As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I like playing with ink, pens and paper as much as I do with yarns, fabric, threads, needles, stitches and frames. Here is another knitted penwiper, this time from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 125, Thirty-First Series (1896). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004.
The original pattern calls for “Strutt’s No. 8 knitting cotton (any colour but white) and four steel pins No. 16” (modern equivalent 1.75mm/US 00.) The handle is knit separately and sewn on. A small amount of tapestry/needlepoint yarn is also needed for the interior, and a ribbon for decoration. The penwiper’s outer shell, in the shape of a candle extinguisher, is knit from the wide rim upwards and rolls backwards on itself.
I used the pattern’s needles’ size at a gauge/tension of 12 stitches to the inch, and two skeins of DMC Mouliné Spécial 25 embroidery floss, No. 208 which is a mint green. The shaggy interior, made up of a tassel that is sewn to the top, is in Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply, Black. The pen’s nib is inserted into the extinguisher and the excess ink wiped off, or, the extinguisher wiper could be used before or after swiping with a rag. Either way, this little object is a decorative addition to one’s desk.
The penwiper measures 3” long from top to bottom and about 1 ¾” across the bottom rim. A five stitch band of 3” in length (for which instructions are given in the pattern) makes up the handle.
This was one of the most delightful historical patterns I have ever worked on. I don’t know why it lay abandoned, rim only, on its needles for over a year. It knit up very quickly and was finished off quickly, too, unlike three or four lacy, larger items that are doomed to languish on their needles for some time to come as after the first forty repeats or so of the pattern, they have become unbearably dull. Nevertheless, I like knitting lace in cotton in the summer – or so I keep telling myself……………….