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.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Queen Victoria's Journals

A message from HM Queen Elizabeth II

In this the year of my Diamond Jubilee, I am delighted to be able to present, for the first time, the complete on-line collection of Queen Victoria's journals from the Royal Archives.
These diaries cover the period from Queen Victoria's childhood days to her Accession to the Throne, marriage to Prince Albert, and later, her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Thirteen volumes in Victoria's own hand survive, and the majority of the remaining volumes were transcribed after Queen Victoria's death by her youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, on her mother's instructions.
It seems fitting that the subject of the first major public release of material from the Royal Archives is Queen Victoria, who was the first Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.
It is hoped that this historic collection will make a valuable addition to the unique material already held by the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University, and will be used to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the past.
Queen Elizabeth II signatureYou can access the journals here until June 30th.  It's a rare chance to read documents that are normally only available to scholars.

I enjoy looking up today's date and seeing what the Queen was up to; there's a lot of "woke at 8, rose at 9, went for a carriage ride in the park".  Sounds much like my daily routine :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Project 17: Baby's Knitted Hood finished

Teddy poses wearing the "Baby Barrister Wig".  He looks a little cranky; perhaps he doesn't enjoy wearing pink...

This turned out pretty cute.  I opted for a silk ribbon rather than a crocheted chain with tassels for the hood, and left off the bow on top.  I also simplified the crocheted edging; the original pattern is for double and treble crocheted edging, which I thought was too wide.  I went with a double crochet edging.

Hope Sarah likes it!  And I hope she will send me a photo of her baby adorned in the BBW after she makes her arrival.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Project 17: Baby's Knitted Hood

 From Weldon's Practical Knitter, Third Series (1886) and republished in Weldon's Practical Needlework Volume 1.

" A very pretty hood in puffed knitting, and quickly and easily made."

Katie's good friend Sarah is expecting a girl.  And Sarah is an attorney.  Who wants a Baby's Barrister Wig.  How could I say no?

I'm using two shades of pink:
Cascade 220 Sport and Shibui Staccato Sock:

The original calls for Single Berlin Wool and Double Berlin Wool in the same shades, and "long wooden knitting needles No. 8."  I think US #5 needles should work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Project 16: Lace Pattern II

Here's The Cosy Scarf with Lace Pattern I and starting on Lace Pattern II.  The second lace pattern is a pretty easy 16 row pattern of yarn over/knit 2 together/ssk eyelets.  Which will be repeated forever :-)


Remember when I posed for this picture, wearing the "Barrister's Wig" and doing my best Queen Victoria impersonation?  It paid off, people.

I received this email today:

"I came across your wonderful blog while searching for Queen Victoria lookalikes on Google.  Myself and two colleagues are producing a book called Forgotten Lancashire, a spoof local history of the County of Lancashire in England.  This requires a picture of a very poor Queen Victoria lookalike, and we would love to include your picture in it (it would only be about an inch high, unfortunately!).

Do we have your permission to use it and, if so, to whom should we credit the picture?"

Who could resist the chance to appear in a spoof history book?  Not I.  Look for me (one inch high) at your local bookshop.

On a less ridiculous  note, I've been asked to be the guest blogger for an issue of Piecework's "Traditions Today" blog.  My post will be published sometime in July.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Project 16: A Cosy Scarf Lace Pattern I Finished

Here's the finished lace pattern #1.  Quite pretty and simple.  I will start on the second lace pattern tonight, which I think is an easy yarn over pattern.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project 16: Cosy Scarf Lace Pattern I

Here's the first lace pattern, 34 rows, repeated 3 times.  So far, so good.  I love the color of the merino/silk yarn.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Project 16: A Cosy Scarf

I think this is a stole rather than a scarf.  118 stitches wide and each side is 470+ rows.  That would make a pretty wide & long scarf.

I swatched with a couple of yarns from the stash:

Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift using US #6 needles.  Good stitch definition but I decided I wanted something much lighter in weight.

Madeline Tosh Lace in the "William Morris" colorway I've been knitting with for the last month (my failed 9 Point Star Shawl)  and #3 needles.  Love the look, but I don't know if I can face this yarn for another project.  Decided William Morris needs to go back in the stash for a while.

I have a lovely skein of hand-dyed yarn I bought on the Rose City Yarn Crawl last month.  It's from Tactile Fiber Arts Studio and is a lace weight 50/50 merino/silk blend.  I have 1090 yards, which should be enough for this project.  The color is "Dew" a really pretty soft blue.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fail and Project 16: A Cosy Scarf

I give up.  This shawl does NOT want me to knit it.  At all.

You don't know how many times I've ripped and re-knit, charted and re-charted.  And this shawl still will not allow itself to be knit correctly.

So today I ripped it all out and rewound the ball.  Hopefully this yarn will get knit into my next project...

Which is "A Cosy Scarf".  Taking a bit of a side trip here.  This is a Weldon's pattern, but from a bit later period.  I found it in a Weldon's Encyclopedia, circa 1920 (the book wasn't dated, but the illustrations and projects put it in that period)

It's a pretty lace scarf, knit in "Fine Shetland Wool" on No. 8 Needles (today's US size 6)

The scarf is knit in 2 sections and grafted at the center, which allows the lace to "face" the right way on both ends of the scarf.

I'm not sure what yarn I'll use for this.  Off to check the stash.

Off to start charting the lace.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Little Update

I'm busy finishing my third (and final) project for an upcoming issue of Piecework magazine.  It's coming along nicely, and I should be back to work on the Shawl of Doom shortly.

I'm so excited to see my articles & projects published!  I've been a Piecework subscriber since the first issue, so it's especially exciting to be included in their magazine with my "Year of Weldon's" project.  The three articles and accompanying projects will be in future issues (the first project is scheduled for their July/August 2012 issue). 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Shawl Is Still Giving Me Fits

This project is refusing to play nice and allow me to continue knitting.

I've ripped out rounds 118-124 more times than I can count, revised the charts after determining that the original instructions are wrong (rows 122 and 124 are the same, and Row 120 seems to be incorrect as well).  Still can't get the stitch count right.  So frustrating!

I'm setting this aside again for a bit.  I'll probably have to rip out more rounds and that prospect has me in a foul mood.  Tomorrow, I'm going to find another project to work on while I decide how much I want to rip and reknit the shawl.  Grrr.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Project 15: Gent's Balaclava Cap Finished

Done, and an easy pattern! The head is shaped with short rows, and there’s one seam, under the chin. The hood looked really small, but it is very stretchy and with blocking looks much bigger.
Now to find a gent with a handlebar mustache to model it for me :-)

Not sure if I'll "update" and publish the instructions for this, as the original is well-written and pretty straightforward.