Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pincushion, Knitted Like a Lemon

 This project can be recommended as one of those “Quick! I need a gift for tomorrow” kinds. In spite of that, it has been languishing for some years in my box of UFOs from 19th century, although mostly due to the choice of yarn. The lemon pieces can be knit in a hour or so and the leaves in less than that.  Sewing it all together took me just over an hour when I finally sat down and did it.

This pattern comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 114, Twenty-Eighth Series (1895). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Interweave Press, 2004. The text states that the pincushion would be “a novel ornament for a drawing-room table, ” that it is “also suitable and pretty to hang on a Christmas tree, and “that a plate full of these useful trifles will form an attractive addition to a stall at a bazaar and realise a fair percentage of profit.”*
The original pattern calls for “single Berlin wool” in yellow and green and “a pair of No. 12 and a pair of No. 16 steel needles (modern equivalents 2.50mm / US2 and 1.75mm / US 00.) I made three lemon sections in Paternayan crewel wool but felt the shade of yellow was not lemony enough. The pieces sat around for a few years until I found KnitPick’s Palette in Canary which worked out much better. I also discarded the green shade of crewel wool selected for the leaves and, instead, used KnitPick’s Palette in Ivy.  Both the sections and the stem were knit on the designated sizes of needles. The little loop at the bottom of the lemon is a tight twist.
The lemon, according to the pattern, is knit in five sections and five leaves are knit for the top as well as a stalk. Five sections for the lemon does not, however, work out, so I only made four, putting the fifth section down to a misprint as four pieces creates a mirror set.
The pincushion measure 4” long in body and 6” around, with a tension/gauge of 7 ½” stitches to the inch.  It is stuffed with fleece that has been picked and carded.
*{Note: All quotations are from the facsimile edition of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, published by Interweave Press, 2004.}


Renee Anne said...

I can see people wanting to make those around the turn of the century. It's cute and I would hang it on my tree...but I'm weird like that. We also have a couple pickles that hang on our tree.

karen! said...

Like! And I agree that the lemon would make a great Christmas tree ornament.

One More Stitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
One More Stitch said...

There are more food-y things from the 19th century on the needles and coming soon!