Beginning stage of a hairnet

April 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Fiber Arts, Netting | Leave a comment

saltpeter-003 This does not look nearly interesting enough to be a solid two hours of work, but I assure you that’s how long it took. (Specifically how long it took to create this knotted-up stick. Learning how to tie the half-hitch took considerably longer. I’m not sure what it says about me that I figured out how to net using a library book older than I am in about half an hour, but it took three times that to figure out the half-hitch using a very detailed internet site complete with picture.)

This is the method recommended by Emmelyne de Marksbury at her wonderful website on silkwork. Her research suggests that by starting the netting on a stick using half-hitches and then doing some tricky turning and re-knotting on the stick, you end up with very long starting loops and are also able to net in the round. This produces a net that very closely resembles extant period hairnets. After examining her work and analyzing the hairnets in Textiles and Clothing: Medieval Finds from Excavations in London I came to the conclusion that what she had to say made a lot of sense, so I decided to try her methods. This is the very first stage, where I haven’t even started to net yet, which explains the pictures general lack of impressiveness. It also looks a little sloppy because not only are the knitting needles I was using as gauge sticks still attached to the main stick via all of the knots, but the fairly small double-pointed needles were too short for the eighty or so knots I needed, and I had to use several knitting needles.

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