In the last year or two, I've taken up lace knitting. Partly it's because I am easily bored and always looking for a new challenge; partly because I think it's pretty. It's an odd choice for someone who never wore a scrap of lace in her life, but it is terribly fun to knit.
Today I found a blog called The Panopticon, in which a man named Franklin translates patterns out of old Victorian craft books and adds snarky commentary. If you're a knitter, especially a lace knitter, it's pretty hilarious.
In a recent post, Franklin writes about knitting miniature lace on size 00000 needles (those are 1mm thick) to use as an inset in a doll's dress he's sewing. At one point he writes:
"My antique five-aughts have blunt ends. I'm looking to play with some modern five-aughts and see if they have pointed ends. Pointy ends are a boon when you're trying to work a double-decrease. Fooling about with blunt-ended fine needles has kicked up my appreciation of 19th-century knitters another couple notches. I've seen photos of those women operating these things with gloved hands, which I think helps to explain the widespread Victorian notion of female hysteria."
Cue me cracking up at my desk. I am so with you, Franklin!
(Is it wrong that this made me want to immediately acquire some 00000 needles and knit some teeny-tiny lace, just for ha has? I would say I need a self-help group, but I don't see this as a problem at all.)