Victorian and Edwardian Patterns

I’m currently working on 2 projects for historical sew monthly that require the use of knitting and crochet patterns written around the beginning of the 20th Century.

The crochet patterns aren’t too bad and I only needed to tweak them here and there to produce the lacy bits I need as embellishments. I will write up a modern version of them as a pdf download to go with the forthcomingpost… Once I finish the sewing part!

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However the knitting patterns are far more interesting to fathom out. I am currently swatching a lace border and am on my 4th cast on. The key problems are:

1. No needle sizes for the main section – take a large pair of wood or rubber needles and cast on… I tried to research the possible sizings and see if I could find anything about rubber knitting needles but drew a blank. My solution was to grab a size of the largest imperial wooden needles I own – size 0 or 7mm and try it out!

2. No tension / gauge stated – I decided to knit a few rows and then measure. The size of the mystery make was within the range I wanted so I went with it.

3. Obsolete yarns – I tried to Google but again drew a blank. I had some pre used pure wool in my stash so I  decided to use it. It’s somewhere between 4 ply and DK, which was very appropriate so I decided to try it and see how it knitted up. I’m happy enough with the outcome.

4. Inconsistent or Uncommon  Abbreviations and terminology – the book I am using, appears to contain patterns sent in by knitters who all have their own pattern writing style. The lady who wrote one of the 3 borders I am using even changes her thinking from one row to the next. The best approach I have come up with is to count my stitches a lot and write the pattern out in modern format on squared paper so I can see what I am knitting, plus keep checking to ensure the increases and decreases match up across the row.

I will write out a guide to using old knitting patterns in the next few weeks, explaining the abbreviations and how to approach the actual knitting.

Victorian and Edwardian Patterns

I’m currently working on 2 projects for historical sew monthly that require the use of knitting and crochet patterns written around the beginning of the 20th Century.

The crochet patterns aren’t too bad and I only needed to tweak them here and there to produce the lacy bits I need as embellishments. I will write up a modern version of them as a pdf download to go with the forthcomingpost… Once I finish the sewing part!

image

However the knitting patterns are far more interesting to fathom out. I am currently swatching a lace border and am on my 4th cast on. The key problems are:

1. No needle sizes for the main section – take a large pair of wood or rubber needles and cast on… I tried to research the possible sizings and see if I could find anything about rubber knitting needles but drew a blank. My solution was to grab a size of the largest imperial wooden needles I own – size 0 or 7mm and try it out!

2. No tension / gauge stated – I decided to knit a few rows and then measure. The size of the mystery make was within the range I wanted so I went with it.

3. Obsolete yarns – I tried to Google but again drew a blank. I had some pre used pure wool in my stash so I  decided to use it. It’s somewhere between 4 ply and DK, which was very appropriate so I decided to try it and see how it knitted up. I’m happy enough with the outcome.

4. Inconsistent or Uncommon  Abbreviations and terminology – the book I am using, appears to contain patterns sent in by knitters who all have their own pattern writing style. The lady who wrote one of the 3 borders I am using even changes her thinking from one row to the next. The best approach I have come up with is to count my stitches a lot and write the pattern out in modern format on squared paper so I can see what I am knitting, plus keep checking to ensure the increases and decreases match up across the row.

I will write out a guide to using old knitting patterns in the next few weeks, explaining the abbreviations and how to approach the actual knitting.

Trauma Teddies for the Middle East

Trauma Teddies in Action

Image from Teddies for Tragedies

As we are all too aware from the news, the situation in the Middle East is pretty dire – I don’t want to get into the politics of the situation, that’s not the aim of this post – so please refrain from leaving politically motivated comments!

As with any conflict there are children involved, and some of them have seen things, heard things and experienced things that we as adults wouldn’t even want to think about. Many have lost their homes, their toys and perhaps even their entire family. And its hard to imagine what would bring them comfort…. but there is something – a small knitted or crocheted bear to love can make all the difference.

And that is where you, dear readers can help…. we all have that dreaded thing called a yarn stash… it lurks in cupboards, bags and boxes, and often we end up with odds and ends we can’t think how to use up…… so grab your hook, a pair of needles and some DK yarn, download one of the free patterns below and get clicking!

And once you have made your bear, (if you are local to Southampton, I may be able to collect it), then please post it to the address below, where the lovely people concerned will make sure the bear is well loved by a small person who needs him or her:

The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU32 9DL phone no. 01730 267673.

I’m planning to hold a couple of social crafty sessions for friends so we can have a natter and make our bears – why not host a Teddy Making Party of your own or ask people at a group you attend or at your local church if they would like to join you?

PATTERNS

teddypattern crochet– Please note this is a pattern I have converted from the knitting pattern – I would appreciate it if you could let me know if I have made any mistakes so I can improve it!

teddypattern knitting  – this pattern is supplied by http://www.teddiesfortragedies.org.uk/

Making it Your Own – Colour 2, knitted stripes

This time we’re focusing on knitting. …and having a foray into the video world!

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As you can see there are various approach knitting stripes. Today we’ll focus on changing colour on the right side of your work using an even number of rows.

2 row striped wristlet

Materials
2 oddments of yarn – A&B and appropriate sized needles

1. Cast on 15sts in colour A and knit 2 rows

2. Change to colour B as follows:

Insert needle into 1st stitch knit wise

Wrap colour A around needle
Leaving a 3in tail of yarn, wrap colour B over the needle too.

Knit the first stitch with both colours together.

Drop colour A and continue in colour B to end of row.
Turn and knit with B to last stitch

Insert needle knitwise through both loops of yarn for last stitch, wrap yarn over and knit.

3. Change back to yarn A by dropping yarn B and starting next row in A. Work 2 rows

4. Continue working 2 rows in each colour until wristlet fits comfortably around your wrist. Cast off.

5. Sew in ends and sewcast on and cast off edges together.

To see a video explaining how to change colour please visit http://youtu.be/6no7MDvBxFg

This is my first attempt at a video tutorial and I’m looking to improve them greatly so any constructive suggestions are welcome 🙂

4kcbwday6 A Tool To Covet

Hmmm today’s post is not easy as its hard to identify a physical crafting tool I prize above all others. Sorry for the lack of images but my tools collection and I are some 120 miles apart today. … Why? Well some have been given to me by lovely people who have passed on the story of the hooks or needles and their owners. One friend passed on her mum’s lace hooks shortly after she died for example and as I knew her mum I think of her each time I use them, even though they are not the best quality hooks out there. .. Other items I value because they’ve opened crafting up to those who appeared excluded due to physical impairment. Extra chunky needles that can be tucked into armpits or splints so someone with the use of one hand can have a go at knitting.  Knitting looms that have opened up all sorts of horizons for my headway group, discovered in a pound shop. Not my first choice of tool personally but they’ve changed lives. .. The huge bag of needles of all shapes and sizes I bought for £5 from a local charity is another plus.  I often give them to people who want to learn but lack the finances. Yes I do have the odd pair I won’t part company with as they’re perfect for my recycling projects but again no one glaring favourite I think the closest I come to a tool I love is within my crochet hook tub. I collect hooks from magazines, sales, charity shops and pound shops so that there is   always something to suit everyone In a taster class.  From basic 4mm hooks to chunky rubbery plastic kids hooks I usually have something for everyone.  But there is one hook I prefer to use if possible. … a pink, metallic, double ended 5 and 3.5 mm hook I picked up on a magazine somewhere.  Its weighted just right for me and is lovely and smooth to use. But as I write this I realise that the tool I most value is my ability to hunt down bargains and find tools that wuden access to crafting to all those who want to have a go….