KnittingThen and Now

In the 1880s, charts for knitting were unheard of, and written instructions made broad assumptions about the ability of the individual knitter. In the 1880s, the modern marvel was the telephone, which was in its infancy; no one would have even dreamed of electronic communication, the Internet, downloadable PDFs.

Open Ribbed Pattern

Square for Quilt Open Ribbed Pattern from Weldon's Practical Needlework, Volume 1.

At right is a page from the first volume of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, published about 1888 in London, with the instructions for Square  for Quilt, Open Ribbed Pattern. Unlike other patterns in this volume, this one is straightforward enough.

Enter the twenty-first century and the wonderful world of charts! The knitting chart shown here, which was created electronically, makes the task of knitting the Open-Ribbed Square so much easier. At a glance, you can tell whether you are to knit (in Weldon’s terminology, “plain”) or to slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front.

The Rabbit Medallion chart was designed for cross-stitch but can be used in a variety of techniques, including knitting. If you knit the rabbit, we’d love to see it! E-mail the image to [email protected].

These are just two of the projects included in the July/August 2012 issue of PieceWork that include charts. Others are Nancy Bush’s glorious Egyptian Socks, a stunning merino/silk scarf, and the Square for Quilt Foxglove Pattern.

Rabbit Medallion

As Laurie Sundstrom, who created the Foxglove and Open Ribbed quilt square charts, so aptly says, “[charts] would have been inconceivable to the designers, editors, and original readers of Weldon’s.”

Enjoy all of the charts, and the written instructions, in the July/August issue!