This pattern comes 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 “Berlin wool” and “four steel knitting needles No. 17” (modern equivalent 1.50mm/US 000.)
The first cap I knit was on the original sized needles and with Paternayan crewel wool. It came out much too small compared to the illustration although it could have been used as a point protector. The second one (and third) was in the denser Knit Picks Palette (Edamame, Pimento and Canary) but still on the original sized needles.
These caps “are useful for protecting the points of knitting needles when work is to be carried about or packed.” Once knitted, they cover small pieces of a divided wine cork with “cotton wool” stuffed in the “cap.” “Tufts” are added to the tops, and a braided/plaited cord joins the two caps as recommended.
The last line of the pattern suggests that “One little Punchinello cap, cork lined, makes a good shield for a steel crochet hook and may be united by its gay plait to a small bag or reticule in which to keep delicate fine work.”
The caps stand 2 ¼ ” tall (including the tuft) and are 3“ wide around at the middle section. The cord is 12” long. Two of my late 19th/early 20th century needles, which measure 7 ¾” long, are being held by the caps.
All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume Eleven, Interweave Press, 2004