Sunday, January 06, 2008

Shaker Bootie?



So I didn't have a cold after all. I spent most of this week recovering from the flu. I had the chills, joint aches, everything-aches, swollen glands, nose bleeds... the whole bit. I should've known I was going a bit off when I confused "Gypsy 83" with "Buffalo 66" at Blockbuster. Any movie with Karen Black is a disaster movie. But as I lay in a waking coma, I was haunted by the same questions: "Who the hell were the Shakers?" "Why is that stitch called the Shaker Stitch?" "Did the Shakers invent Brioche too?" "Should I be wearing pants in bed?" The was just the flu talking.

I didn't have an answer but I recalled an e-mail reply from a Shaker Stitch Savant. I recently made contact with Nancy Marchant, from BriocheStitch.com. I found Nancy's site very inspiring with lot's of detailed instructions and enjoyed exploring her projects and patterns. I especially love her reconstructions of the Elvis Briohce Sweater.

"Everyone seems to claim that it originated in their country. It is known in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia... in French the stitch is known as CĂ´res Anglaises, in English it can be called English Rib, Oriental Rib, Brioche (Barbara G Walker calls it by that name), Shaker Stitch and its variation is called Fisherman's Rib. Elizabeth Zimmerman called it Prime Rib... in other words, I have no idea where it originated but it is an old stitch and has traveled over the whole world."

Conceivably it can be called the Micronesian Stitch, if Micronesia in fact had use for sweaters and missionaries.
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