Richmond Gloves to Knit
Are you looking for a truly special pair of gloves to knit for yourself or as a gift? Cast on this adaptation of a nineteenth-century pair of gloves by Lesley O’Connell Edwards. The ingenious construction of the Richmond Gloves features a double layer of fabric to keep out the chill. Here’s Lesley to tell you more about the original pattern.
The Richmond glove exists only as a set of knitting instructions written by Miss H. P. Ryder of Richmond, England, probably in the 1860s, but no publication date has been traced. It was published by Hurworth in Richmond and Kent in London, cost sixpence, and was available from “all booksellers, Berlin wool repositories &c.”
It is a relatively small printed card about 6¼ inches (16 cm) high and 4¼ inches (11 cm) wide. The glove’s construction is ingenious—its double layers are knitted in fine yarn with fine needles; the lower layer is a fully fashioned glove complete with fingers, while the upper one is fashioned to go over the hand but without fingers.
The instructions are based on Miss H. P. Ryder’s pattern for the Richmond glove. I used a “heavy” laceweight modern yarn, which is similar to Berlin wool and will also work with the finer needles (no.15) suggested for Andalusian wool. Unlike Miss Ryder, I have used the same needle size throughout, as I felt the finger tips were fine enough using those needles.
- Blacker Yarns Pure Blue-Faced Leicester Laceweight (100% Bluefaced Leicester wool; 383 yd [350 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): ivory tree coral, 2 balls
- Needles Size 0 (2 mm): straight and set of doublepointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge
- Markers (m)
- Stitch holders
- Waste yarn for provisional CO
- Tapestry needle
Gauge: 39 sts and 52 rnds = 4″ in St st.
Finished Size: 6½” glove circumference and 11″ long from center of gauntlet to tip of middle finger.
To make Lesley O’Connell Edwards’s “Richmond Gloves to Knit” and read her companion article, “The Richmond Glove and Its Creator, Henrietta Pulleine Ryder,” pick up a copy of PieceWork March/April 2018, our 25th-Anniversary issue.
Lesley O’Connell Edwards lives in Worcestershire, United Kingdom, with two cats and one husband. She enjoys exploring Victorian knitting patterns and studying the ingenious construction methods that sometimes appear in them as light relief from her explorations of knitting history under the Tudors. A former editor of the U. K. Knitting and Crochet Guild journal, Slipknot, she is currently studying for a master’s degree in English Local History at Oxford University.
Featured Image: The ingenious construction—a double-layer glove made in fine yarn on fine needles with the lower layer a fully fashioned glove complete with fingers, while the upper one is fully fashioned over the hand but without fingers—will astound family and friends!
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