Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wednesday Workbasket: Gentlemen's Nightcap

This pattern, published in a London magazine, did not include a picture to aid in translating the directions, but the backstory compensated for the lack of diagram.

In April 1843, "Eliza" had sent in several knitting patterns, which were published in the correspondence section. She had stated at the end, "Perhaps, in return, some of your fair correspondents will have the kindness to favor me with the pattern for a gentlemen's nightcap."

The following month featured this response, which departs from the English habit of using only three needles to knit in the round. It does not appear that the "doubling" results from double knitting, but instead folding one end inside the other. -- K.

SIR—I gladly forward the rules for knitting a gentlemen's nightcap for your correspondent ELIZA.

DOUBLE NIGHTCAP—You will find 5 needles are required. Two stitches to be cast on each of 4 needles, and in the 1st row increase two, and in the 2nd, one plain stitch in each. In the 3rd row the centre stitch on each needle must be seamed, and you must increase on each side of it every other row, until you have attained the middle required. You then knit the 4th and every succeeding row plain, until the cap is of a sufficient length, say 24 to 28 inches ; then decrease the 1st row, and make the other end to correspond with that first knitted.

These directions are taken from a nicely-written work on the subject of knitting, &c. Will your Correspondent EMMA favour me with an explanation of the term "slip and bind," in knitting?

(Emma had contributed lace patterns in February, for those who had "advanced beyond the initiatory steps in the art of knitting.")

 Originally published in The Magazine of Domestic Economy and Family Review, May 1843.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Wednesday Workbasket: Knitted Basket

A timely pattern this week. If you knit quickly, you may be able to get this one done in time for the Easter Bunny to fill it come Sunday! -- K.

Materials.— Six shades of 4 thread Berlin wool, in scarlet or any other color, and 4 bone pins No. 6.

With the lightest shade of wool cast on 13 stitches.

1st row—Slip 1, knit 1, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, † make 2, knit 2 together † twice, knit 1.

2d.—Knit 3, purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, knit 1, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 1.

3d.—Slip 1, knit 1, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 2, make 2, knit 2 together, make 2, knit 2 together, knit 1.

4th.—Knit 3, purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, knit 3, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 1.

5th.—Slip 1, knit 1, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 4, † make 2, knit 2 together † twice, knit 1.

6th.—Knit 3, purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, knit 5, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 1.

7th.—Slip 1, knit 1, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 6, † make 2, knit 2 together † twice, knit 1.

8th.—Cast off 8, knit 5, * make 1, knit 2 together * 3 times, knit 1.

This completes one pattern; join on the next shade of wool for another, and so on, changing the shade with every repetition of the pattern. The seventh pattern will be done again with the lightest shade; and 12 patterns will be found sufficient for the edging.

Sew the sides up, and on each of the three needles take up 33 stitches, from the straight side of the edging; knit 2 rounds plain, then knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to within 3 of the end of the needle, knit 2 together, knit 1; repeat this on the other two needles; knit one plain round, and one decreasing one alternately until only 4 stitches are left on each needle. Draw up the opening, and fasten the wool with a coarse embroidery needle. Make a handle of 3 or 4 pieces of fine wire covered with wool or ribbon; and put a round, similarly covered, at the top and bottom of the three rows of open hem to keep the basket in shape.

Originally published in Godey's Lady's Book & Magazine, July 1855.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Wednesday Workbasket: French Purse

Thread some beads on fine netting silk; cast thirty-six loops on each of three fine pins No. 20.

First round, plain.

Second round, plain.

Third round, knit four, cast on one, knit one, cast on one, knit four, slip one, narrow, pass the slipt [sic] stitch over, knit four, cast on one, knit one, cast on one, knit four, repeat to the end.

Fourth round to the fourteenth round, same as third.

Fifiteenth round to the eighteenth, plain.

Nineteenth round, with No. 22 pins; cast on one, narrow, knit one, narrow, repeat.

Twentieth round to the twenty-third are plain.

Twenty-fourth round, plain; pass a bead every stitch.

Twenty-fifth round to the twenty-seventh are plain.

Twenty-eighth round, cast on one, knit one, narrow, cast on one, knit one, narrow, repeat.

Now take the No. 20 pins. Twenty-ninth round, knit one, pass a bead, knit one, narrow, cast on one, pass a bead, repeat. The odd stitch which you knit in this round is the cast on stitch in the last.

Thirtieth same as the twenty-ninth, only passing two beads each time instead of one.

Thirty-first and thirty-second round the same, passing three beads each time.

Thirty-third round same as thirtieth.

Thirty-fourth same as twenty-ninth.

Thirty-fifth round, with coarser silk, knit plain.

Thirty-sixth round, all pearl.

Thirty-seventh round, pearl, passing a bead every stitch.

Thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth rounds, the same.

Fortieth round, pearl.

Forty-first round, knit plain.

Forty-second round, resume the fine silk, pearl.

Forty-third round same as the twenty-eighth.

Forty-fourth round to the forty-eighth same as the twenty-ninth.

Forty-ninth round the same as the thirty-fourth.

Now take the No. 22 pins. Fiftieth round to the fifty-second, plain.

Fifty-third round plain, passing a bead every stitch.

Fifth-fourth round to the fifty-sixth, plain.

Fifty-seventh round to the sixty-second the same as the twenty-ninth to the thirty-fourth.

Sixty-third round, take the coarse silk and work to the sixty-ninth round, same as the thirty-sixth to the forty-first.

Resume the fine silk. Seventieth round same as the forty-third.

Follow on the pattern from this round, till you finish the ninety-seventh as the sixty-ninth; divide the stitches six parts of eighteen each; slip the first, knit the next, pass the slipt stitch over, pass a bead, knit thirteen plain, knit two, passing a bead each stitch; repeat to the end of the round, narrowing at the beginning of every eighteen stitches.

Next round, slip the first, knit the next, pass the slipt stitch over, pass a bead, knit eleven, pass a bead, knit one, pass a bead, knit one, pass a bead, knit one, pass a bead; continue the same, narrowing as before, until you come to a point; sew on a tassel and slip in three rings to keep out the parts knit with the coarse silk; draw a string through the top.

The above makes a beautiful bag, worked with thick twist and large pins.

Originally published in Godey's Lady's Book & Magazine, March 1847.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Remedy for Hard Times

No matter where you turn these days, it seems, signs that we are not out of the woods just yet abound. A friend losing a job he has had for years, a friend making the hard decision to close her yarn shop, budget debates, benefit cuts... the list goes on and on. This "remedy for hard times" was originally published in 1843, almost 170 years ago, but it fitted my mood of today.

We have been asked repeatedly to give our view at length, upon the present state of the country, but we have thought proper, thus far to forbear. We fear that we might be accused of a political bias, foreign to the object of this paper. Still we think it legitimately within the scope of an agricultural journal, to give such views form time to time of the state of the nation as will tend especially to promote the interest of the farmers...

From a letter recently received... we quote a paragraph. Here is the best remedy for hard times that we know of, and if all states will go and do likewise, there will soon be an end of them.

'The people of Kentucky are righting up in pecuniary matters rapidly. The crisis is past. We are buying nothing and selling a good deal, though at low rates. ... Not only have we stopped buying foreign goods, but our people are returning to the old time-honored practice of manufacturing domestics by household industry. The wheel has lain idle for some years, but it is buzzing away now. Hemp, flax, linens, jeans, linseys, woollens, &c., the product of family looms, are substituted for foreign goods.'

American Agriculturalist, New York, May 1843.