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, 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.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Project 18: Pincushion, Knitted Like a Lemon Progress

I am back on the pincushion, after a detour to knit a commission project and pack up boxes for our big move next week.

  I'm using fingering weight yarn from the stash in lemon yellow and a slightly variegated green for the leaves.

The "lemon" is cleverly shaped with short rows, and is worked in garter stitch.  I need to dig some stuffing out of one of my boxes.  Just noticed my lemon is upside down in the photo :-)

5 leaves are knit, have finished 1.  Should be able to finish my lemon tomorrow.