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.
This useful little item is from “ Chapter XI, Knitting” in the The Workwoman’s Guide by A Lady (1838), (London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., Stationers’ Hall Court, 1838.)
No needle size, gauge/tension or material is suggested apart from the colours black and red. I used 3mm needles and KnitPicks’s Palette in Black and Pimento. The edges are plain knitted and the interior is in the recommended “embossed hexagon-stitch” whose pattern is “No. 14” in this section of the book.
The finished object meastures 4” across by 2 ½” down.
Two identical pieces were to be knitted and sewn together. I knitted both in one piece and folded them over to “Double it like a book” and sewed “a bit of ribbon down the inside, under which may be passed bits of silk or rag to wipe the pens upon.” This double or even triple layer doubled over would help to keep one’s fingers, hands, cuffs, work, furniture, carpets, etc., free of ink stains. I can appreciate this only too well, having spent a lifetime in the company of ink and pens, and many accidents concerning drippy pens and spills from overturned or improperly capped bottles of ink.