Saturday, March 15, 2008

And I didn't have a camera. . .

Today I wandered into a western antique show. There were few textiles, but then all the way at the back I came across a Native American section. On display was a perfectly gorgeous beaded vest. It was displayed on a dress form over a gray turtleneck. It was $4500. I'm not sure that I approve of someone actually wearing what the label said was an antique Sioux beaded vest, but I thought it was beautiful and immediately began to try to figure out how to knit one--even if I could do the beading, it would be very heavy and not practically wearable for my lifestyle.

Here's a sketch--I didn't even have a cell phone camera with me.

The stripes are not stripes. The beads were attached by having several strung on a thread and then going through the backing at regular intervals, forming sort of a horizontal ribbing texture. The "ribbing" was about 3/4" tall. The color of the entire vest was a bright turquoise. The designs were solid white, went across more than one row of the ribbing and had tiny details of a rust color. Around the front edges and the bottom was a white border about 3/4" wide. The "ribbing" did not extend into it.
I think it would be possible to knit the vest from a fairly firm fabric using reverse stockinette broken by a row of regular stockinette to approximate the texture of the original. I have a sock pattern in my files that has a leg done like that. White I-cord would probably work well for the edging. However, how could one do the design? Would intarsia work?

1 comment:

Nanette said...

Jane, what a neat vest! Yes, I think you could use intarsia or duplicate stitch for the colorwork on the vest. Duplicate stitch is probably easier and faster but it does give the knitted fabric kind of a "patch" quality. Good luck!