Saturday, 6 March 2010

Godey's 1877 Blue-Bag

This pattern comes from Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, Vol. XCIV - January to June, 1877.

It is very straightforward and easy to knit. I omitted the final set of five repeats without decreases as the bag was already the size it should be by the time I got to that part in the pattern so I just continued with the decreasing rows to the end.

The bag is knit in Blackberry Ridge Lace Weight wool (Medium Wedgewood) and is a lovely dusky light shade of blue and not as grey as it appears in the photographs. The dpn's needle size was 1.75mm/00US. The original pattern called for "Scotch fingering wool" and "four needles No. 16 (bell gauge {sic})." which I matched to the modern size.

The draw strings were crocheted on a 2mm/0US hook. No hook size was suggested in the pattern.

Please see the comments on the possible use of this "blue-bag" in the comments which follow or are attached to this post.


Kathleen said...

Pretty! How did you like the Blackberry Ridge yarn?

Chris Laning said...

I can't help but wonder whether this is supposed to be a bag to hold laundry bluing -- since I've seen that described as "a blue-bag" (with the hyphen). I would have expected it to be "a blue bag" if it were merely a bag that was blue in color.

OTOH, I'm not sure a blue-bag made of wool would really be very practical, since bluing was primarily used for white cottons/linens, which were washed in very hot or even boiling water.

In the absence of further description of what this is for, I suppose we can't know for sure.

One More Stitch said...

I really like Blackberry Ridge yarn. It is fine and works well for reproduction knitting. I am making a pair of late 18th/early 19th stockings in it, too, and it knits up beautifully. I also like BR's dyes as they look very natural and do not have a sheen to them.

As for the bluing - that is very interesting. I was struck by three things when making this bag: 1) was this just a knitting pattern included to keep up the knitting quota of the publication? It is rather inelegant for such an elegant age of detailed clothing, b) the use of the word "bag" over "purse" which seems more common then, and c) why would it be a few inches longer (I left out five repeats of the pattern) as it would make the bag longer rather than rounder in the illustration. I know, too, that we cannot always trust the illustrations in the 19th century publications.

I also wondered about the hyphen in the name. Thanks for the suggestion!

A Homely Heroine said...

Now that is really pretty, the colour and the detail esp.

silfert said...

Help me, Obi-Wan Ke-Knitter! You're... well, maybe not my ONLY hope, but certainly likely to be helpful. :)

I've been busting my brain, trying to find an equivalent for "Scotch fingering", as mentioned in another Godey's pattern (a shawl)from 1864.

I have the wool, I have the wheel, I have no clue as to how many plies should be involved. I'm gonna make one of the "new colors" they mention, black with violet. Should I go two and one, two and two, or say forget it and make a nice pair of socks?

Or a nifty blue-bag...

One More Stitch said...

I sort of winged it geographically on this one and hoped that "Scotch fingering" was another name for what the 19th century called "Shetland" According to the list of mid-19th century definitions compiled by Colleen Formby which can be found in several places including her Piecework article of March/April, 2009, the modern substitute for "Shetland" would be a two-ply laceweight.

Hope that helps. Socks or a blue-bag - either sounds nice. So does a shawl. I have been trying to decide on a mid-19th shawl for ages - just cannot make my mind up on which one yet!