Monday, 30 September 2013

Quilt for September

 This quilt has two different toiles on each side. One side has prints of 18th century American themes such as George Washington crossing the Delaware. I bought this piece of material as a scrap at a quilt show sometime in the 1990s, I believe, and that was all there was so it determined the size of the quilt. The piece did not have a manufacturer’s stamp on it so I have no idea who produced it.

The reverse is a piece that I bought a few years later. The age stains over the 18th century bucolic print are part of the print so as to make the material look old. I never made a note of the manufacturer so, unfortunately, I cannot identify it.

The quilt measures 55 ½” long and just over 38 ½ “ wide. It is hand finished with a knife edge border. The hand quilting is done in the lozenge pattern which is a slightly elongated diamond shape.

Famous Knitters – Betty Rubble

I am posting this today, just for fun!  The Flintstones, a cartoon series, officially began on September 30, 1960, although, according to my limited research, there had been a pilot show in 1959.

Famous Knitters - Deborah Kerr

Deborah Kerr, CBE (September 30, 1921 – October 16, 2007)

Pictured here with Stewart Granger, she is not knitting but involved in wool winding.

A very early photo in a fabulous Fair Isle pullover.*

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Famous Knitters - Greer Garson

Greer Garson, CBE (29 September 1904 – 6 April 1996)

Interesting knitting container - I wish I could see more of it.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dice Pattern Pence-Purse in Knitting and Crochet

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 called for “coral or Andalusian wool” and needles, No. 16, whose modern equivalent is 1.75mm/US 00. The edges are crocheted with a 19th century sized “bone crochet hook, No. 12.”
As with most 19th century patterns, there is no gauge/tension stated in the pattern. There are also no stated finished dimensions. The pattern is written entirely in text and there are no charts. There is, however, an illustration.
The original instructions for the crocheted edge are much more detailed than the single crochet stitch I worked around the purse.
The interior is stranded and, according to the original pattern, should be treated with a “very weak paste” and left to dry so as to create an inside surface. I lined this purse with imitation silk.
The finished purse measures 3” tall and 1 ½” wide (body only, not counting the crocheted edge.) It was knit on 1.75/US 00 needles with Knit Picks Palette in Bison and Whirlpool. Its diminutive size was useful for carrying a few small coins although not too many pennies from this era would have fit in the purse. I do have various coins from the 19th century, and had wanted to feature them with this purse but I have hidden them away so well, I cannot, at the moment, find them.

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Interweave Press, 2004

Friday, 20 September 2013

Famous Knitters – Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren (September 20, 1934 - )

One more time:  Sophia Loren – that says it all!

Love those tights!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Famous Knitters – Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall (September 16, 1924 - )

A legend, associated with so many other legends.

She may not be knitting here but she seems to be holding some knitting, perhaps from the basket at her feet. No matter – there is her signature elegance, the sewing basket and radio are interesting, and the dog is adorable.

Another great pair of shoes, too!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Porcupine Knitting for a Purse

I have several 19th century purses and bags on the needles. This one, the smaller one, is a purse in Porcupine knitting, and is a copy of one in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (

The pattern is from A Winter Gift for Ladies Being Instructions in Knitting, Netting and Crotchet (sic) Work. Containing the Newest and Most Fashionable Patterns. From the Latest London Edition Revised and Enlarged by An American Lady. Philadelphia: G.B. Zieber & Co. 1848.This book is available from

This purse has been pictured twice*, that I know of, with the striped bag I am making that is also from the V&A’s collection.** The entry on the museum’s page does not give any measurements but, from the photographs in the two publications in which it appears, the Porcupine purse is shorter than the striped bag and considerably narrower.

The American Lady states that “Four fine needles” are needed but no specific size is stated. She also suggests “netting silk” and “one string of gold beads.” I am using 1.25mm/US 0000 needles and they are fine.

The purse in the V&A was knit, according to its description, “in silk threads” and “lined with green silk.” I am knitting the purse with three strands of DMC 25 Mouliné Spécial embroidery floss (934, 937, 754, 725, 3712 and Ecru) and am not putting beads on the purse.

I am making a larger version in tandem, using Sally Pointer’s Wicked Woollens’s pattern*** which is a fairly faithful adaptation of the original pattern, and calls for 2.00mm/US 0 needles and fingering weight yarn. I chose Knit Picks’s Palette in Ivy, Currant, Blush, Mustard, Peony and Blue Note Heather, luckily all in my stash. Some of the colours are faithful to the purse in the V&A but I changed a green to currant and the white accent colour to a blue.  As with the smaller purse, I will not be putting beads on this one.

There is a considerable difference in the sizes. The little bag is coming out at 4 ¼” around or almost 2” flat. The length, so far, at just over halfway knit, is just about 3 ½” from the needles to one of the pointed tips. The larger bag is 9” around, 4” flat and 5 ¾” long so far.  I still have seven more sections to knit on each purse. When finished, they will be  is turned inside out and the honeycomb sections will then be pointed. Linings, drawstring handles and some finishing touches on the bottom of the purses will make them ready for use.

*Knit One, Purl One – Historic and Contemporary Knitting from the V&A’s Collection by Frances Hinchcliffe, Department of Textiles and Dress, London: Precision Press, 1985 and Miller’s Collecting Textiles by Patricia Frost, London: Octopus Publishing Group, Ltd., 2000