About Weldon's Practical Needlework

From Interweave Press:

About 1885, Weldon’s began publishing a series of fourteen-page monthly newsletters, available by subscription, each title featuring patterns and instructions for projects using a single technique.

About 1888, the company began to publish Weldon’s Practical Needlework, each volume of which consisted of twelve issues (one year) of several newsletters bound together with a cloth cover.

Each volume contains hundreds of projects, illustrations, information on little-known techniques, glimpses of fashion as it was at the turn of the twentieth century, and brief histories of needlework. Other techniques treated include making objects from crinkled paper, tatting, netting, beading, patchwork, crewelwork, appliqué, cross-stitch, canvaswork, ivory embroidery, torchon lace, and much more.

From 1999 through 2005, Interweave published facsimiles of the first twelve volumes of Weldon’s Practical Needlework.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 1: Lady's Mittens with Thumb

I'm going to be out of town this week, so have chosen a fairly simple project for Week 1:

"Lady's Mittens with Thumb" 

This is a pattern that stands the test of time; the design looks fresh and wearable today.  
The yarn I will be using is Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport, in Bougainvillea (a lovely deep pink), and size 5 needles should get gauge.
The pattern is written to be worked flat and seamed.  I'm going to knit the mitts in the round instead.  There's a nice little detail on the back of the mitts, a little row of herringbone embroidery stitch.  Not sure what color I'll use for that  yet, probably black.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Trip into The Victorian Era

I hope you will join me in 2012 as I travel with knitting needles and yarn to the Victorian Era!

I own the 12 volumes of the "Weldon's Practical Needlework" series published by Interweave Press, and I am fascinated by the knitting projects presented in the books.  Ranging from the practical (basic socks, gloves and mitts, hats, baby garments and other "woolies" that any knitter would recognize) to the wild (a barrister's wig, lace coverings for every item of furniture and as-yet unidentifiable articles of apparel), the volumes showcase the Victorian Era's tastes and fashions.

I will spend 2012 knitting exclusively from these volumes, aiming for a project a week.  I'll be sharing my progress, both here on my blog and in a series of articles for "Piecework" magazine.  I'll be "translating" patterns for modern knitters, and will make these available for you (some at no charge, some for sale).  I'll offer tips on using today's yarns to knit the projects, and sharing what I learn about the Victorian household.

Here's to a happy new year, full of 19th century knitting both practical and pretty!