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.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wrapping Up My Year of Weldon's

It's time to "shut that whole thing down"...I'm preparing to head to England for the holidays, so the Lady's Silk Mitts pattern is my last project in My Year of Weldon's.  I will be blogging about my trip, hopefully with good photos (my daughter the photographer is coming, so you won't have to rely on my horrible picture-taking skills)

It's been a fun year, and I come away with tremendous respect for the unjustly anonymous Weldon's pattern writers.  Their patterns are so well-written, with very few errors and clear enough that they can be used today, over 100 years after they were written.  While we may not want to knit all the fussy items in the Weldon's catalog of patterns, lots of them are surprisingly up to date in current yarns.  Some knitting fashions really don't go out of style (the fingerless mitts are a great example of a style that looks as good today as it did in 1895)

I'm hoping to donate my year of Weldon's projects to our local museum, which includes a home maintained with the furnishings and fashions of the 1890s.  Perfect for my box of Victorian projects.

Project 29: Lady's Silk Mitts Done

As usual, my picture is lame, but I will try for a better photo when my photographer daughter gets home tonight.

I'm very happy with these mitts, I already have one daughter who wants them in her Christmas stocking.  I will be adding the updated pattern to the list of downloadable patterns.  This one did require some mods in order to not be hugely long.  If you wanted to exactly recreate them, it would require using silk thread and size 0000 needles, not in my time constraints at this time of year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Project 29: lady's Silk Mittens Update

One mitten finished. I switched to size zero needles. I had to make a few revisions in order to have a mitt that wasn't too long, even at 10 rows to the inch.

I shortened the length by starting the thumb gusset on round 4 of the hand section, rather than knitting 12 rounds first. I also increased for the thumb every other round, rather than every third round. I shortened the thumb considerably.

I like the pattern a lot even with the mods.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Project 29: Lady's Silk Mittens

"Lady's Silk Mittens" published in Weldon's Practical Knitter, Thirty-fifth Series (1897) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 12.

“This pretty and comfortable mitten requires one ounce of knitting silk and four steel needles No. 18”

I really like the little pattern in the ribbing on this pair of mitts.  I'm going to try using some sock yarn from the stash and size 1 needles for this project.  No silk in my stash :-(  and I'm not keen to knit these using 0000 needles, too many Christmas projects are waiting for me.

We'll see if I can get away with the larger needles/yarn and still have a wearable pair of mittens.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Project 28: Chest Protector Finished

I opted not to add the 2nd round of crocheted edging as I couldn't get it to make the "rickrack" look of the engraving.  And Weldon's gave me permission not to add the edging if desired :-)

I see I made a mistake about halfway through, working the p1, k1 "rough side" pattern on the wrong side.  Oops.

I can see where this would have been a lovely warm addition to the invalid's sick room equipment.  Definitely soft and cozy on an inflamed chest.  My daughter has a cold, I'm going to have her try it out tomorrow when she takes a sick day.  Now if I can also convince her to try a mustard plaster...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Project 28: Chest Protector

I finally finished the Heelless Sleeping Socks in extra-large -- pictures later today.

Project 28 is a "Chest Protector" from Weldon's Practical Knitter, Thirty-Fifth Series (1897) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 12.

"An extra wrap to cover the chest is very necessary for those who have constitutionally delicate lungs, or who are recovering from an attack of pleurisy or penumonia.  The protector illustrated here is quite a pretty little garment, but it is fully as easy to make as are the more simple kinds.  The stitch is a particularly effective one, and, while rough and 'ribby' on the right side, the surface that lies next to the body is as smooth and soft as can be desired.

"The model is made with white Double Berlin wool, 2 ounces and a half being required, with less than half an ounce of finer wool of some bright color for the scalloped edging.  Pale pink or blue Andalusian wool is the best for this ornamental addition to the protector.  If a less expensive piece of work is desired, petticoat fleecy may be used, or coarse undyed yarn.  but it will be found that for such a purpose the second quality of wool is quite as suitable as the first, and, indeed, being less compact in its twist than the better quality, is often softer, and consequently more comfortable in wear.  Two pairs of bone needles, Nos. 8 and 12, are required, as the knitting should be executed rather closely.  For the border, a bone crochet hook of medium size should be selected."

I'll be trying this using DK weight yarn and fingering for the scalloped edge, on US size 2 and 6 needles.

A Good Sale at Interweave!

Interweave is having a good sale on books this weekend!  The Weldon's series of e-books are 20% off, and you can get another 15% off by using the coupon code EXTRA15.

And my own store, Vintage Knits, has an even better deal -- 50% off the entire store!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Heelless Sleeping Sock V.2

Here's version 2 of the sock, with 76 stitches rather than the 48 in the original pattern.  Fits fine, though perhaps a bit baggy at the ankle.  But if you have chubby legs, you make do :-)

This is a very simple sock pattern, here are the pithy instructions:

Cast on 48 stitches (I used sock yarn and #3 US needles).  Work 20 rounds in k2, p2 ribbing.  Switch to the pattern stitch and work 35 repeats (easily counted by counting up the diagonal "line" in each repeat).  Toe: *k6, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 6 rounds.  *k5, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 5 rounds. *k4, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 4 rounds.  *k3, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 3 rounds.  *k2, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 2 rounds.  *k1, k2tog, rep. to end.  K 1 round.  *k2tog around, cut yarn and weave through remaining sts, drawing hole closed (you could also Kitchener the end together if preferred)

Pattern chart:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Cara tried on the Heelless Sock, and it's too tight.  So I'm reknitting it, just for her :-)

The Weldon's pattern has a cast on of 48 stitches, and the sock is supposed to be somewhat loose-fitting for comfort.  On our tree-trunk legs, not so much.  So I'll be casting on 76 stitches.  And making it an inch longer.

One sock done. These are knee high length, a teeny bit snug for my chubby legs. But the pattern is easy and makes for a nearly mindless project, good for knitting while tv watching.

I would probably do fewer repeats of the pattern if I were making these again.  The toe is easy-peasy, you do a series of decreases until you have 6 stitches left, then run your yarn through the six stitches and pull closed.  This is the "classic" toe that would have been used for socks during this time period.  The "Kitchener Stitch" wasn't used until the 20th century.  I've also seen the 3-needle bind off used for socks toes in Weldon's patterns.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Project 27: Heelless Sleeping Socks

"Heelless Sleeping Socks" from Weldon's Practical Knitter, Thirty-fifth Series (1897), and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 12.  Nancy Bush included this pattern in her "Knitting Vintage Socks" book, but I'll be working from the original instructions.

The Practical Knitter says, "These socks are very easy to make, as the foot makes a fresh place for itself every time the socks are used, therefore they are particularly durable.  They should be made with rather thicker pins than are generally employed, so that greater elasticity is gained; also it is necessary to make them larger so that ample play is obtained for the foot."

The original instructions call for Paton's petticoat fleecy, white or scarlet, using about three ounce of it, No. 10 needles.  My daughter chose this Plymouth Happy Feet DK in color 60, a taupe/cream/grey variegated yarn, and I'll be knitting with US size 3 needles.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Here's The Emigrant's Vest

Modeled by one of my daughter's adorable students.  See how cute the vest is when worn by a cute high schooler!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Fantastic Magazine for HIstoric Needleworkers!

"Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly is the premiere magazine for those who look at the handwork from centuries past with a sense of awe, wonder, and inquisitiveness. Each issue is a wealth of information that will delight, educate, and instruct: articles that shed light on the world in which the hand-wrought wonders of the past were produced; needlework projects that challenge and build the skills of the contemporary needleworker; lavish photographs of antique needlework and sewing tools. "

I just obtained nearly the entire run of this magazine and have added them to my store.  Historic samplers and other needlework pieces are showcased with gorgeous photographs, and there are fascinating articles about needlework tools, including a few forays into knitting tools.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest Finished

Finished it last night, pictures later today. It’s very cute, but too small for “stout” me. Getting a slender model today. 

At left is the vest after I sewed the 2 seams but before adding the pretty crocheted edging.  You sew the bound-off edge to the cast-on edge (creating a tube basically, or as Weldon's says, "like a roller towel"), then sew a second seam across the top, leaving 5" on each end for armholes.  It looks like a kite shape when the sewing is done and it's laid out flat.  I was completely doubtful that those 2 seams were going to create any sort of garment, but voila!  Weldon's strikes again with correct instructions and it is indeed a little bolero type shrug.

The Vest took exactly 3 skeins (550 yards) of Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport weight yarn.  
I think I’m going to knit it again, maybe in worsted weight yarn, and see how it turns out size wise. The garter stitch strip was 46” which created a snug vest on me, so I’m going to try knitting a longer strip.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest is Underway

I found 5 skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport Weight in the stash, color is "Pepper".  Seems to be the right weight for this, but there's no real way of knowing until I finish the 46" ("for a stout person", that's me lol) garter stitch strip and sew it together.

I hope I don't go blind knitting acres of black garter stitch.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Project 26: Emigrant's Vest

From Weldon's Practical Knitter Nineteenth Series (1892) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 7.

"This vest is fashioned from a long strip of plain knitting, which when properly joined, with sufficient space left for armholes, will assume on the figure the shape of a Zouave, as shown in the engraving, and may be comfortably worn as a house-jacket or as an extra bodice under a cloak"

The original pattern calls for 5 ozs. of best fingering wool, or Berlin fingering, a pair of No. 9 needles, and one or two black bone buttons.

I will be trying this pattern using US #5 needles and probably sport or DK weight yarn.  You work a long strip of garter stitch ("for a stout person, about 46 inches") and do some tricky sewing to create the shape.  the Scalloped Edge is crocheted.

Gent's Knickerbocker Hose in Blantyre Plaid pattern available again!

Thanks Shirley!  She provided us with a much more printer-friendly sized file and you should be able to download it with no problem.

The free pdf for this cool pair of knee socks is now available!

I've hopefully fixed the problem with the charts printing as a GIANT set of pages.  I've tried printing them and they work fine (for me), please let me know if you still have problems printing.

Click here for the pattern

Sometimes I Just Don't Love a Pattern

And the Cable Stripe pattern is not a favorite.  I worked 3 repeats of the 6 row pattern and I just don't love it.  The cables are "lumpy" with the short rows and the lace pattern doesn't show up that well.  I might like it better if it were knit with a simple cable in the center (your basic "slip 7 sts to a cable needle and hold in front/back, k next 7 sts, k sts from cable needle), but that is not how the Weldon's designer intended it to be.

So that one is going in the "fail" bucket, not because it's incorrect, but just because I don't love it.

I think I'm going to move on from lace edgings for a while and try something else.  Maybe socks...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project 22.5 Cable Stripe Progress

Not quite as simple as I thought. The cable is formed by knitting short rows, then slipping the stitches to a spare needle, slipping next 7 sts to the other needle and putting the spare sts back on the needle. Makes a nice fat cable. I’m still working out how to chart that maneuver

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Project 22.5: Cable Pattern Stripe

"Cable Pattern Stripe" Originally published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Ninth Series (1895) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 10.  "This handsome stripe is composed of a broad, thick cable pattern, with a pretty border down each side of it.  It is suitable as an insertion in alternation with stripes of a less heavy pattern, or as a heading for lace."  Weldon's recommends it be used in combination with the "Knitted Lace" pattern I tried earlier (Project 22.3).

I'm looking forward to a cable pattern, after acres of lace knitting :-)  It's a fairly simple 6 row repeat.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Project 22.4 Finished, and Right vs. Wrong Side?

And here's the "Hoop and Vandyke Edging", with a goof on one of the repeats I think.  The eyelet section looks slightly cockeyed about the middle of the piece.  Will redo my sample later :-)

One oddity in charting the Weldon's lace patterns, at least odd to me:  in my mind, the odd numbered rows (1, 3, 5 etc) are the "right side" of a pattern, i.e. the public side of the work.  If knitting in stockinette stitch, I'd expect the knit side to be on the odd # rows and the purl side to be on even # rows.  However, Weldon's pattern writers disagree with me.  Most of the lace patterns I've charted have the even numbered rows turn out to be the "public" side of the piece.

I'm not going to make any changes to the charts but it's something I'll be sure to note in the e-book, as I found it a bit surprising.  Does it befuddle you?

Project 22.4: Hoop and Vandyke Edging

Originally published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Ninth Series (1895) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 10.

"This edging looks well with cotton of any thickness, though perhaps best with Strutt's No. 10, and needles No. 16"

This lace edging is worked on 32 stitches and an 8 row repeat, and is much easier than I thought it would be from looking at the engraving.

I'm using some natural colored sock yarn from my stash.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Project 22.3 Knitted Lace Finished

An easy pattern with a couple of interesting stitches: the "loops" are formed by doing a YO x 6; the diagonal stripes are made with both a ssk/yo on the right side, and a purl dec on the wrong side that I haven't seen before: you purl 1, slip that st back to the left hand needle, pull the next st over the purled st, then put the purled st back on the right hand needle.
Edging 22.4?  There's a very fancy one that's tempting me, but I don't know if I'll be able to chart it in any kind of comprehensible manner.  I'll give it a shot though.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project 22.3: Knitted Lace

Originally published in Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Ninth Series (1895)

3rd lace edging in this project, an interesting one with a looped bottom edge (I think), simply titled "Knitted Lace".

"This Handsome lace corresponds with the Zigzag Insertion and with the cable pattern (shown on pages 7 and 8 of this issue).  Use knitting cotton No. 6, and Steel Needles No. 14."

I made a chart first this time (usually I knit directly from the original written instructions, then chart when I'm sure I understand the construction), we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Project 22: Holly Edging Done

The Holly Edging is done and here's a not so great picture.  My vow not to have cell phone pix is an epic fail :-)

This edging would be really cute for a Christmas project, maybe a lace edging to put on the fireplace mantel.  The "holly berries" are bobbles, created in an unusual (to me) way:

K,p,k in the stitch, turn, yo, p3, turn, yo, k4, p5, k2tog, k1, k2tog, turn, p3, turn, sl1, k2tog, peso

I've never done a bobble with yarn overs as the increases, but it works nicely.

I am looking at 2 edgings for the next project: a simpler lace pattern and a very fancy one.  Depending on my mood tonight (I am trying to finish a paying project and I'm cranky about it as I sewed it together inside out and am having to red) I'll cast on for easy or fancy...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Project 22: Lace Edgings

Edging #1: Leaf and Lace Border

I knit my sample using white cotton in a fingering weight, which makes a pretty wide border, but shows the details nicely.  I'll be knitting the samples for the e-book in lace weight yarn to better represent the size/width you can expect when knitting these edgings.

Edging #2: Holly Edging
From Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-Seventh Series (1895)
"Most effective when knitted with moderately coarse cotton and needles"

This is a fairly easy edging, with "tufts" (or bobbles as we call them) placed at regular intervals. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Process

Just to give you an idea of how challenging it can be to translate written instructions into charted form, the above is my 5th revision of the lace border I'm currently working on.  You can believe there was a bit of cursing and project tossing right about this point.

I finally got the chart correct about Revision #7 and I'm nearly finished with the border.  It's a very elegant wide edging with both a "lozenge" lace pattern and a raised leaf pattern.  Should have a picture to show you soon.

I'm contemplating putting together a collection of about 10 of these Weldon's lace edgings, all charted (correctly!) and available as an e-book for a small fee.  Will keep you posted on that project.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Translating Written Instructions Argh!

Quick update on the lace edgings project:

I am now on my second attempt to correctly "translate" LONG rows of written instructions into a chart.  Good grief, it's difficult.  My first try was riddled with errors.  I'm going to attempt to use my second attempt tonight, and hopefully it's all correct.

The eyes cross on about row 25 of "make 1, knit 2 stitches together, knit 1, do this two more times, knit 3..." repeated more times than I can apparently easily count :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Project 22: Lace Edgings

I'm going to chart a series of lace edgings and insertions, which were originally published in Weldon's Practical Knitter, Twenty-Seventh Series (1895)

When I've finished, I will have an e-book available with the charts.

Edging #1 is "Leaf and Lace Border".

"This handsome pattern, knitted with Strutts' knitting cotton No. 8 and steel pins No. 15, measures about 4 1/4 inches in depth.  Worked in wool it forms a suitable bordering for shawls, coverlets, etc."

That leaf motif seems to have been very popular with the Weldon's pattern writers.  I've seen it used many times in their patterns for quilt squares and other lace projects.  I like it too.

A Nice Lace Border

My friend Kathleen Cubley posted the instructions for this "VanDyke Border" over on the Knitting Daily Blog.  It's from one of the Weldon's Practical Knitter issues.

Several readers had a bit of trouble knitting it and Kathleen asked me to double check the instructions for accuracy.  As I told her, never doubt Weldon's :-)  The instructions are just about always dead-on in my experience.

I verified that the written instructions are correct, and provided Kathleen with a little chart to share with her readers.  If she decides not to provide the chart, I'll make it available here.

Kudos to Piecework for making the Weldon's patterns available to today's knitters!  And now that I've knit a lace border, that helped me decide that I'd like to knit more of them, so that will be Project #22.

Project 22?

I'm searching today for Project #22.  Not sure what I'm going to choose.  I'm thinking of socks (there are some cute socks for children) or maybe doing several lace edgings/insertions.  There are tons of those, and some look quite interesting.

Off to ponder...

Project 21: Fascinator Finished

My reluctant (yet fetching) model Cara wearing the Fascinator.  It's a little smaller than I thought it would be, but is a nice size for a very light head covering.  It measures about 32" across and took 1 skein of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze yarn.  The tassels are a very Victorian touch.

Still unsure whether I'm going to try to chart this.  I'll have to play with how to chart the lace pattern (which is actually pretty simple) and see if there's an easy way to write the directions. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fascinator Vs. Cloud

Knittingand posted an interesting reply to my last post, mentioning that a "cloud" was a specific type of fascinator, a light, lacy rectangle with tassels on the ends.  I did a little internet searching and found this vintage clipping:

The article says that clouds are "light scarves of fine knitting [worn] over the head and round the neck, instead of an opera hood when going out at night".  The instructions given are for a rectangular shape (or a square?), then finished with tassels.

So, Knittingand, you are correct!  My fascinator is going to be triangular in shape (I think, one never knows until the last stitch is cast off what these Weldon's 'mystery' patterns are going to look like).

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Project 21: Fascinator Update

I'm a bit over half done with the Fascinator.  It's a pretty lace pattern, which is shaping up to become a triangle, I think.  I love the Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Candy Girl, it's so soft and airy.  A perfect yarn for a "cloud", as fascinators were also called.

Note to self: when making corrections to your lace chart, BE SURE to make said corrections dark enough so they are legible next time through the pattern.  It's not much fun to rip out 2" of Kidsilk Haze, which "grabs" every stitch and doesn't want to let go.

I'm not sure I'm going to create a pattern for this one, though it's really lovely.  It's one of those that has lots of repeats in odd combinations which makes for a kind of weird chart.  I'll see if I can come up with something that is readable.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Bachelor's Tea Cosy

My second Piecework article/project is on the newstands!  It's  the "Bachelor's Tea Cosy" and is in the Sept/Oct. 2012 issue.

This lined tea cosy was originally published in “Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Twenty-First Series” (1982), and appears in Piecework’s “Weldon’s Practical Needlework Volume 7”. The publishers state “This is a charming tea cosy for bachelors, and indeed for general use, as it is simply and easily made, and will keep in position when placed upon the tea pot; the handle passes through an opening on one side, and the spout through a corresponding opening on the other side, so there is no occasion to remove the cosy when pouring out tea.”

It's such a thrill to see my work in print, and as always, Joe Coca (who's done Piecework's photography since the first issues) makes my work look beautiful.
The handpainted yarn didn't work well as I suspected :-(  This yarn is NEVER going to find the perfect project!

I found 2 skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in the stash so am using that and it's looking much better.  I couldn't find a single pair of #7 needles (and I'm sure I have at least a half dozen) so am using size 6.
The pattern is a pretty lace, sort of a leaf or "lozenge" design.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Project 21: Knitted Fascinator

Time for another "mystery" project!

The Knitted Fascinator from Weldon's Practical Knitter Thirty-Second Series (1896) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 11.  This is one of those projects with no illustration, and with 181 rows of written instructions for a lace pattern.

"Fascinators have for some time past been popular when made in crochet; our model here is a pretty and new shape, and, moreover, is made entirely in knitting.  Two ounces of Andalusian wool, any preferred colors, will be needed, also a pair of knitting needles No. 7."

What I should end up with is a long head scarf in an open lacy pattern, with tassels on the ends.

I'm going to use a lace weight yarn and US #7 needles.  Maybe I will try my "McClellan Lace" in Skye from Three Irish Girls:

I have a 500 yard skein, which I tried using on a lace shawl with a complicated pattern.  Fail, the color repeats on this yarn are too short to work well with a complex lace design.  I'll try it and see if I like it.  If not, I have some solid color lace  yarn here somewhere...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pattern for Lady's Mittens in Fancy Wave Stitch available

Mittens are done and the free pdf is available here.

One of my favorite projects!  I think these mitts look as stylish today as they did in 1896.

The "fancy wave stitch" is an easy 2-row pattern, with the 2nd row being purled; I think it would look equally good with all knit stitches.  May have to try that and see how it looks.

Will see if I can get better pictures later today.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dog Days...

...Of Summer are definitely affecting me.  Not that I haven't been busy; just not keeping up with my Weldon's project in this very hot weather.  Plus having two paying projects I need to finish plus a baby shower gift I need to make by Sunday (and haven't started yet.  Wonder if the new mom would like a pair of "Baby's First Pants" instead!).  But the Fancy Mitts ARE nearly done, all I need is one evening to finish the knitting and write up the pattern.

Be patient, I promise they will be done next week.  And the mitts are darling!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Project 20: Lady's Mitts Fancy Wave Stitch -- One Done

One mitt is finished.  The fingering weight yarn (some sock yarn I dyed a couple of years ago) and size 0 US needles were perfect, the mitt fits "like a glove".    Once again, I'm impressed with the excellent quality of the Weldon's instructions as well as the timelessness of many of their designs.  I think anyone would like to wear these, they don't look old/fusty at all.

The "fancy wave stitch" is a very easy pattern, 1st round pattern panel is k2tog, k5, yo/k1/yo, k5, ssk, and the 2nd round is purl the sts.  Very simple, yet quite nice looking and I like the little "point" at the top.

Will be working on mitt #2 and writing up the pattern this week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Project 20: Lady's Mittens Fancy Wave Stitch

Size 1 needles and the Jamieson's Jumper weight yarn didn't work.  I've switched to size 0 needles and some purple sock yarn from the stash, much better.

Ribbing on these mitts is k4, p2.  They are knit in the round, which is nice!  The first pair of mitts I knit were worked flat and seamed.  Who likes sewing?  Not me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gent's Balaclava Cap Pattern Now Available

I couldn't convince Tony to grow a handlebar mustache but he did agree to pose of a picture wearing the Gent's Balaclava.

Free pattern pdf is available here

Almost Famous

I'm the guest blogger this week on Piecework's blog "Traditions Today"!  Very exciting to see my work on something other than my own blog :-)

Monday, July 30, 2012


Whew!  I rely heavily on Kim Salazar's excellent list of historical yarns with suggestions for modern equivalents, and was horrified when my link quit working.

A Ravelry message to Kim reassured me that the list was alive and well, with a new address.

Crisis averted.

Project 20 is languishing while I finish up a contract project.  Hope to get the mitts started today with the charted directions I did have time to write up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Problems with the Blantyre Plaid Stockings Pattern

UPDATE 7/24/12: The file for the Blantyre Plaid Gentleman's Stockings pattern is temporarily unavailable. I need to resize the charts. Please PM if you would like to know when the pattern is again available. 

Major BOO.  I thought I had the charts sized properly (and indeed, on my computer they look fine and I can print them with no trouble)  However, they are proving impossible to download.  And my laptop (where I created the charts) is dead due to an unfortunate pillow toss/water spill combo.

So the fabulous Blantyre Plaid stockings are temporarily DOA.  Hopefully I will get the charts resized SOON.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Project 20: Lady's Mittens: Fancy Wave Stitch

I'm all moved into the new house and books, yarn and needles are unpacked.  Time for a new project.

"Lady's Mittens: Fancy Wave Stitch Up the Back of the Hand" published in Weldon's Practical Knitter (Thirty-Third Series, 1896) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 11.

"These mittens have a nice length of ribbing to go up the arm and therefore will keep the wrists comfortably warm; a pretty fancy knit wave stitch stripe runs up the back of the hand, but the palm and thumb are in plain stocking stitch.

"Required: 1 1/2 ozs. of navy blue Andalusian wool, or a 2-oz. packet of Victoria or other fine knitting yarn, and four No. 16 steel knitting needles."

I'm going to start with size 1 needles and Jamieson & Smith 2 ply Jumper weight yarn in a dark red.  Andalusian wool is somewhere between fingering and sport, so this should work.  I only have one skein of this color so fingers crossed it's enough.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Project 19: Baby's Pilch Finished

And here's Baby's Pilch.

The pants are knit in two pieces, then two seams are sewn from the top to the beginning of the leg shaping.  These seams are center front and back.  Leg openings are then sewn, leaving a diamond shaped opening for the gusset, which is knit in 2 triangular pieces, sewn together, then sewn into the crotch opening.  A little crochet edging is added (of course).

 I'm not sure if it would fit a small baby, after blocking it's 11" long from top ribbing to hem, and 11" wide.  The leg openings are about 7".   If I were to knit this one again (which I probably won't, it was pretty boring---rows and rows of garter stitch), I think I'd do it on smaller needles.  Seems like a tighter gauge would be better for a pair of soakers.

Don't have a baby handy to try these on, unfortunately.  But if one wanders by, I'll definitely snap a picture.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Project 19: Baby's Pilch

One half of Baby's Pilch is done.  It measures 9 1/2" from top to bottom, which is the size the original pattern specifies, so I think I'm safe with fingering weight yarn.  This looks like regular baby bottom size, as opposed to Baby Huey size on my first attempt.

The pilch is knit in 2 pieces, side seams sewn, then a gusset is knit for the crotch and sewn in.  Not a one piece project after all :-( 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Project 19: Baby's Pilch Reboot

HUGE.  The pilch measures 13.5" across (and it's made in 2 pieces), which I think would fit Baby Huey :-)

I'm going to try again with fingering weight yarn.

The pattern itself is knit in 2 pieces (front and back), not one piece as I originally thought.  It's 2x2 ribbing at the top, with an eyelet row halfway through the ribbing, to thread a ribbon through.  The pants are knit in garter stitch.  So pretty easy, mindless knitting.

Off to see what fingering weight yarn I haven't packed up yet!

ETA: Found some "Diana" sock yarn from Yarn Love.  Color is "Early Crocus", which is purple/pink/yellow/white variegated.  Will try this yarn, may make endless rows of garter stitch more fun:


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Weldon's Sale!

No affiliation, but here's a chance to get "Weldon's Practical Needlework" volumes on sale!

Interweave is offering their volumes of Weldon's at 40% off, a pretty good savings.  They also offer several "ebook" editions if you need instant gratification.

Sadly, Volume 3 isn't included.  The only one missing from my set and hard to find.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Project 19: Baby's Pilch or First Drawers

Pattern was published in Weldon's Practical Knitter Twenty-Eighth Series (1895), and republished in Volume 10 of Piecework's Series.

I'm going to be working from Volume 10 for the next couple of weeks, as it's the only Weldon's book I haven't packed in preparation for moving.

"The little garment represented in our engraving is excellent for a baby or young child, and will prevent many a chill.  It may be knitted with soft fingering wool, Beehive, or Saxony wool, and a pair of No. 9 or No. 10 bone knitting needles.  The length from the waist to the bottom of the leg is 9 1/4 inches"

Here in the US, these are more commonly called soakers, and they've made a comeback among moms who prefer cloth diapers over disposables.

I'll use DK weight yarn; 9 or 10 is equivalent to US 4 or 5 needles.  Looks like the pants are knit flat in one piece with some clever shaping at the crotch.

Project 18: Pincushion, Knitted Like a Lemon Finished

Here's my lemon, pretty cute!

My finished lemon is about 5 1/2" tall and about 9 1/2" around the widest point.  That may be larger than the original Weldon's pattern, but no dimensions were given so no telling how big their leman was.

This would make a very charming ornament for a Christmas Tree, or to use as a pincushion.  I'm not going to rewrite the pattern, as the original is pretty clear and simple to follow.