Cable Knit Mitts with Crochet Cuff

Pretty and practical. Adapted by Deborah Pulliam for Piecework magazine. Original pattern from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 8.

The holiday season will soon be upon us. A pair of these charmers would make a great gift, especially with the price of heating oil these days!


Historic Knits: Victorian Drawers

A while back I wrote a  post about a knitting article on Suite101, with an adapted pattern for a medieval undershirt. For those readers who are members of Ravelry, there’s an interesting discussion about this garment here .

The pattern for these open crotch (oooh la la! those Victorians!) drawers is on the same site, with knitted lace edging and shaped legs. This pattern is original, from England. The knickers are open to ease the struggle of coping with long layers of clothing in the loo. Bagginess in the seat kept the opening from gapping. Of course, most drawers were probably sewn, from linen or cotton, rather than knitted.

Prior to the mid 19th century, “knicker(bockers)” were not commonly worn. The change in fashion to crinolines and hoop skirts, however, made them essential for modesty in case of a fall or a string wind.


Vintage Raglan V-neck sweater

1966 Bernat Yarns

click on picture for instructions:

I haven’ t made this one, so can’t offer comments. I found it in a stack of old knitting mags my mother-in-law gave me ages ago. But it lends itself to your choice of sport or worsted weight yarn. Click on image for instructions and photo.

Sport weight yarn:

  • 1 pair each size 3 and 5 (US) straight needles.
  • gauge: 6 sts = 1 inch; 8 rows = i inch on size 5 needles in stockinette.
  • Yarn requirements: sizes 10-12-14-16-18

# of 4 0z skeins 4- 5 -5 -6 -6

Worsted weight yarn:

  • 1 pair each size 5 and 8 (US) straight needles.
  • gauge: 5 sts = 1 inch; 7 rows = 1 inch on size 8 needles in stockinette.
  • yarn requirements: sizes 10-12-14-16-18

# 4 0z skeins 4- 5 -5- 5- 5

All directions written with the figures in the first set of parentheses for sports weight and in the 2nd set for worsted weight. When only 1 set of figures is given, it applies to both weights.

Vintage Gentlemen’s Muffatees

Gentlemen’s Muffatees

A Winter’s Gift for Ladies 1845
Two Needles, No. 14, 4 skeins of colored German lamb’s-wool, and 4 of white

Cast on 54 stitches; bring the wool forward, slip a stitch, and knit two stitches taken together; repeat the same to the end of the row; every row is the same; knit up one skein of colored wool, two of white, and finish the muffatee with one skein of colored wool; sew it up.

A vintage pattern from Handbook of Needlework, 1842


I’ve never made this pattern, but would try it with size 3 or 4 needles, sport weight yarn (one 2 oz. skein), adjusting the number of cast on stitches to size. For more information about what muffatees are, and a picture of a different set that I did make, click here:


Vintage Knits: 1830’s Night Cap

One of my absolutely favorite historic textile books is The Workwoman’s Guide, published by Old Sturbridge Village as a reproduction of the 1838 original. I’ve made  shawls, a twisted fringe, and muffatees from patterns in this resource, but they do require lots of “translation”, from the archaic terminology to the modern that we can understand.

 Franklin Habit, author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons, has made all the necessary adjustments for a gentleman’s night cap, and did a test drive. Don’t you love a man who knits? The full story, with pattern, is over at Knitty. It’s a beauty. If you have the patience to cast 208 stitches on to size 2.5mm, US size 0, needles, this is the pattern for you. The lace edging is lovely, and when you’ve  completed the borders, it’s fairly easy with lots of decreases. After Christmas, I may just try it myself.

Thank you kindly, Franklin, for doing us this great service!