Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Holiday Gift

In this season of exchanging gifts, here is one that I knit for a good friend and colleague who is also a superb knitter. Since I make so many interesting little objects from the past, this miniature ensemble could be a modern companion to some of my former projects.  
The Yarn Basket and its contents were made on 2.0mm needles. All of the yarns are Knit Picks’s Palette. The Yarn Basket’s pattern  is from Winter Wonderful, a booklet published by Knit Picks, with designs by Kerin Dimeler Laurence and Nina Isaacson. The basket is made in Sweet Potato and measures approximately 3” long and about 1 ½” square at the base. The knitting is in Whirlpool on toothpicks with glued-on beads for the knobs of the miniature knitting needles. The little cap is from the Jayne Cobb Hat Pin pattern, in Bison and Pimento, and is about ½” tall. The Icelandic Sweater is from Miniature Sweaters by Betty Lampen, is knit in Peony and Ivy and is just over 1 ¾” tall.
The little sock, 1 ¼” tall, is my own design, and is knit in Canary and Majestic.

As a finishing touch, I made a cord of various yarn scraps for a loop to go through the handles of the basket so it could become an ornament on the tree.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Knitted Nightcap from Weldon’s

This pattern is from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Eleventh Series, No. 46, 1889, and can be found in Interweave Press’s facsimile, Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Four, 2001.
I have been living with this nightcap for over ten years. I have knit it five times in all as it kept coming out in different sizes. The sizing problem lay first with the choice of cotton (unknown, label-less from my stash) and trying to knit with a weight that was too heavy for the very fine needles suggested by the pattern, “No. 16 steel knitting needles” (modern equivalent 1.75mm/US 00.) I then moved up to larger needles, 3mm/US 2-2.50, with DMC Baroque Crochet Cotton, and it came out far too large. Another very, very fine, again, label-less cotton in my stash yielded two baby’s sized versions on 3mm/US 2-2.50 and 2mm/US 0 needles. I finally decided to go back to the 19th century sized needles of the pattern.  J&P Coats Royale Classic Crochet Thread (Size 10) was the last choice of cotton and it seemed to be a near match for “Strutt’s knitting cotton, No. 12” as the finished piece looks close to the illustration in Weldon’s and it fits my head.

The cap’s crown is knit first and then seamed up the back. The “Strip of Knitting” that goes around the neck is just that – a long narrow piece that is sewn onto the lower part of the cap. The last part is the lace edging which runs around the entire cap. It is also knit separately, and then sewn on. “A string of crochet chain worked with double cotton and finished off with a tassel at the end” for each side completes the cap.
The pattern states that the cap could be made in “a lady’s size” or for “a gentleman” by using larger needles, “No. 14 or No. 15” (modern equivalent up to 1.75mm - 00 - 0), and “a coarser cotton…No. 8.”

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Four, Interweave Press, 2001

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Cross-stitch on 32 count linen, DMC Mouliné Spécial 25. The silhouette's pattern is my own design, measures approximately 5 ½” long, and is based on the image found in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.* 


Monday, 10 December 2012

Knitted Lace Collar No. 2 – Finished!

This pretty collar from “The Knitted Lace Collar Receipt Book,” “Arranged by Mrs. G.J. Baynes, “ “Fourth Edition,” “1846.” is finally off the needles. It is rather heavy and needed fairly stern blocking with pins at every point and a double row through the middle and inner edge. In spite of the pinning, not every point stretched out. The next time I wash and block the collar, I will have to make sure that the points are truly pointy. There are also a few points which are not perfectly knitted.

The two ends do not match, according to the pattern but, covered by a brooch in closing at the throat, would not show. The collar measures 22” in length and 2 ¾” in width.

The collar was knit in two pieces on 1.75mm/00 US, and sewn together with quilting thread.  A final set of fourteen rows should be knit along the top of the collar but I did not do this as the collar was quite wide already.

Former posts about each stage of this project may be found at