I do research on and recreate garments and objects from the past. My sources range from original items to photographs in books, periodicals, art works, literary references and period patterns. My research also involves the history of knitting needles and related implements.
The portrait in the corner is by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) of Elisabeth Alexeyevna (?), location and ownership unknown.
Knitted counterpane patterns were many and varied during the 19th century. Squares, circles, octagons, triangles, etc. with lace, raised leaves and all kinds of textures suggestive of patchwork and appliqued quilts. The clamshell pattern above (http://www.knitting-and.com/knitting/patterns/counterpanes/shell.htm), unblocked, is knit on 2.25mm steel needles in white DMC Baroque cotton. Each clamshell measures about 5" across and 3 1/2" down.
The green Narrow Vandyke (sic) edging sample is knit on 3.00mm steel needles in thin crochet cotton. The pattern is from Exercises in Knitting (1856) by Cornelia Mee (http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/21032)