The Stocking-Knitter's Manual_ A Handy Book for the Work-Table
The Table of Contents has been created by the Transcriber.
Some minor changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.
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A Handy Book for the Work-Table.
MRS. GEORGE CUPPLES.
JOHNSTONE, HUNTER, AND CO.
|Directions for Working the different parts of a Stocking||5|
These Patterns were compiled for the benefit of a friend,who had some pupils; and she having found them of service,and a saving of time, when engaged in teaching others, thewriter has ventured to lay them before the public, in the hopethat they may be of further use.
Now that so much time is occupied with the higherbranches of education, and only an hour or so allotted toinstruction in sewing, knitting, etc., the pupil leaves schoolin general with a very imperfect understanding of how toshape a stocking. It is not always convenient to get an oldwoman to assist at the 'turning of the heel;' and manyparents cannot themselves knit—the last generation beingsadly behind in this simple but useful art.
The present manual is intended for the benefit of thosewho already know a little about stocking-knitting, but whoare not very sure of their own unassisted powers; and itwill also prove serviceable to the teacher, as she may see ata glance how many stitches, etc., to cast on for the differentsizes required by her pupils. In following the directionshere given, the young knitter is advised not to be alarmed atthe appearance of the stocking when first cast on, imaginingthat it is too wide; for as the knitting advances, the workbecomes tighter of itself, till the top-band is finished. Besides,it is necessary to have a good many stitches on at first, whichare gradually to be taken in during the process of shapingthe leg, as the stocking is much narrower at the ankle thanat the top.
Though the loom has done away in a great measure withthe importance of stocking-knitting, still it is a pleasant andprofitable, if homely, accomplishment; and, moreover, afruitful resource, by way of pastime, for old age. It is to behoped that at no time will this thrifty household acquirementbe allowed to fall into disuse, for the sake of more ornamentaloccupations.
It may be interesting to know, that the art of knitting isfirst noticed about the sixteenth century; and, according tosome, originated in Scotland, whence it found its way intoFrance. It is related that, in 1564, a certain Wm. Ryder, anapprentice of Master Thomas Burdett, having seen accidentally,in the shop of an Italian merchant, a pair of knittedworsted stockings, made a pair exactly like them, which hepresented to William, Earl of Pembroke, and that these werethe first stockings knitted in England of woollen yarn.
Though the open-work patterns are not taken directly fromany book, the writer feels bound to acknowledge, that she ismuch indebted to the instruction she herself received, througha valued teacher, from Mrs. Gaugain's excellent Knitting andCrochet Book, which is, however, too well known to requireany recommendation.
A. J. C.
The Leg.—The shaping of this part of the stockingis effected by means of 'intakes,' which are made byslipping off the 3d stitch on the right hand side of theseam-stitch without knitting it; then knit the next stitch,and take the slipped stitch over it; knit the next. Onthe left side, knit the 1st, slip the 2d, knit the 3d, andtake the slipped stitch over. The rounds that are knittedbetween each intake must be quite distinct from it; thatis, the round with the intakes on it is not to be counted.To make a good stocking, it is necessary to be particularwith this part, that the shaping may be gradual.
The Heel.—When the ankle is finished, divide thestitches on to three of the knitting needles. Put onehalf of the stocking on to one needle, with the seam-stitchin the centre, and divide the other half equally onto the other two needles. For instance, if there be 61stitches on the round, place 15 on each side of theseam-stitch—in all 31—on one needle, and 15 upon eachof the other two. These two short rows are left till theheel is done. The long row should now be knitted 1plain row, turn back, and knit it pearl. Work thus tilla sufficient length is worked, being careful to slip offthe first stitch of each row without knitting, as theseform the stitches to be lifted in forming the foot. Thetop of the heel can now be worked in any of the differentmodes now described.
French Heel.—Begin it with the plain row, slip thestitch next the seam-stitch on the left side, knit the 2d, takethe slipped stitch over, and knit the next, turn back, and knit2 pearl and the seam-stitch. Then pearl 2 stitches together,knit 1 pearl and turn back. On the next row, slip the 2dstitch on the left of the seam, and knit the next; take it over,and knit 1 plain stitch, turn back, always increasing 1 stitchon each side of the seam-stitch. When the heel is requiredto be wide, this pattern is very suitable.
Dutch Heel.—Slip the 5th stitch on the left side of theseam, knit the 6th, and take the slipped stitch over; turnback, and pearl the 5th and 6th together, at the other side.In small stockings, the 3d and 4th stitches; this makes atighter heel.
Common Heel.—After a sufficient number of rows areknitted in the length of the heel, cast off the stitches, andsew it up very carefully. Though some people like it, it isnot so suitable as the other two, as the sewing is apt to hurtthe foot.
Preparations for Knitting the Foot.—Havingfinished the heel, proceed to pick up the stitches at theedge, beginning at the left side, with the needle onwhich the heel stitches are, knitting them as you liftthem. With the fourth needle work off all the stitcheson the two front needles. Now pick up the stitches onthe right side of the heel; and having done that, workwith the same needle to the centre of the heel. Theseam-stitch is stopped here. In picking up the stitches,those that were left after knitting the top should becounted in. For example, if 30 stitches are required,and 9 have been left on each side of the seam, pick uponly 21 on each side. The stocking is now in positionfor forming the gusset.
The 'Gusset' of the Foot.—Having picked upthe stitches, and knitted round again to the right handside of the back of the foot, knit the 1st stitch, slip the2d, knit the 3d, and take the slipped stitch over. Onthe left hand needle, slip the 3d last stitch, knit thenext, and take the slipped stitch over, and knit the last.Knit a plain round between every intake.
Note.—In knitting the plain part of the foot, leave offworking the seam-stitch, and if the work should appear looseat the beginning or ends of the needles, change the stitchesby knitting off a few on to the neighbouring needle; but careshould be taken to replace them in the same position as theywere in at the finishing of the gusset, as the intakes mustcorrespond exactly with the back intakes of the toe.
Another Way.—Having picked up the stitches, work 3stitches off the first front needle. Then take another needle,and work off all the stitches on the two front needles, withthe exception of the 3 last. With another needle work offthe 3 left stitches, and proceed to pick up the right side ofthe heel. In doing the intakes, knit together the 3d and 4thlast stitches on the left side of the heel, and on the right slipthe 3d. Knit the 4th, and take the slipped stitch over. Putback the 3 stitches after finishing the gusset.
Another Way of Turning the Heel andKnitting the Gusset.—This mode is recommendedwhere the wearer has a high instep or a stout foot. In dividingthe stitches for the heel, place from 4 to 8 stitches more,according to size, on the front of the foot, and fewer on theheel. For example, if there are 89 stitches on, place 20 oneach side of the seam, and 48 on the front of the foot. Beforebeginning the intakes, increase 6 stitches on the 2dround at the back of the foot. Begin to increase about themiddle of the left needle if the stocking is small, and a littlenearer to the end if a large one. Make 1, knit 3 stitches;make 1, knit 3; make 1, knit 3. Then knit across the frontto the right side of the back of the foot. Knit 3 plain, make1; knit 3, make 1; knit 3, make 1. Knit round to thiscorner, and begin the intakes, same as described in eitherof the preceding ways. There will be from 4 to 8 stitchesmore, after finishing the gusset, than at the ankle.
The Toe.—Begin the intakes at the right hand cornerof the long needle, or front of the foot. Knit the 1st,slip the 2d, knit the 3d, and take the slipped stitch over.Knit across to the end of the row, slip the 3d last stitch;knit the 2d, and take the slipped stitch over; knit thelast. Do the same at the back, but only at the rightand left hand corners. There must be no intakes in thecentre of the foot. Proceed thus, with a plain roundalternately, till you have reduced it to the number specifiedin the Patterns. Place the needles together, andwork the front and the back rows off at the same time.Then cast off with the next row.
In measuring the work, use an inch measure, and lay thestocking under it flat on the table. Except where particularlyspecified, measure the leg independent of the top-band, andthe foot from the last intake at the gusset.
As children invariably knit tightly, the needles ought to bechosen of a size coarser, to obviate this tendency. If, however,they should happen to work loosely, it would be