I need to make a doily for the spinner’s challenge. This means I needed to find a pattern for a doily. The University of Southampton has digitized many of Richard Rutt’s books (that would the Rutt of the History of Hand Knitting), which is super fun. The collection is here. The first book listed is Myra’s knitting lessons. No.1. Ccontaining the rudiments of knitting and various useful patterns for this work (the double c is in the metadata). Myra comes from Myra and Son, the company which published the book. The book has no date on it; The University of Southampton has c1800 which is clearly too early—it probably comes from a vague date of 18?? in the cataloging record. The text refers to vulcanite needles, so must date after 1839.¹ The entire book is available as a secure PDF. I have no idea why they made it secure, but it means I can’t copy the out of copyright text.
There are two doilies in the book. I decided to make “No. 49. Design for a Pincushion.”
The pattern is of course not written quite like a modern pattern and it isn’t charted. I retyped the pattern, and made a non-secured PDF, along with some other relevant content from the original. I then put it into modern abbreviations and charted it (PDF). I am glad I did that because it became quite clear there were problems with the pattern. To begin with, the pattern has you make two points on each needle. It calls for 4 needles and says “3rd row.—Knit 1, make 1, knit 2, make 1, knit 1. Repeat on the other two needles.” A quick look at the picture will show the pattern requires five needles, with the pattern being repeated on the other three needles.
Below is the chart. You can see that various rows do not have the right number of stitches on them so it needs a bit of help.
1. The History of Knitting Pin Gauges By Sheila William. Melrose Press, 2006. Page 5.