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.

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!