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.

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.