:       5 (body) & 4 (embellishment) We used: Nundle Collection 8 Ply 50gr – 100% Pure New […]

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Steampunk Valentine’s Day – Girl Meets Homme Mécanique …

February 13, 2012

It’s a story we hear all too often. Girl meets Homme Mécanique. Girl falls for HM. HM is programmed not to return affection. Girl attempts to reprogram HM. Girl fails, and HM is returned to manufacturer to be scraped. Many readers may not know the origin of this sad tale and its connection to valentines. […]

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FAQ – dispelling some myths about the Ravisher…

February 5, 2012

How safe is it for me to use my chrome 10mm circular needles when travelling on the modern day dirigibles? Madame – the Royal Antipodean Order of Knitsmiths has undertaken puncture stress tests to ascertain the issue at hand, and it was deemed safe for ladies to use them onboard. It is however strictly forbidden […]

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Coming soon … Neck Insulator for Homme Mécanique

February 4, 2012

For Valentine’s Day, we’ve been inspired by the age old story… Girl meets Homme Mécanique. Girl falls for HM. HM is programmed not to return affection.  We are in throes of hammering out this Neck Insulator* for the Homme Mécanique in your life** so be sure to check this space in the coming days for updates. […]

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How to knit The Ravisher … Part II

January 30, 2012

Instructions Cast on 72 (108, 144) sts Row 1    Knit, slip last stitch without knitting Row 2    Purl, slip last stitch without knitting Row 3    K2 tog 3 times, *YO K1 6 times, K2 tog 6 times, repeat from * 3 (5, 7) times, YO K1 6 times, K2 tog 3 times Row 4    Purl, […]

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