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Title: The Ladies' Work-Table Book

Author: Anonymous

Release date: July 12, 2009 [eBook #29382]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Julia Miller and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


Transcriber’s Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of these changes is found at the end of the text.













If it be true that “home scenes are rendered happy or miserable in proportion to the good or evil influence exercised over them by woman—as sister, wife, or mother”—it will be admitted as a fact of the utmost importance, that every thing should be done to improve the taste, cultivate the understanding, and elevate the character of those “high priestesses” of our domestic sanctuaries. The page of history informs us, that the progress of any nation in morals, civilization, and refinement, is in proportion to the elevated or degraded position in which woman is placed in society; and the same instructive volume will enable us to perceive, that the fanciful creations of the needle, have [iv]exerted a marked influence over the pursuits and destinies of man.

To blend the useful, with the ornamental and to exhibit the gushing forth of mind, vitalised by the warm and glowing affections of the heart, is the peculiar honor and sacred destiny of woman. Without her influence, life would be arrayed in sables, and the proud lords of creation would be infinitely more miserable and helpless than the beasts that perish. To render then those “terrestrial angels” all that our fondest wishes could desire, or our most vivid imaginations picture, must be, under any circumstances, a pleasing and delightful employment; while for a father or a brother to behold her returning all the care bestowed upon her, by the thousand offices of love, to the performance to which she alone is equal, is doubtless one of the most exalted sources of human felicity.

Providence has, in a remarkable manner, adapted woman’s tastes and propensities to the station she was designed to occupy in the scale of being. Tender and affectionate, it is her highest bliss to minister to the wants, the convenience, or the pleasure of those she loves; and hence, her inventive powers have been, in all ages, called into early and active exercise, in the fabrication of those articles calculated to accomplish those desirable ends. Amongst these, Useful and Ornamental [v]Needlework, Knitting, and Netting, occupy a distinguished place, and are capable of being made, not only sources of personal gratification, but of high moral benefit, and the means of developing in surpassing loveliness and grace, some of the highest and noblest feelings of the soul.

To become an expert needle-woman should be an object of ambition to every fair one. Never is beauty and feminine grace so attractive, as when engaged in the honorable discharge of household duties, and domestic cares. The subjects treated of in this little manual are of vast importance, and to them we are indebted for a large amount of the comforts we enjoy; as, without their aid, we should be reduced to a state of misery and destitution of which it is hardly possible to form an adequate conception. To learn, then, how to fabricate articles of dress and utility for family use, or, in the case of ladies blessed with the means of affluence, for the aid and comfort of the deserving poor, should form one of the most prominent branches of female education. And yet experience must have convinced those who are at all conversant with the general state of society, that this is a branch of study to which nothing like due attention is paid in the usual routine of school instruction. The effects of this neglect are often painfully apparent in [vi]after life, when, from a variety of circumstances, such knowledge would be of the highest advantage, and subservient to the noblest ends, either of domestic comfort, or of active and generous benevolence.

The records of history inform us of the high antiquity of the art of needlework; and its beautiful mysteries were amongst the earliest developments of female taste and ingenuity. As civilization increased, new wants called forth new exertions; the loom poured forth its multifarious materials, and the needle, with its accompanying implements, gave form and utility to the fabrics submitted to its operations. No one can look upon THE NEEDLE, without emotion; it is a constant companion throughout the pilgrimage of life. We find it the first instrument of use placed in the hand of budding childhood, and it is found to retain its usefulness and charm, even when trembling in the grasp of fast declining age. The little girl first employs it in the dressing of her doll: then she is taught its still higher use, in making up some necessary articles for a beloved brother, or a revered parent. Approaching to womanhood, additional preparations of articles of use, as ornaments of herself and others, call for its daily employment; and with what tender emotions does the glittering steel inspire the bosom, as beneath its magic touch, that which is to deck a lover[vii] or adorn a bride, becomes visible in the charming productions of female skill and fond regard. To the adornments of the bridal bed, the numerous preparations for an anxiously-expected little stranger, and the various comforts and conveniences of life, the service of this little instrument is indispensible. Often too is it found aiding in the preparation of gifts of friendship, the effects of benevolence, and the works of charity. Many of those articles, which minister so essentially to the solace of the afflicted, would be unknown without it; and its friendly aid does not desert us, even in the dark hour of sorrow and affliction. By its aid, we form the last covering which is to enwrap the body of a departed loved one, and prepare those sable habiliments, which custom has adopted as the external signs of mourning.

The needle is also capable of becoming an important monitor to the female heart; and we would impress this truth seriously upon their recollection, that as there is

“Sermons in stones,
And good in every thing.”

so the needle they so often use, is, or may be, a silent but salutary moral teacher. They all know that however good the eye of a[viii] needle may be, if it were rusted and pointless, it would be of little use. Let them also recollect, that though it may posses the finest point and polish in the world, if destitute of the eye, it would be of no use at all. The lesson we wish them to derive from hence, is this; that as it is the eye which holds the thread, and that it is by the thread alone that the needle becomes useful, so it is the eye of intelligence directed to the attainment of useful ends, that gives all the real value to the point and polish, which is so much admired in the educated female; and that unless the intellectual powers of the mind be engaged in the pursuits of goodness, all other endowments will be useless to their possessor. Let them learn also, not to despise such of their companions as, though intelligent and useful, are neither possessed of wit or elegance equal to their own. Circumstances may have rendered them, like the needle, rusty and pointless; but the eye of intelligence is there, and they may still be useful.

The want of a work containing clear instructions, without unnecessary diffuseness, by which the uninitiated may become their own instructors, has long been sensibly felt; and this want, the following pages are intended to supply. Our aim is, not to make[ix] young ladies servile copyists, but to lead them to the formation of habits of thought and reflection, which may issue in higher attainments than the knitting of a shawl, or the netting of a purse.

Indeed, it is only when accomplishments are rendered subservient to the development of moral goodness, that they may become pursuits at all worthy of an accountable being. We were not sent into this world to flutter through life, like the gaudy butterfly, only to be seen and admired. We were designed to be useful to our fellow beings; and to make all our powers and capabilities, in some way or other conducive to the happiness and welfare of our co-journeyers on the path of time. To this end, we wish our fair countrywomen to devote their best attention; and, in its attainment, to exert every energy which they possess. We wish them to make all the knowledge which they may acquire subserve some noble purpose, which will outlive the present hour. But to do this, the well-spring of the purest affections must be opened in the soul; and the elegant productions of taste and genius become vitalized, and animated, by the spirit of love. Thus, and thus only, can the occupations of a leisure hour be converted into efficient ministers of good; and such they will assuredly be found, if practised from right motives,[x] and placed in due subordination to the right exercise of more important duties, which we owe to Heaven, to our fellow beings, and to ourselves.

We are anxious to render elegant amusements conducive to the attainment of moral ends; and to lay that foundation of intellectual superiority, and affectionate regard, for the comfort and happiness of others, which can alone give light and animation, sweetness and blooming freshness, to the interesting scenes of future life. All engagements, which are calculated to elevate, soften, and harmonize the human character, have this tendency; and it is in the assured conviction that the employments here treated of, are, when cultivated in due subordination to higher duties, well adapted to secure these objects, and to promote these domestic ends, that the Ladies’ Work-Table Book has been prepared, and is now presented to the lovely daughters of our land. The public will be the best judge how far we have succeeded in our effort. Small as the work is, it has not been produced without much labor, and considerable exercise of thought; and it is dedicated to our fair countrywomen, in the fervent hope, that it will not be found altogether unworthy of their favorable notice and regard.

[xi]In concluding these introductory remarks, we wish to say a word or two to the parents and guardians of those, whose excellence of character is so essential to the welfare of our beloved country. We trust by you, our little manual will be cordially approved, and placed, as a memento of affection, in the hands of those you most desire to see models of sincerity, elegance, and accomplishments. This will be well; but we trust the matter will not be allowed to rest there. It is not when good instructors and proper books are provided for the young, that the duties of the parental relationship are performed. No; care must be taken to give efficiency to the means thus called into requisition, by the most assiduous care, devoted attention, and judiciously expressed approval on the part of those who claim the highest regard from the rising generation. The path of education is not always strewed with flowers, nor can it ever be pursued with either pleasure or advantage unless a foundation of practical piety and moral worth be laid, on which the superstructure may securely rest.

It has been well remarked “that intellect may be cultivated at school, but that the affections of the heart can only be properly developed amid the scenes of home.” Our aim in this work has[xii] been, while seeking to promote the purposes of genuine education, to raise high the moral sentiments, and cultivate to an eminent degree the best sensibilities of the soul. In this we ask for your cordial and careful co-operation. We know the influence of a judicious mother, and we confidently commend our labor to your favorable regard.



Materials and Implements for Working 17
Plain Needlework—Explanation of Stitches 28
Plain Needlework—Instructions in the Preparation of Body Linen 37
Plain Needlework—Instructions in the Preparation of House Linen 54
Plain Needlework—Miscellaneous Instructions 59
Fancy Needlework—Explanation of Stitches 63
Fancy Needlework—Explanation of Patterns 71
Fancy Needlework—Instructions in Embroidery 79
Fancy Needlework—Preparation of Frames 82
Fancy Needlework—Application of Fancy Needlework to Useful Purposes 88
Fancy Needlework—Special Instructions 91
Knitting—Explanation of Stitches 97
Knitting—Examples in Knitting 111
Netting—Explanation of Stitches 125
Netting—Examples in Netting 135
Crochet—Explanation of the Principal Stitches in Crochet Work 142
Crochet—Examples in Crochet 148
Tatting—Explanation of Stitches 153
Concluding Remarks 155





The subject of this chapter is one to which it is hardly possible to pay too much attention; since, on the judicious selection of materials, depends, to a vast extent, the success of that prudent and well-regulated economy, which is so essential to the welfare and prosperity of every family. On this account, we have thought it right to place before our readers the following observations, which should be carefully attended to, as of the utmost importance. In purchasing goods, be careful to examine the quality; and, if not experienced in such matters, take with you an experienced friend. Cheap goods generally prove the dearest in the end. The following rules may assist you in this respect, if under the necessity of relying upon your own judgment. Be careful, in purchasing articles, such as linen, calico, &c., for a specific purpose, to have it the proper width. A great deal of waste may be incurred, by inattention to this important direction.

Calico is often so dressed up, as to make it extremely difficult to ascertain its real quality: hence, it is best to buy it undressed. It should be soft, and free from specks. It is of various widths,[18] and of almost all prices. A good article, at a medium price, will be found cheapest in the end.

Linen is of various qualities. That which is called Suffolk hemp is considered the best. Irish linen is also in great repute. But you must be careful to escape imposition; as there are plenty of imitations, which are good for nothing.

Muslin Checks are much used for caps, &c., and are of various qualities. You may form a good judgment of these, by observing the thin places between the checks and the threads; if the former be good, and the latter even, they may generally be relied on.

Blue Checks.—These may be procured either of cotton or linen; but the linen ones, though highest in price, are cheapest in the end: they will wear double the length of time that the cotton ones will.

Prints.—Give a good price, if you wish to secure a good article. Some colors, as red, pink, lilac, bright brown, buff, and blue, wear well; green, violet, and some other colors are very liable to fade. The best way is to procure a patch, and wash half of it. This will test the color, and may prevent much disappointment.

Flannels.—The Welsh flannels are generally preferred, as those that are the most durable. Lancashire flannels are cheapest, but are far inferior in quality. You may know the one from the other by the color: the flannels of Lancashire are of a yellowish hue; those of Wales are a kind of bluish gray tint.

Woollen Cloths.—These vary exceedingly, as to quality. The low-priced ones are not worth half the purchase money. Good woollen cloth is smooth, and has a good nap. If the sample shown you, be destitute of these qualities, have nothing to do with it, unless you want to be cheated.

Stuffs.—The quality of these is sometimes very difficult to [19]detect. Holding them up to the light is a good plan. You should also be particular as to the dyeing, as that is sometimes very indifferently managed, and the stuff is dashed. Black dye is liable to injure the material. Low-priced stuffs are rarely good for anything.

Crape.—This is often damaged in the dying. You should spread it over a white surface before you purchase it, as by that means, the blemishes in the material, if any, will be more likely to appear.

Silks.—These are, if good, costly; and great care should be exercised in selecting them. They should not be too stiff, as in that case they are liable to crack; and on the other hand, they should not be too thin, as that kind is liable to tear almost as soon as paper. A medium thickness and stiffness is the best. If plain, you must be careful that there are no stains or specks in them; and if figured, it is advisable to have the pattern equally good on both sides. This will enhance the price at first, but you will find it to be good economy afterward. In silks that are to be sold cheap, a kind of camel’s hair is frequently introduced. This may be detected by pulling a piece of the suspected silk cross ways, and if camel’s hair be mixed with it, it will spring with a kind of whirring sound. This should be attended to.

Satin.—It is of various qualities and prices. The best is soft and thick. When used for trimmings, it should be cut the cross way, as it then looks better, and has a much richer appearance than when put on straight.

These general observations will be of great use, and should be well impressed upon the memory, so as readily to be called into exercise when needed.

In making up linen, thread is much preferable to cotton. Sewing-silk should be folded up neatly in wash leather, and colored[20] threads and cotton in paper, as the air and light are likely to injure them. Buttons, hooks and eyes, and all metal implements, when not in use, should be kept folded up; as exposure to the air not only tarnishes them, but is likely to injure them in a variety of ways.


Canvas (coarse) eighteen threads to the inch. Work in cross stitch with double wool. This is proper for a foot-stool, sofa-pillow, &c.

Canvas (very coarse) ten threads to the inch. Work in cross stitch, over one thread, with single wool. If used for grounding, work in two threads. This will accelerate the work, and look equally well.

Silk Leaves.—If no grounding is required, work in tent stitch. The pattern should be large in proportion to the fineness of the material. The finer the canvas, the larger the pattern.

Color.—An attention to shade is of the utmost consequence; as on this, in an eminent degree, depends the perfection of the work. The shades must be so chosen, as to blend into each other, or all harmony of coloring will be destroyed. The canvas must be more distinct in tent stitch than in cross stitch, or rather more strongly contrasted, especially in the dark shades of flowers: without attention to this point, a good resemblance of nature cannot be obtained.

Wool, (English and German) white, black, and various colors.—Two, three, four, five, or six shades of each color, as the nature of the work may require. The same observation applies to silk and cotton, in cases where those materials are used.

Split wool, for mosaic work.

[21]Silk. Split silk. Floss. Half twist. Deckers. China silk. Fine purse silk.

Cotton, of various kinds.

Gold twist. Silver thread. Chenille.

Beads. Thick and transparent gold. Bright and burnt steel. Silver plated, &c.

Perforated cards.

Canvas, called bolting, for bead work.


English Canvas.
Canvas No. Cross stitch. Tent stitch.
16 9
18 5 10
20 11
22 6 12
24 13
26 7 14
28 15
30 8 16
32 9 18
34 19
36 10 20
38 10¼ 21
40 11 22
42 11½ 23
45 12½ 25
48 13 26
50 14 28
55 15 30
60 17 34
Silk Canvas.
Canvas No. Cross stitch. Tent stitch.
  14 28
French Canvas.
Canvas No. Cross stitch. Tent stitch.
10 13
12 15
14 17
16 19
18 10 20
19 11 22
20 12 24
22 13 26
24 14 28
30 15 30
40 16 32


Silk, satin, velvet, and cloth.


Silk.—This material is extensively used in the various productions of which we are about to treat. The kinds usually employed in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet, are purse silk, or twist; coarse and fine netting silk; second sized purse twist; plain silk; China[22] silk; extra fine, and finest netting silk; second sized netting silk; coarse and fine chenille, and crochet silk. These are so well known that it would be a waste of time to describe them in detail. They are of a great variety of colors, and of different qualities; some sorts being much more durable, both in fabric and color, than others. No young lady should trust, at first, to her own judgment in making the selection: but a little attention will soon render her a proficient in the art of choosing the most profitable materials. The China silks of the French surpass all others, of that kind, with which we are acquainted, both as to the nature of tints, and the brilliancy of the various dyes and shades.

Wool.—This is of various colors and shades; German wool, single, and double; Hamburgh wool, fleecy, of three, four, five, six, seven, and eight threads; embroidery fleecy Shetland wool; English wool, coarse yarn, for mitts.


German wool is the produce of the merino breed, in its highest state of cultivation, and is the best sheep’s wool we possess. The merino fleece is brought to the greatest perfection in Saxony, and the adjacent states. It is chiefly manufactured for the purposes of needle-work, &c., at Gotha; the dyeing of it is performed at Berlin, and in other parts of Germany. The wools of Germany are, in fineness and softness, much, superior to those of Spain. The wool is prepared in various sizes, and for some kinds of work, may be split with great advantage. A large quantity is imported into this country in a raw state, and is dyed and manufactured here. Some of this is equal to the wools prepared in Germany, as to quality; but the brilliancy of the color will not bear comparison.[23] This remark does not extend to the black German wool, prepared in this country, and which is far superior to that prepared on the continent. Much wool, of a very superior quality is annually prepared for the market; and so great is its resemblance to a superior article, that it requires much attention, and an experienced eye, to detect the fraud. English wool, or what is often called embroidery wool, is much harsher than that of Germany; yet it is of a very superior kind, and much to be preferred for some kinds of work. The dye of several colors of English lamb’s wool is equal to that of the best dyes of Germany; especially scarlet and some of the shades of blue, green, and gold color, which for brilliancy and permanency, may justly claim equality with the most finished productions of the continental states.

Worsted is another description of our native produce, and is extensively used for a great variety of useful purposes, which are familiar to every one. A great portion of the needle-work of the last century was done in a fine kind of worsted, called CREWELS: and some specimens still remain, which do great credit to the venerable grandames of the present generation. Yarn is a coarse kind of worsted, much employed in making garden nets, and for various other purposes. Fleecy (English) is manufactured from the Leicestershire breed, and is much used in knitting and netting: it is of two qualities; both varying in size, from an eighth to a quarter of an inch in diameter. They are made up of threads, varying from two to twelve, and are both equally good. They are applied to crochet as well as to the other descriptions of work named. German fleecy, thought but little used, is much superior to that of this country. Hamburgh wool is an excellent article, but has not hitherto been much in request. Great care is necessary, in selecting wool of good quality: but let the young novice[24] give to the subject her best attention; and should she find herself sometimes deceived, still persevere, remembering that “practice makes perfect.”

Cotton, of various sizes, as numbered from one to six, or higher if required. In the choice of this material, much care is needed, not only in the selection of colors and shades, but also to ascertain if the color has been stained with a permanent dye.

Down.—This is sometimes used for stuffing knitted cushions, muffs, &c., and is too well known to need any description here.

Gold and Silver Thread and Cord.—The precious metals are now very generally employed in the ornamental parts of all kinds of fancy work. Gold and silver threads consists of a thread of silk, round which is spun an exceedingly fine wire of the metal required. For gold, silver or copper gilt wire is employed, as pure gold could not be so easily wrought. These threads can be employed in almost any way which the taste of the fair artist may induce her to devise. Besides the thread, gold and silver cord is also in much demand, and looks extremely beautiful, when employed with taste and judgment. This material is a twist, and is composed of different quantities of threads, according to the thickness required. Much care is required in working with it, or the beauty of the material will be spoilt. It is much used in crochet, and without due attention, the point of the needle is liable to catch the cord, and to break the wire, which would entirely destroy the beauty of the performance.

Beads.—These beautiful fabrications of art, are composed of gold, silver, polished steel, and glass. There is also a beautiful sort called garnet beads, with gold points. All these can be procured at any of the establishments for the sale of fancy articles, and are to be employed as the judgment or fancy may direct. The[25] gold beads are used in making all kinds of knitting, netting, and crochet, and look well either by themselves, or when in connection with those of the other materials named. Glass beads, may be procured of any variety of color, and when in combination with gold, silver, or steel, form a beautiful relief.


Frames. Cross stitch needles. Sewing needles. Meshes, of various sizes—at least three. Chenille Needles. Pair of long sharp-pointed scissors. Cartridge Paper. Tissue Paper. A fine piercer. Seam piercer. Camel’s hair brushes.

Mixture of white lead and gum water, to draw patterns for dark materials.

Mixture of stone blue and gum water, for light colors.

Black lead pencils.


Needles of various sizes. The Nos. referred to are those of the knitting needle gauge. Needles pointed at either end, for Turkish knitting. Ivory, or wooden pins, for knitting a biroche. A knitting sheath, &c., to be fastened on the waist of the knitter, toward the right hand, for the purpose of keeping the needle in a steady and proper position.


A pin or mesh, on which to form the loops. A needle called a netting needle, formed into a kind of fork, with two prongs at each end. The ends of the prongs meet and form a blunt point, not fastened like the eye of a common needle, but left open, that the thread or twine may pass between them, and be wound upon the needle. The prongs are brought to a point, in order that the[26] needle may pass through a small loop without interruption. Twine to form foundations. A fine long darning needle for bead work. Meshes of various, sizes from No. 1 to 11. Flat meshes, and ivory meshes; also of various sizes. The gauge is the same as that for knitting-needles.


Crochet hook

Ivory crochet needles of various sizes. Steel crochet needles. Rug needles and a pair of long sharp pointed scissors. These implements should be disposed in a regular and orderly manner, as should also the materials for working. Order and regularity are matters but too frequently neglected in the gay and buoyant season of youth; and this fault, which is the parent of so much annoyance in after life, is but too generally overlooked by those whose duty it is to correct these incipient seeds of future mischief. No pursuit should be entered into by the young, without having some moral end in view, and this is especially needful to be observed in cases, where at first sight, it might appear a matter of indifference, whether the pursuit was one of utility, or of mere relaxation. We earnestly entreat our young friends, never to forget, that even our amusements may be rendered an acceptable sacrifice to their heavenly Father, if they assiduously endeavor to make the habits they form in their seasons of relaxation from graver studies, conduce to the development of the higher faculties of their nature, and subordinate preparations for a more exalted state of being, than any which this transitory scene can of itself[27] present to their contemplation and pursuits. Dyer, speaking of Tapestry, has beautifully said—

“This bright art
Did zealous Europe learn of Pagan lands,
While she assayed with rage of holy war
To desolate their fields; but old the skill:
Long were the Phrygian’s pict’ring looms renown’d;
Tyre also, wealthy seat of art, excell’d,
And elder Sidon, in th’ historic web.”

But we would have our fair friends to place before them a high and a definite object. Let them seek, like the excellent Miss Linwood—

“To raise at once our reverence and delight,
To elevate the mind and charm the sight,
To pour religion through the attentive eye,
And waft the soul on wings of extacy;
Bid mimic art with nature’s self to vie,
And raise the spirit to its native sky.”




Before commencing those directions, which we deem it necessary to place before our readers, in reference to this important portion of the work-table manual, we wish to say a word or two to our fair countrywomen, on the importance of a general and somewhat extensive acquaintance with those arts, on which so much of the comfort of individual and domestic life depends. Economy of time, labor, and expenses, is an essential requisite in every family; and will ever claim a due share of attention, from her who is desirous of fulfilling with credit to herself and advantage to others, the allotted duties of her appointed station. To those, who are at the head of the majority of families, an extensive knowledge of the various departments of plain needlework is indispensable. The means placed at their disposal are limited; in many instances, extremely so: and to make the most of these means, generally provided by the continual care and unremitting attention of the father and the husband, is a sacred duty, which cannot be violated without the entailment of consequences which every well regulated mind must be anxious to avoid.

The following are the principal stitches used in plain needlework.

[29]Sewing and Felling.—If you have selvages, join them together and sew them firmly. If you have raw edges, turn down one of the edges once, and the other double the breadth, and then turn half of it back again. This is for the fell. The two pieces are pinned face to face, and seamed together; the stitches being in a slanting direction, and just deep enough to hold the separate pieces firmly together. Then flatten the seam with the thumb, turn the work over and fell it the same as hemming. The thread is fastened by being worked between the pieces and sewn over.

Hemmings.—Turn down the raw edge as evenly as possible. Flatten, and be careful, especially in turning down the corners. Hem from right to left; bring the point of the needle from the chest toward the right hand. Fasten the thread without a knot, and when you finish, sew several stitches close together, and cut off the thread.

German Hemming.—Turn down both the raw edges once, taking care so to do it, as that both turns may be toward your person; you then lay one below the other, so as that the smooth edge of the nearest does not touch the other, but lies just beneath it. The lower one is then to be hemmed or felled to the piece against which you have laid it, still holding it before you. You are next to open your sleeve, or whatever else you have been employed upon; and laying the upper fold over the lower, fell it down, and the work is done.

Mantuamaker’s Hem.—You lay the raw edge of one of your pieces a little below the other; the upper edge is then turned over the other twice, and felled down as strong as possible.

Running.—Take three threads, leave three, and in order that the work may be kept as firm as possible, back-stitch occasionally. If you sew selvages, they must be joined evenly together; but if[30] raw edges, one must be turned down once, and the other laid upon it, but a few threads from the top. It is, in this case, to be felled afterwards.

Stitching.—The work must be even as possible. Turn down a piece to stitch to, draw a thread to stitch upon, twelve or fourteen threads from the edge. Being thus prepared, you take two threads back, and so bring, the needle out, from under two before. Proceed in this manner, to the end of the row; and in joining a fresh piece of thread, take care to pass the needle between the edges and bring it out where the last stitch was finished.

Gathering.—You begin by taking the article to be gathered, and dividing it into halves, and then into quarters, putting on pins, to make the divisions. The piece, to which you are intending to gather it, must be gathered about twelve threads from the top, taking three threads on the needle, and leaving four; and so preceding, alternately, until one quarter is gathered. Fasten the thread, by twisting it round a pin; stroke the gathers, so that they lie evenly and neatly, with a strong needle or pin. You then proceed as before, until all the gathers are gathered. Then take out the pins, and regulate the gathers of each quarter, so as to correspond with those of the piece to which it is to be sewed. The gathers are then to be fastened on, one at a time; and the stitches must be in a slanting direction. The part to be gathered must be cut quite even before commencing, or else it will be impossible to make the gathering look well.

Double Gathering, or Puffing.—This is sometimes employed in setting on frills; and when executed properly has a pretty effect. You first gather the top, in the usual way; then, having stroked down the gathers, you gather again under the first gathering, and of such a depth as you wish the puffing to be. You then sew on[31] the first gathering to the gown, frock, &c. you design to trim, at a distance, corresponding with the width of the puffing: and the second gathering sewed to the edge, so as to form a full hem. You may make a double hem, if you please, by gathering three times instead of only twice; and one of the hems may be straight, while the other is drawn to one side a little. This requires much exactness, in the execution; but if properly done, it gives a pleasing variety to the work.

Whipping.—You cut the edge smooth, and divide into halves and quarters, as for gathering. You then roll the muslin or other material very lightly upon the finger, making use of the left thumb for that purpose. The needle must go in on the outside, and be brought through, on the inside. The whipping-cotton should be as strong and even as possible. In order that the stitches may draw with ease, they must be taken with great care. The roll of the whip should be about ten threads.

Button-hole stitch

Button-hole Stitch.—These should be cut by a thread, and their length should be that of the diameter of the button. In working, the button-hole must lie lengthways upon the forefinger; and you begin at the side which is opposite to the thumb, and the furthest from the point of the finger on which it is laid. The needle must go in on the wrong side, and be brought out on the right, five threads down. To make the stitch, the needle is passed through the loop before it is drawn close. In turning the corners, be careful not to do it too near; and in order that a proper thickness may be obtained, it is necessary that the needle should go in between every two threads. Making button-holes, requires great care and attention.


Fancy button-hole stitch

Fancy Button-hole Stitch.—This resembles a very wide button-hole stitch, and is very neat for the fronts of bodies, where it has a very pretty appearance; likewise for the bands and the shoulder bits, and above the broad hems and tucks of frocks.

Chain stitch

Chain Stitch.—In making this stitch, you are to employ union cord, bobbin, or braid, whichever you think most suitable. Make a knot at the end, and draw it through to the right side. While you put in the needle, let the end hang loose, and bring it out below, so as to incline a little towards the left hand. Pass your needle over the cord, as you draw it out, and this will form a loop. In drawing out the mesh, you must be careful not to draw the stitch too tight, as that would destroy the effect. You proceed in the same manner to form the next, and each succeeding loop; taking care to put the needle in a little higher, and rather more to the right than in the preceding stitch, so that each loop begins within the lower part of the one going before it, and you thus produce the resemblance of a chain.

Fancy chain stitch

Fancy Chain Stitch.—The only difference between this and the common chain stitch, is that very little of the cord is taken up on the needle at a time, and the stitches are far from each other. Its appearance will be varied, according as you put in the needle, to slant little or much. If you should work it perfectly horizontal, it is the same as button-hole stitch.



Herring-boning.—This is generally employed in articles composed of flannel, or other thick material. The edge is to be cut even, and turned down once. You work from left to right, thus: Put your needle into the material, and take a stitch of two or three threads, as close as possible, under the raw edge, and bring the needle half way up that part which is turned down, and four or five threads toward the right hand; make another stitch, and bring down the needle; thus proceed until the work is finished. This stitch is something like the back-bone of a fish, and is sometimes used as an ornament for children’s robes, and at the top of hems. It looks both neat and elegant, when carefully executed.

Fancy Herring-boning

Fancy Herring-boning.—This is the same as common herring-bone, only it is done in a perpendicular manner, instead of being worked horizontally from left to right; and the thread is brought round behind the needle, so as to finish the work in a more elegant manner. It has an exceeding neat and pleasing look, when it is well executed, and is considered as highly ornamental, in appropriate situations.

Angular Stitch

Angular Stitch.—This stitch resembles button-hole stitch, only it is carried from right to left to form the pattern. It is a neat ornament for cuffs, skirts and capes, and children’s pelisses. As much of its beauty depends on its regularity, care should be taken to make the patterns very even and straight, and of an equal width; without due attention to this, the work will be spoiled.


Double Herring-boning

Double Herring-boning.—This pattern is a kind of double herring-bone, on each side; it is too intricate to describe minutely. The engraving will give a better idea of this stitch than any description we could give. Great care being required to keep the pattern even, it is advisable to run a tacking thread down the middle of it, to serve as a guide.

Horse-shoe Stitch

Horse-shoe Stitch.—This is done with thick, loosely-twisted cotton, or bobbin, and is worked from left to right, as shown in the accompanying engraving. It has a very neat and pretty appearance, when worked near the edge of hems, robings, &c.

Fancy Bobbin Edging

Fancy Bobbin Edging.—This is formed by a succession of loops made in the following manner: Make a knot at the end, and put the needle through to the right side, just below the hem. Bring the bobbin over the hem, and, putting the needle in at the wrong side, bring it through to the right. Draw the loop to the size you desire, pass the bobbin through it, and commence the next stitch, proceeding as before.

Chain Stitch, on Gathers.—This looks well, if worked in colored worsted, or in cord. Two gathers are taken up for each stitch, taking care always to take one of the previous stitches and one new gather on the needle at the same time.


Coral Pattern

Coral Pattern.—This requires great accuracy in the working, and it is advisable for the inexperienced to run lines, in long stitches, to fix the middle and outsides of the pattern. It may be best understood by the engraving, merely observing that the stitch is begun on the left hand, and continued alternately from left to right, always pointing the needle toward the centre. It is very suitable for the waist-bands of children’s frocks, the tops of broad hems, &c.

Serpentine Stitch

Serpentine Stitch.—This is exceedingly pretty, and is much employed for children’s dresses. It is worked with the hand, being sewn on to the material when made. Take the cord, knot it so as to form a loop at the end; then pass the other end through the loop, toward the front, to form another loop to the right hand; continue passing the bobbin through the loop on one side, then through the loop on the other, directing the cord so as to pass from the side of the work invariably towards the inner, or that part next the work.


Biassing.—In this operation, the first part of the stitch is the same as gathering. You then stitch down; and upon the right side of the gather, you lay a thread a good deal thicker than the one you used for gathering thread. Over this thread you sew, taking care to take hold also of the gathering thread. The needle is always to be pointed toward your chest. You may work two or three rows in this way, on[36] the sleeves and shoulders of dresses, &c., which has a handsome effect. You must take great care to bring the needle out between each one of the gathers.

Honey Combing

Honey Combing.—The material may be velvet, silk, &c.; and the mode of working is as follows: The piece you intend honey-combing, must be creased in regular folds, taking care that they are as even as possible. Then make the folds lie closely together, by tacking them with a strong thread, and in long stitches. You then take silk of the right color; stitch together at equal and proper distances the two first folds, and proceed, with each succeeding two, in the same manner, only taking the stitches in the intermediate spaces. Thus the stitches of each alternate row will correspond together. Draw out the thread, when the work is finished, and on pulling it open, it will form diamonds on the right side. This work is proper for the inside of work-boxes, and is sometimes employed to ornament the tops of beds. It looks well, if carefully executed.

A perfect acquaintance with these various stitches, will enable the practical needlewoman to pursue her occupation with ease and pleasure.




In order to secure economy of time, labor, and expense, and also to do everything neatly and in order, the lady who is intending to engage in the domestic employment of preparing linen necessary for personal and family use, should be careful to have all her materials ready, and disposed in the most systematic manner possible, before commencing work. The materials employed in the construction of articles, which come under the denomination of plain needlework, are so various, that a mere list of them would occupy more than half our space; and they are so well known, that no necessity exists for naming them in detail. We shall therefore proceed, at once, to give plain directions, by which any lady may soon become expert in this necessary department of household uses, merely observing, that a neat work-box, well supplied with all the implements required—including knife, scissors (of at least three sizes,) needles and pins in sufficient variety, bodkins, thimbles, thread and cotton, bobbins, marking silks, black lead pencils, india rubber, &c., should be provided, and be furnished with a lock and key, to prevent the contents being thrown into confusion by children, servants, or unauthorized intruders.

The lady being thus provided, and having her materials, imple[38]ments, &c., placed in order upon her work-table, (to the edge of which it is an advantage to have a pincushion affixed, by means of a screw,) may commence her work, and proceed with pleasure to herself, and without annoyance to any visitor, who may favor her with a call. We would recommend, wherever practicable, that the work-table should be made of cedar, and that the windows of the working parlor should open into a garden, well supplied with odoriferous flowers and plants, the perfume of which will materially cheer the spirits of those especially whose circumstances compel them to devote the greatest portion of their time to sedentary occupations. If these advantages cannot be obtained, at least the room should be well ventilated, and furnished with a few cheerful plants, and a well filled scent-jar. The beneficent Creator intended all His children, in whatever station of life they might be placed, to share in the common bounties of His providence; and when she, who not for pleasure, but to obtain the means of subsistence, is compelled to seclude herself, for days or weeks together, from the cheering influence of exercise in the open air, it becomes both her duty, and that of those for whom she labors, to secure as much of these advantages, or of the best substitutes for them, as the circumstances of the case will admit.

We now proceed to lay down what we hope will be found clear though concise rules, for the preparation of various articles of dress and attire.

Aprons.—These are made of a variety of materials, and are applied to various uses. The aprons used for common purposes, are made of white, blue, brown, checked, and sometimes of black linen; nankeen, stuff, and print, are also employed. The width is generally one breadth of the material, and the length is regulated by the height of the wearer. Dress aprons are, of course, made of[39] finer materials—cambric, muslin, silk, satin, lace, clear and other kinds of muslin, &c., and are generally two breadths in width, one of which is cut in two, so as to throw a seam on each side, and leave an entire breadth for the middle. Aprons of all kinds are straight, and either plaited or gathered on to the band or stock at the top. Those with only one breadth, are hemmed at the bottom with a broad hem; those with two breadths, must be hemmed at the sides likewise. The band should be from half a nail to a nail broad; its length is to be determined by the waist of the wearer. It should be fastened at the back, with hooks and eyelet holes. To some aprons, pockets are attached, which are either sewed on in front, or at the back, and a slit made in the apron to correspond with them. The slit, or opening of the pocket is to be hemmed neatly, or braided, as may be most desirable. In some kinds of aprons, bibs are introduced, which are useful to cover the upper part of the dress. Their size must be determined by the taste of the person who is to wear them.

Dress Aprons.—Take two breadths of any material you choose, dividing one of them in the middle. Hem all round, with a broad hem, three-fourths of a nail deep. The band is to be one and a-half nails deep in the middle, into which a piece of whalebone is to be inserted, on each side of which work a row or two in chain stitch. The band is scolloped out from the centre on its lower side, five and a-half nails, leaving the extremities of the band one nail broad. To the scolloped portion, the apron is to be fulled on, so as to sit as neat as possible; leaving the space beneath the whalebone plain. Confine the folds, by working two rows of chain stitch, just below the curved lines of the band, leaving half an inch between each row. The lower edge of the band is ornamented with a small piping, but is left plain at the top.

[40]Vandyke Apron.—This may be made either of silk or muslin. The edge of the apron is to be turned down, once all round, on the right side, to the depth of three-quarters of a nail; and the vandykes are formed by running from the edge of the apron to near the rough edge of the material, which is afterward to be turned in. When the vandykes are completed, they are to be turned inside out, and made as smooth as possible. A braid, or a row of tent stitch, on the right side, over the stitches, is a pretty finish. In setting on the band, the plaits must be placed opposite each other, so as to meet in the middle. You may line the band with buckram, or stiff muslin, and ornament it with piping if you please.

Apron for a Young Person.—Clear muslin is the best material. Hem round with a hem, three-fourths of a nail deep; lay all round, within the hem, a shawl bordering, not quite so broad as the hem. Of course, the latter must be taken off before washing.

A Morning Apron.—This may be made like the last, but instead of the shawl bordering, surround the outer edge of the hem by a deep crimped frill, a nail in breadth. The material most in use, is jacconet or cambric muslin: the frill, of lawn or cambric, which you please.

Girl’s Apron.—Use any material that is deemed advisable. The bib is to be made to fit the wearer, in front, between the shoulders, and sloping to the waist. The apron is to be gathered, or plaited to the band; and the shoulder straps may be of the same material, or of ribbon. The bib, either plain or ornamented, with tucks or folds, as may be deemed most suitable.

Bathing Gown.—The materials employed are various, flannels, stuff, or calamanca, are the most preferable, giving free ingress to the water. The length must be determined by the height[41] of the wearer, and the width at the bottom should be about fifteen nails. It should be folded as you would a pinafore, and to be sloped three and three-quarters nails for the shoulder. The slits for the arm-holes must be three nails and three-quarters long, and the sleeves are to be set in plain: the length of the latter is not material. It is useful to have a slit of three inches, in front of each. The gown is to have a broad hem at the bottom, and to be gathered into a band at the top, which is to be drawn tight with strings; the sleeves are to be hemmed and sewn round the arm or wrist, in a similar manner.

Bustles.—These are worn, to make the waist of the gown sit neat upon the person. They are made the width of the material, and eight nails deep. The piece is to be so doubled as to make two flounces; one four nails and a half and the other three and a-half deep. A case, to admit of tapes, is to be made one nail from the top, and the bottom of each flounce is to have a thick cord hemmed into it. When worn, the article is turned inside out. The materials are strong jean, or calico.

Caps.—These are made of a great variety of patterns, and the materials are as various as the purposes to which the article is applied. Muslins of various kinds, lawn, net, lace, and calico, are all in request; and the borders are extremely various. Muslin, net, or lace, being those most in common use. The shapes are so multifarious, as to preclude us from giving any specific directions. Every lady must choose her own pattern, as best suits the purpose she has in view. The patterns should be cut in paper, and considerable care is requisite, in cutting out, not to waste the material. A little careful practice will soon make this department familiar to the expert votaress of the needle.

Child’s Collar.—This is made of double Irish linen, and is[42] stitched round and made to fall over the dress. Frills are generally attached to them, and give them a pretty finish. They are proper for children, of eight or nine years of age.

Cravats.—These are of fine muslin, and are made in the shape of a half handkerchief. They are hemmed with a narrow hem, and should be cut from muslin, eighteen nails square.

Cloaks.—These useful and necessary articles of dress are generally made up by a dress-maker; it is unnecessary therefore to give particular directions concerning them. The materials are silks and stuffs, of almost every variety, including satin, merino cloth, real and imitation shawling plaids, and Orleans. The latter is now very generally used. Travelling cloaks are made of a stronger material, and are trimmed in a much plainer style than those used in walking dresses. Satin cloaks look well with velvet collars, and are also frequently trimmed with the same material. Merino, and also silk cloaks, are often trimmed with fur, or velvet, and lined with the same. Sometimes they are made perfectly plain. The lining of a silk or satin cloak, should be of the same color, or else a well-chosen contrast; and care should be taken, that the color should be one that is not liable to fade, or to receive damage. An attention to these general remarks, will be found of much advantage to the lady who, in making her purchase is desirous of combining elegance of appearance with durability of wear, and economy of price.

Frills.—These are used as ornaments, or a finish to various articles of dress. The materials are cambric muslin, lace, net, &c., and the manner in which they are made is various. Sometimes they are set on quite plain, that is, hemmed round and plaited up into neat folds, to the width required. At other times, frills are fitted to a band, and the edge that is to be hemmed, is stiffened by[43] rolling it over a bobbin; it is put on as an ornament to a gown, and is tied with strings at the end. Crimped frills are worn by young children, and look extremely neat. They are made of lawn or cambric, and sewed on to a band. The other edge is hemmed, and the frill is double the size round the neck. The band should be half a nail in depth, and the frill is to be crimped as evenly as possible.

Gentlemen’s Belts.—These are worn by persons who have much and violent exercise, and are extremely useful. They are made of strong jean or other material, and sometimes of leather, and may either be made straight, or a little slant, or peaked. Runners of cotton are inserted, to make them more strong, and they must be furnished with long straps of webbing at the ends, sewed on with leather over them. The straps are about three inches in depth.

Gentlemen’s Collars.—These are very generally worn, and are shaped in a variety of ways. They are made double, and ornamented with a single or double row of back stitch. They are made to button round the neck, or are set on to a band for that purpose. It is best to cut the pattern in paper, and when a good fit is obtained, cut the cloth by the paper model.

Gentlemen’s Fronts.—The material is fine lawn or cambric. Sometimes the sides are composed of the former, and the middle of the latter. A false hem is made down the middle, furnished with buttons, as if to open; the neck is hollowed to the depth of a nail, and is plaited or gathered into a stock or band. In order that it may sit neat upon the bosom, two neck gussets are introduced.

Ladies’ Drawers.—Choose any proper material, and form the article by making two legs, set on to a band to fasten round the waist. Set on a plain or worked frill at the bottom. When set[44]ting the legs on to the band, place them so as to overlap each other. The band is eleven nails long, and three deep.

Ladies’ Flannel Waistcoat.—This is, in many cases, an indispensable article of female attire. For an ordinary size, you must take a piece of flannel twelve nails wide, and seven deep, folding it exactly in the middle. At two nails from the front, which is doubled, the arm holes must be cut, leaving two nails for half of the back. The front is to be slightly hollowed. At the bottom, cut a slit of three nails, immediately under the arm holes; insert a gore three nails broad, and the same in length, and terminating in a point. Bosom-gores are also to be introduced of a similar shape, and just half the size. They are to be put in just one nail from the shoulder-strap. In making the waistcoat, it is to be herring-boned all round, as are also all the gores and slits. A broad tape, one nail in width, is laid down each side of the front, in which the button holes are made, and buttons set on; the shoulder-straps are of tape, and the waistcoat fastens in front.

Ladies’ Night Jackets.—The materials are various, including lawn, linen, and calico. The jackets are made of two breadths, and as it is desirable not to have a seam in the shoulder, the two breadths should be cut in one length, and carefully doubled in the middle. The neck is to be slit open, leaving three nails on each side for the shoulders; and a slit is also to be made in front, so as to allow the garment to pass freely over the head of the wearer; the sides are then to be seamed up, leaving proper slits for the arm holes; and the neck and bosom are to be hemmed as neatly as possible. The sleeves are to be made the required length, and gathered into a band at the wrist, after being felled into the arm holes mentioned above. A neat frill round the neck, bosom, and wrists, finishes the whole.

[45]Night Gowns.—These must be made of a size suitable for the wearer. The following are directions for three different sizes. The length of the gown on the skirts is one yard and a half for the first size, one yard and six nails for the second, and one yard and three nails for the third; the width of the material is eighteen, sixteen, and fourteen nails, respectively; and the garment is to have one yard and a half breadth in width. They are to be crossed so as to be at the bottom twenty-one, eighteen, and sixteen, nails: and at the top, fifteen, fourteen, and twelve nails, as the sizes may require. The length of the sleeves is nine, eight, and seven nails, and the width half a breadth; they are to be furnished with gussets, three, two, and two nails square, and with wristbands of the proper width, and of any depth that is deemed desirable.

A binder of one nail and a half is put down the selvage of each sleeve, which strengthens it much. The gown is furnished with a collar about three nails deep, and of the length required by the wearer; and, in order that it may fit properly, neck gussets of two, one, and one nail square, are to be introduced. A slit of about six nails is made in front, which is hemmed round, and the space left for the shoulders is three, two and a-half and two nails, respectively. The whole is finished with a neat frill round the collar and wristbands. If economy is an object, cut three gowns together. This will prevent much waste of material; an object, by every head of a family, to be constantly kept in view.

Neck and Pocket Handkerchiefs.—These are made of a great variety of materials, as silk, muslin, cambric, lawn, and net. The neck handkerchiefs are generally a half square, and are hemmed all round. It is a good plan to turn up the extreme corners, as it makes it more strong and durable. A tape is set on, which comes ’round the waist, and ties in front. Sometimes a broad[46] muslin hem is put on the two straight sides, which looks extremely well. Some ladies work a border to their neck handkerchief, which gives to those made of net the appearance of lace. Pocket handkerchiefs are neatly hemmed, and sometimes have a worked border. Those used by gentlemen are of a larger size than those of ladies.

Petticoats (Flannel).—These are not only useful, but indispensable articles of dress. Fine flannel is the best, as it is most durable, and keeps its color best in washing. The length of the petticoat is regulated by the height of the person for whom it is intended; and the width ranges from three breadths to one and a-half. The bottom is hemmed with a broad hem; and the top is gathered, and set on to a strong band of calico, or jean, leaving the front nearly plain. Sometimes a button hole is made, about two nails from the ends of the band, to which strings of tape are attached; these are passed through the opposite holes, and the parts thus brought over each other form a kind of bustle, which makes the garment sit more neatly to the figure. A slit of about four nails is left on the back which is hemmed round, or bound with a strong binding.

Petticoats are worn under the dress for the sake of warmth, and also to make the gown hang more gracefully upon the person. They should have three or three and a-half breadths of the material in the width, and the bottom is made with a broad hem three nails deep, or with tucks or worked muslin. The latter is extremely neat. They are to be set on to a strong band, or stock, and are to have a slit left at the back about four nails in length. The skirt may be gathered full all round, or only at the back and front, leaving the sides plain; sometimes all the fulness is thrown to the back. Having shoulder-straps to keep up the petticoat, is[47] a great advantage; but they are unnecessary if a waist, or body with or without sleeves, be set on the band. In this case the body should be made to fit as tight to the person as possible. The band is generally about one nail in breadth. The materials proper for petticoats are dimity, calico, cambric, jacconet muslin, calamanca, stuff, &c. What are called middle, or under petticoats, are made in the same manner. Those ladies who pursue the laudable practice of nursing their own infants, and who wear petticoats with bodies to them, have them open in front.

Pinafore.—This is a useful article of dress, especially in large families. Holland is the best material. For an open one, one breadth is sufficient. Double the pinafore into four, and cut the arm holes to the required depth in the two side folds, so that half will form the front. The neck is to be hollowed out about a quarter of a nail in the middle, and the pinafore is to be set on to the neck band, which fastens by a button behind. Sleeve lappets are attached to the arm holes, being gathered near the edge, and set on before the arm hole is hemmed, so that when the edge is turned down no stitches will appear. The lappet is a second time to be gathered at the edge, and sewed down as fast as possible. Then hem the other edge, and conceal the stitches with silk braid that will wash. A small gusset put into the bottom of the slits is an advantage, as it makes it stronger. They are to be fastened round the waist with a band, or with a strap and buckle. The latter is most to be preferred. For a close pinafore, two breadths of Holland, or other material, will be required. It is seamed up at the sides, leaving slits for the arm holes, and has a collar and sleeves; as also a band to go round the middle of the wearer. Neck gussets may be introduced, but the much neater way is, to double the pinafore into four, and let in a piece at each shoulder, about a nail[48] wide, and two nails in length, gathering each quarter from the arm holes, into the pieces so let in, and felling similar pieces on the inside of the shoulder. The two middle quarters are to be gathered into half the collar, and the back in the same manner. The sleeves are made with gussets like a shirt, and are gathered into the arm holes. A slit is made at the hands, and the bottom is gathered into a wristband about an inch in breadth.

Pockets.—These are made of any kind of material you please. You take a piece of double, and cut it to the shape required. Stitch the two pieces neatly round, a little distance from the edge. Then turn it, and let the seam be well flattened, and back stitch with white silk a quarter of an inch from the edge; cut a slit down about four nails, which is to be either hemmed, or have a tape laid round it on the inside. Set on the strings, and the pocket is complete. Some ladies have pockets attached to the petticoat. In that case, it is only a square of calico, about ten nails long, and eight broad, set on to the inside of the petticoat, as plain as possible.

A Ribbon Scarf.—This is made of broad satin ribbon, and must not be less than two nails and a half wide: its length is two yards and three quarters. The ribbon is to be doubled on the wrong side, and run in a slanting direction so as to cause it to fall gracefully on the neck. The ends are to be embroidered and ornamented with braid, or left plain, as may suit the fancy. The scarf is to be surrounded by an edging of swan’s down. This is an elegant article of female attire.

Plain Scarf.—This is generally made of net, the whole breadth, and two yards and a half long. It is hemmed all round with a broad hem so as to admit a ribbon to be run in, which gives it a neat and finished appearance.

[49]An Indian Scarf.—This is an elegant article of dress and can be easily made. The material is a rich Cashmere, and three colors are required: that is, black, scarlet, and a mazarine blue. You must have the scarf four nails and a half in width, and one yard and six nails in length: this must be black. Then you must have of the other two colors, pieces seven nails long, and the same width as the black, and you are, after finding the exact middle of the black stripe, to slope off one nail and a half toward each side, and then slope one end of the blue and of the scarlet piece, so as to make them accord precisely with the ends of the black previously prepared. You are to cut one nail and a half from the middle to the ends. You are then to split the blue and the scarlet stripes down the middle, and join half of the one to the half of the other, as accurately, as possible. The pieces thus joined together are to be sewed to the black stripe, and the utmost care must be taken to make the points unite properly. You are to sew the pieces fast together, and herring-bone them all round on the right side. You finish by laying a neat silk gimp all round and over all the joinings. It should be of a clear, bright color. The ends are to be fringed with scarlet and blue, to correspond with the two half stripes. This is suitable for a walking dress, or an evening party.

A Dress Shawl.—Take a half square of one yard and twelve nails of satin velvet or plush, which you please, and line it with sarcenet either white, or colored; trim the two straight edges with a hem of either silk or satin, from one to one nail and a half in breadth, and cut crossway. Or you may trim it with fur, lace, or fringe.

Cashmere Shawl.—You will require for the centre a piece of colored Cashmere, one yard six nails square, which is to be hemmed round with a narrow hem. You must then take four stripes[50] all of Cashmere, or of a shawl bordering to harmonize or contrast well with the centre, which must be hemmed on both sides, and then sewed on, so as that the stitches may appear as little as possible. The border should be three nails broad, and of course joined point to point at the corners; and it must be so set on as that the two corners shall fall properly over each other. The shawl is finished by a fringe set on all round, and sometimes by a colored gimp laid on over the joinings.

A Lady’s Walking Shawl.—This may be made of cloth, merino, or silk; and either a whole, or half square, at pleasure. The dimensions are one yard and twelve nails, and the lining is of silk. In order that when the shawl is doubled the hems of both folds may appear at the same time, care must be taken, after laying on the border on two successive sides, to turn the shawl, and then lay on the remainder of the border. The trimmings for these kind of shawls are of great variety.

A Travelling Shawl.—This is easily made, and is very warm and convenient. Take a square of wadding, and double it cornerways; cover it with muslin, or silk, and trim it as you please.

Mourning Shawls.—These may be made either of half a square of black silk, entirely covered with crape, which is proper for deep mourning, or you may take half a square of rich and rather dull black silk, and border it with a hem of crape, two nails deep, laid on upon the two straight sides of the shawl.

Shifts.—These are generally made of fine Irish, or calico. They are made either with gores, or crossed. The latter is the neatest method. Two breadths are sufficient for a full sized shift, and gores are cut off a given width at the bottom, and extending to a point, in order to widen the garment. In crossing a shift, you first sew the long seams; then you double it in a slanting direction,[51] so as to mark off at the top and bottom ten nails at opposite corners; this done, you join the narrow ends together, and sew the cross seams, leaving a sufficient slit for the arm holes. There are various methods of cutting the back and bosom. Some cut out a scollop both before and behind; but in this case, the back is hollowed out one third less than the front. Some ladies hollow out the back, but form the bosom with a flap, which may be cut either straight, or in a slanting direction from the shoulders. Another method of forming the bosom is by cutting the shoulder-straps separate from the shift, and making the top quite straight; bosom gores are then let in, in front; the top is hemmed both before and behind, and a frill gives a neat finish to the whole. The sleeves may be either set in plain or full, as suits the taste of the wearer. Sometimes the sleeve and gusset are all in one piece; at other times they are separate. In all cases, great care should be taken in cutting out, not to waste the material. For this purpose it is always advisable to cut out several at one time. Shifts for young children of from five to ten years of age, are generally made with flaps both before and behind. This is decidedly the neatest shape for them. The bottom, in all cases, should be hemmed with a broad hem.

Shirts.—These are generally made of linen; but calico is also made use of. The degree of fineness must be determined by the occupation and station of the wearer. A long piece of linen will, if cut with care, make several shirts of an ordinary man’s size. In cutting, you must take a shirt of the required dimensions, as a pattern; and, by it, measure the length of several bodies, not cutting any but the last. Then cut off the other bodies; and from the remainder, cut off the sleeves, binders, gussets, &c., measuring by the pattern. Bosom-pieces, falls, collars, &c., must be fitted,[52] and cut by a paper or other pattern, which suits the person for whom the articles are intended.

In making up, the bodies should be doubled, so as to leave the front flap one nail shorter than that behind. Then, marking off the spaces for the length of the flaps and arm holes, sew up the seams. The bosom-slit is five nails, and three nails is the space left for the shoulders. The space for the neck will be nine nails. One breadth of the cloth makes the sleeves, and the length is from nine to ten nails. The collar, and the wristbands, are made to fit the neck and wrists, and the breadths are so various, that no general rule can be given. You make the binders, or linings, about twelve nails in length, and three in breadth; and the sleeve gussets are three; the neck gusset, two; the flap gussets, one; and the bosom gusset, half a nail square. The work, or stitches, introduced into the collar, wristbands, &c., are to be regulated according to the taste of the maker, or the wearer.

Gentlemen’s night shirts are made in a similar manner, only they are larger. The cloth recommended to be used, is that kind of linen which is called shirting-width. Where a smaller size is required, a long strip will cut off from the width, which will be found useful for binders, wristbands, &c.

Veils.—These are made of net, gauze, or lace, and are plain or worked, as suits the taste of the wearer. White veils are generally of lace: mourning ones are made of black crape. The jet-black is to be preferred, as it wears much better than the kind termed blue-black. Colored veils look well with a satin ribbon of the same color, about a nail deep, put on as a hem all round. For white ones, a ribbon of a light color is preferable, as it makes a slight contrast. A crape, or gauze veil, is hemmed round; that at the bottom being something broader than the rest. All veils[53] have strings run in at the top, and riding ones are frequently furnished with a ribbon at the bottom, which enables the wearer to obtain the advantage of a double one, by tying the second string round her bonnet, where she is desirous to screen her eyes from the sun and dust, and at the same time to enjoy the advantage of a cool and refreshing breeze. Demi-veils are short veils, fulled all round the bonnet, but most at the ears, which makes them fall more gracefully. It is advisable to take them up a little at the ears, so as not to leave them the full depth: without this precaution, they are liable to appear unsightly and slovenly.




Bed-room Linen.—This includes quilts, blankets, sheets, pillow covers, towels, table covers, and pincushion covers.

Quilts.—These are of various sizes and qualities, in accordance with the purposes to which they are to be applied. They are generally made of the outside material and the lining, (wadding or flannel being laid between,) and stitched in diamonds or other devices. The stitches must pass through the whole, and the edges of the quilt are to be secured by a binding proper for the purpose. They are best done in a frame.

Blankets.—These are bought ready prepared for use. It is sometimes advisable to work over the edges at the end, which should be done with scarlet worsted in a very wide kind of button-hole stitch.

Sheets.—These are made of fine linen, coarse linen, and calico. Linen sheets are in general to be preferred. The seam up the middle must be sewed as neat as possible, and the ends may either be hemmed or seamed: the latter is the preferable method. Sheets, and all bed-room linen, should be marked and numbered. To add the date of the year is also an advantage.

Pillow Covers.—These are made of fine or coarse linen, and[55] sometimes of calico. The material should be of such a width as to correspond with the length of the pillow. One yard and three nails, doubled and seamed up, is the proper size. One end is seamed up, and the other hemmed with a broad hem, and furnished with strings or buttons, as is deemed most convenient. We think the preferable way of making pillow covers is to procure a material of a sufficient width when doubled, to admit the pillow. The selvages are then sewn together, and the ends seamed and hemmed, as before directed. Bolster covers are made in nearly the same manner, only a round patch is let into one end, and a tape slot is run into the other.

Towels.—Towels are made of a diaper or huckaback, of a quality adapted to the uses to which they are applicable. They should be one yard long, and about ten or twelve nails wide. The best are bought single, and are fringed at the ends. Others are neatly hemmed, and sometimes have a tape loop attached to them, by which they can be suspended against a wall.

Dressing Table Covers.—These may be made of any material that is proper for the purpose. Fine diaper generally, but sometimes dimity and muslin are employed, or the table is covered with a kind of Marseilles quilting which is prepared expressly for the purpose. Sometimes the covers are merely hemmed round, but they look much neater if fringed, or bordered with a moderately full frill. Sometimes a worked border is set on. All depends upon taste and fancy. A neat and genteel appearance in accordance with the furniture of the apartment, should be especially regarded.

Pincushion Covers.—A large pincushion, having two covers belonging to it, should belong to each toilet table. The covers are merely a bag into which the cushion is slipped. They may be[56] either worked or plain, and should have small tassels at each corner, and a frill or fringe all round.

Table Linen.—This department of plain needlework comprises table cloths, dinner napkins, and large and small tray napkins.

Table Cloths.—These may be purchased either singly or cut from the piece. In the latter case, the ends should be hemmed as neatly as possible.

Dinner Napkins.—These are of various materials; if cut from the piece, they must be hemmed at the ends the same as table cloths. Large and small tray napkins, and knife-box cloths, are made in the same manner. The hemming of all these should be extremely neat. It is a pretty and light employment for very young ladies; and in this way habits of neatness and usefulness may be formed, which will be found very beneficial in after life.

Pantry Linen.—In this department you will have to prepare pantry cloths, dresser cloths, plate basket cloths, china, glass, and lamp cloths, and aprons. Pantry knife-cloths should be of a strong and durable material. The dresser cloths, or covers, look neat and are useful. They are generally made of huckaback of moderate fineness; but some ladies prefer making them of a coarser kind of damask. The plate basket cloth is a kind of bag, which is put into the plate basket to prevent the side from becoming greased or discolored. They are made of linen, which is well fitted to the sides, and a piece the size and shape of the bottom of the basket, is neatly seamed in. The sides are made to hang over the basket, and are drawn round the rim by a tape, run into a slit for that purpose. China cloths, and also glass cloths, are to be made of fine soft linen, or diaper; and the cloths used in cleaning lamps, &c., must be of flannel, linen, or silk. All these articles are to be made in the same manner, that is, hemmed neatly at the ends;[57] or if there be no selvages, or but indifferent ones, all round. Nothing looks more slovenly than ragged or unhemmed cloths, which are for domestic use. Little girls of the humbler classes might be employed by the more affluent, in making up those articles and a suitable remuneration be given them. They would thus become more sensible of the value of time, and would contract habits of industry, which would be of essential service to them in the more advanced stages of their progress through life. A fair price paid for work done, either by a child or an adult, is far preferable to what is called charity. It at once promotes industry, and encourages a spirit of honest independence, which is far removed from unbecoming pride, as it is from mean and sneaking servility. Benevolence is the peculiar glory of woman; and we hope that all our fair readers will ever bear in mind, that real benevolence will seek to enable the objects of its regard to secure their due share of the comforts of life, by the honest employment of those gifts and talents, with which Providence may have endowed them.

Housemaid and Kitchen Linen.—The next subject to which the attention of the votress of plain needlework ought to be directed, is the preparation of housemaid and kitchen linen. On these subjects, a very few general observations will be all that is necessary. In the housemaid’s department, paint cloths, old and soft, and chamber-bottle cloths, fine and soft, are to be provided. To these must be added, dusters, flannels for scouring, and chamber bucket cloths, which last should be of a kind and color different from any thing else. All these must be neatly hemmed and run, or seamed, if necessary. Nothing in a well directed family should bear the impress of neglect, or be suffered to assume an untidy appearance. Clothes bags of different sizes, should also be provided, of two yards in length, and either one breadth doubled, in[58] which case only one seam will be required; or of two breadths, which makes the bag more suitable for large articles of clothing. These bags are to seamed up neatly at the bottom, and to have strings which will draw, run in at the top. The best material is canvas, or good, strong unbleached linen. In the kitchen department, you will require both table and dresser cloths; which should be made as neat as possible. Long towels, of good linen, and of a sufficient length, should be made, to hang on rollers; they are generally a full breadth, so that hemming the sides is unnecessary. They should be two yards long, when doubled, and the ends should be secured strongly and neatly together. If the selvage is bad, the best way is to hem it at once. Kitchen dusters, tea cloths, and knife cloths, may be made of any suitable material; but in all cases let the edges be turned down, and neatly sewed or overcast.

Pudding Cloth.—This should be made of coarse linen, neatly hemmed round, furnished with strings of strong tape, and marked.

Jelly Bag.—This is made of a half square, doubled so as to still form a half square. The top must be hemmed, and be furnished with three loops, by which it is to be suspended from the frame when in use.

Some miscellaneous instructions, which could not otherwise be introduced, are to be found in the concluding chapter.




Binding.—Various kinds of work have binding set on to them in preference to hemming them, or working them in herring-bone stitch. Flannel is generally bound; sometimes with a thin tape, made for that purpose, and called “flannel binding.” It is also common to bind flannel with sarcenet ribbon. The binding is so put on, as to show but little over the edge on the right side, where it is hemmed down neatly; on the other side, it is run on with small stitches.

Braiding.—Silk braid looks pretty, and is used for a variety of purposes. In putting it on, it is best to sew it with silk drawn out of the braid, as it is a better match, and the stitches will be less perceived.

Marking.—It is of essential importance that cloths should be marked and numbered. This is often done with ink, but as some persons like to mark with silk, we shall describe the stitch. Two threads are to be taken each way of the cloth, and the needle must be passed three ways, in order that the stitch may be complete. The first is aslant from the person, toward the right hand; the second is downward, toward you: and the third is the reverse of the first, that is, aslant from you toward the left hand. The needle[60] is to be brought out at the corner of the stitch, nearest to that you are about to make. The shapes of the letters or figures can be learnt from an inspection of any common sampler.

Piping.—This is much used in ornamenting children’s and other dresses. It is made by inclosing a cord, of the proper thickness, in a stripe of silk, cut the cross-way, and must be put on as evenly as possible.

Plaiting.—The plaits must be as even as it is possible to place them, one against another. In double plaiting they lie both ways, and meet in the middle.

Tucks.—These require to be made even. You should have the breadth of the tuck, and also the space between each, notched on a card. They look the best run on with small and regular stitches. You must be careful to take a back-stitch constantly, as you proceed.

Making Buttons.—Cover the wire with a piece of calico, or other material of the proper size; turn in the corners neatly, and work round the wire in button-hole stitch; work the centre like a star.

Some may think that we have been too minute; but we were desirous to omit nothing that could be generally useful; and we have had regard also to those ladies who, having been under no necessity of practising plain needlework in their earlier years, are desirous of preparing articles for their humbler fellow creatures, or by the sale of which, they procure more ample supplies for the funds of charity. We have good reason to believe, that many well-disposed persons would be glad, in this way, to aid the cause of humanity—and to devote a portion of their leisure hours to the augmenting of the resources of benevolence—but they are destitute of the practical experience necessary to enable them to do so. To[61] all such, we hope our little manual will be an acceptable offering, and enable them, by a judicious employment of the means and talents committed to their trust, to realize the truth of the saying of the wise man, “There is that scattereth and yet increaseth.”


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90
91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110
111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120

In order to render the elementary stitches of fancy needle-work as easy of acquirement as possible, we subjoin the following diagram; any lady will thus be able to form the various stitches, by simply taking a piece of canvas, and counting the corresponding number of threads, necessary to form a square like the diagram;[62] she will perceive the lines represent the threads of the canvas, the squares numbered being the holes formed by the intersection of the threads; and following the directions given in the accompanying chapter, she will soon be able to work any patterns here exhibited, and such new ones as her inventive genius may lead her to design.




The Art of Fancy Needlework is closely allied to the sister ones of Painting and Design; and appears to have been well understood amongst the most polished nations of antiquity. We know that the art was practised with considerable success, by the Babylonians, Egyptians, Persians, and Arabians, as well as by the Greeks and Romans. The Jews brought the art of needlework with them, out of Egypt, as we learn from the directions for building the Tabernacle, and preparing the holy garments; and Sidon is celebrated for the rich wares of broidered cloths, in which part of her extensive traffic consisted. In more modern times, we find the fair hands of the ladies of Europe employed in depicting the events of history, in tapestry, of which the much celebrated Bayeux tapestry—supposed to have been wrought by Matilda, the beloved wife of William the Norman—detailing the various occurrences in the life of Harold, from his arrival in Normandy, to the fatal battle of Hastings, is a standing proof. Ladies of high rank employed themselves thus, for various purposes, previous to the reformation; and it is a fact, worthy of especial notice, that in those ages, when it has been required for the adornment of the[64] temples, and the encouragement of honorable valor and has thus become associated with the sanctifying influences of religion and manly virtue, it has flourished most.[64-*] Queen Adelicia, wife of Henry I.; Ann, queen of France; Catherine, of Aragon; Lady Jane Grey; Mary Queen of Scots; and Queen Elizabeth, all excelled in this delightful art. At the Reformation, or soon after that event, needlework began sensibly to decline, and continued to do so, until the commencement of the present century. At that time, a new and elevated development of mind began to appear, which was accompanied by a very visible advancement in every department of arts and sciences. This revival of the fine arts, like the mental and sacred gushing forth of mind, which gave it birth, was often in extremely bad taste; but as the latter becomes more purified and exalted, the former advances in improvement—mind asserts its superiority over matter, and infuses into the useful and ornamental, a living spirit of moral affection and enlightened sentiment. The year 1800 gave to the world, the celebrated Berlin patterns; but it was not until a lapse of thirty years, that their merits became generally appreciated; but now, such is the perfection attained in the cultivation of the art of needlework, that some of its productions, for delicacy and expression, may almost bear comparison with painting in oil.

Tent Stitch

Tent Stitch.—Work the cross way of the canvas, bringing your needle up through the diagram, No. 2 down 11, one stitch; up 3 down 12, up 4 down 13, and so continue to the end. This stitch is proper for grounding, and for groups of flowers; but in the latter case, it will produce the best effect if[65] the flowers are done in tent stitch, and the grounding in tent cross stitch (which is the same as tent stitch, only crossed.)

Cross Stitch

Cross Stitch.—Is the same as marking stitch; bring your needle up 21 down 3, up 23 down 1, one stitch, up 41 down 23, up 43 down 21, and so continue till your work is finished. All the stitches must incline to the right, or the work will appear imperfect and unsightly.

Double Cross Stitch

Double Cross Stitch.—This is a stitch very easy of execution. Bring your needle up No. 41, over four threads, down 5, up 1 down 45, up 43 down 25, up 3 down 25, up 3 down 21, up 43 down 21, one stitch. Four, six, or eight threads may be taken in depth, and two in width, according as taste may suggest. This is an admirable stitch for large pieces of work. Gold thread introduced between each row is a desirable addition to its attractive beauty.

Straight Cross Stitch

Straight Cross Stitch.—This is a new invention, and has a pretty appearance. Bring your needle up No. 11 down 13, up 2 down 22, one stitch; up 31 down 33, up 22 down 42, and so on in like manner, till the work is finished.

Double Straight Cross Stitch.—Bring your needle up No. 3 down 43, up 21 down 25, up 14 down 32, up 12 down 34, one stitch. Owing to the number of times the wool is crossed, each stitch has a very bead-like appearance. A piece wholly worked in this, has an admirable effect.


Gobelin Stitch

Gobelin Stitch.—This truly beautiful stitch is especially calculated for working on canvas traced with flowers, leaves, &c.; and also for working designs, copied from oil paintings. Bring your needle up No. 2 down 21, one stitch, up 3 down 22, up 4 down 23, and so on to the end of the row. The stitches may be taken either in height or width, as may best accord with the taste, or with the subject represented.

Basket Stitch

Basket Stitch.—This is the same as Irish stitch, but the arrangement is different. Work three stitches over two threads; these are called short stitches; and then the long ones are formed by working three over six threads, the centre of which are the two on which the short stitches were worked. Thus you must continue the short and long stitches alternately, until you have finished the row. In the next, the long stitches must come under the short ones; and this diversity must be kept up until all the rows are completed. To finish the pattern, you have only to run a loose film of wool under the long stitches on each of the short ones, and the task is done.

Irish Stitch

Irish Stitch.—This is the production of an Irish lady of high rank. Bring your needle up No. 1 over four threads down 41, one stitch back two threads, up 22 down 62, up 43 (observe this is in a line with 41) down 83, up 64 (in a line with 62) down 104, up 102 down 62, up 81 down 41, continuing thus over the square. The spaces left between every other stitch must be filled up with half stitches; for instance, up 81 down 101, up 83 down 103. It is also some[67]times worked covering six and eight threads of the canvas at a time, coming back three or four threads, in the same proportion as the directions given. This stitch is proper for grounding, when the design is worked in tent or cross stitch; and the effect would be heightened by two strongly contrasted shades of the same color. It can be applied to a great variety of devices, diamonds and vandykes for example, and many others which will suggest themselves to the fair votaries of this delightful art. It looks pretty, and is easy of execution.

Feather Stitch

Feather Stitch.—This, as its name implies, has a light and feathery appearance, and will be found proper for any work in which lightness should predominate. You must proceed as in tent stitch, and work over twelve threads or less, but not more; then bring your needle out one thread below, and cross on each side of your straight stitch: you must so continue, taking care to drop a thread in height and keeping the bottom even with the long stitch with which you began. Thus proceed until you have ten threads on the cross, which will make a square: of course you must, in the same manner, form all the squares necessary to complete the row. You can vary the pattern considerably by making the edges irregular, which is done by lowering your slant stitches, the first one two, and the next one thread, and so proceeding. This will, in our opinion, improve the appearance of the work. You can introduce as many shades as you please, only taking care that a proper contrast is duly preserved. You finish by stitching up the centre of each row on a single thread. For this purpose, silk or gold thread may be introduced with advantage. It should be remarked, that each row must be worked the contrary way to the[68] one that preceded it, so that the wide and narrow portions may meet and blend with each other.

Point Stitch

Point Stitch.—To work this stitch, take four threads straight way of the canvas, and bring the needle three steps up, and so proceed until your point is of a sufficient depth. This stitch looks pretty, worked in different and well contrasted shades, and may be applied to many useful and ornamental purposes.

Queen Stitch

Queen Stitch.—Work over four threads in height and two in width, crossing from right to left, and back again. Finish each row by a stitch across, between them, taking a thread of each, and, of course, working upon two threads. This is a very neat stitch.

Queen’s Vandyke

Queen’s Vandyke.—This is supposed to be the invention of Princess Clementina, one of the daughters, we believe of a king of France. Take twelve threads, and reduce two each stitch, until the length and breadth are in conformity. It can be introduced into a variety of work, and looks well.

Single Plait Stitch

Single Plait Stitch.—Pass the needle across the canvas through two threads, from right to left; you then cross four threads downward, and pass the needle as before; then cross upward over two threads aslant, and again pass over four threads, always working downward, and passing the needle from right to left, across two threads, until the row is completed as far as you desire.


Double Plait Stitch

Double Plait Stitch.—This stitch is from left to right across four threads aslant downward, and crossed from right to left, the needle passing out at the left, in the middle of the four threads just crossed, and so continue working downward, until you have finished the pattern.

Velvet Stitch.—This is a combination of cross stitch and queen stitch, and is very ornamental when properly done. You work in plain cross stitch three rows, then leave three threads, and again work three rows as before; thus proceed until your canvas is covered, leaving three threads between every triple row of cross stitch. Then across the rows work in queen stitch with double wool; but instead of taking two distinct threads for each stitch, you may take one thread of the preceding stitch; this will give an added thickness to your work. It will be advisable to work the wool over slips of card or parchment, as doing so will make it better to cut. If you work it in squares, they should not be larger than seventeen stitches; and to look well, they must each be placed the contrary way to the other.

Algerine Work.—This work much resembles a Venetian carpet, but is finer; it looks best done in very small patterns. It is worked over cotton piping cord, the straight way of the corners; the stitches are over three threads. Your work as in raised work, putting the colors in as you come to them, and counting three stitches in width, as one stitch when you are working Berlin pattern. The paper canvas is No. 45 and the cord No. 00. It is proper for table mats and other thick kinds of work.

To Fill up Corners.—Work in any stitch you prefer and shade in accordance with the subject. In these, and ornamental[70] borders, &c., there is much room for the development of taste and judgment. In all that, you undertake, it will be well for you to recollect, that nothing is lost by taking time to think. However trivial and unimportant our actions may be, they should always be preceded by mature deliberation. A habit of thought once established will remain through life, and protect its possessor from the countless miseries of rash actions, and the agonies of remorse and unavailable repentance.

[64-*] The presentation of an embroidered scarf was a common mark of approval in the ages of chivalry.




The Beaufort Star

The Beaufort Star.—This is a beautiful pattern, and will look well, as a centre, for any moderately-sized piece of work. Begin on the width of the canvas, and take twelve threads, reducing at every stitch, one thread for six rows, and thus continue decreasing and increasing alternately, to form squares like diamonds, to the end of the row. The next row is performed in the same manner, only you work on the long way of the canvas. Introduce gold or silver thread between where the stitches join, and so finish.

Chess Pattern

Chess Pattern.—Work a square in cross stitch, with three stitches, making three of a dark shade and six of white, working as many squares as you require, and leaving spaces equal to those occupied by cross stitch, which you must fill up with Irish stitch, working across the canvas. You can employ any color that will harmonize well with the cross stitch; and[72] to complete the pattern, you must work a single stitch across each square, in Irish stitch.

Dice Pattern.—This is formed by working rows of eight stitches, in any color you please. You must here have four shades, and work two stitches in each shade. Commence a stitch, over ten threads, and drop one each time, until you have taken eight stitches; the intermediate spaces are for the ground, which must contrast with the pattern; and the introduction of a little gold or silver thread, would be an improvement.

Double Diamond, in Long Stitch

Double Diamond, in Long Stitch.—This pattern, when it is worked in two colors strongly contrasted, and the diamonds composed of beads, is exceedingly beautiful. The shades of scarlet and blue, on a white or black ground, produce the most agreeable effect.

German Pattern

German Pattern.—There is a Gothic grandeur and sobriety about this pattern which gives to it a noble and grave aspect. It is worked in Irish stitch, six threads straight down the second row, falling about four stitches below the first; the third, the same below the second; the fourth and fifth the same number below the third; the next three the same; and then six in the same proportion. You then increase, and so render the arch uniform. The pattern then looks like the head of a Gothic column reversed; and the centre should be so disposed as[73] to produce the best effect: those for the first and last row must be of the same tint; and the same rule applies to all the rest. A lady can, of course, choose her own colors; but care must be had to blend the alternate light and dark shades so as to produce a natural harmony.

Irish Diamond

Irish Diamond.—This is beautiful, and is very easy of execution. Commence with two threads, and increase to fourteen, working across the canvas, and increasing one thread each way; then decrease to two in the same manner; and so proceed, until the row is completed. Begin the next row two threads down the canvas, and place a gold or steel bead in the centre of each diamond. Finish with a bordering of gold twist, or mother of pearl.


Lace.—This is a new invention, and is somewhat difficult of execution. The recognized material is a black Chantilly silk. It is mostly worked from Berlin patterns, and may be done either in cross stitch, or in straight stitch pattern: the edge is finished in cross stitch with wool. You may imitate a pearl border, by taking two threads directly behind the border. It is used for sofa pillows, &c., to which it forms a very pretty termination indeed.

Heart Pattern.—This pattern looks well. Pass the wool over ten threads in the centre, then make four additional stitches of ten threads, dropping one each time from the top, and taking one up at the bottom; then take the sixth stitch, dropping a thread[74] at the top as before, but keeping the bottom even with the fifth stitch; your seventh stitch must be in six threads, decreasing two both at the top and bottom; and your last will be on two threads, worked in the same manner: then proceed to form the other half of the pattern. The hearts may be worked in various shades of the same color, and the space between them is to filled up with a diamond, or with an ornament in gold twist, or pearl.

Princess Royal

Princess Royal.—Work this in rows of stitches over four and two threads alternately, leaving one thread between each stitch: begin the next row two threads down, with a stitch over two threads, and proceed as before. Work in two strongly contrasted shades, and fill in the vacancies with gold or pearl beads.

Roman Pattern.—The material to be used, in working the pattern, is purse twist; and the grounding may be done in gobelin or tent stitch. The pattern is to be worked in three shades, of the same color; the centre forming a diamond in the lightest shade, then the next, and lastly the darkest to form a broad outline. This kind of work is done quickly, and presents a rich appearance.

Russian Pattern

Russian Pattern.—This is worked in rows across the canvas, in stitches of irregular lengths, and has a pleasing effect. Pass the first stitch over sixteen threads, the second over twelve, the third over sixteen, and so proceed to the seventh row, which is the centre. Pass the stitch over eighteen threads, and proceed as before for six rows; leave a space of four threads, and commence as at first. Form the second row in the same manner, leaving four threads between the longest stitches in each row: the rows may be[75] worked in any number of shades, taking care to preserve uniformity, and the spaces must be filled in with a diamond, worked in the same manner, but reduced in size, and in one color; or it may be worked in gold thread, which would greatly relieve the monotonous appearance of the pattern. It will be best to begin and finish each row with a half diamond.

Victoria Pattern

Victoria Pattern.—Pass the wool or silk for the centre stitch over six threads, the next over five, and so proceed to the corner, which will be on one thread; the other side must be done in a different shade, but the same color, and the shades of each must be turned alternately the opposite way. The corner stitch should be of some brilliant colored silk, if not of gold thread: the top of one square will be the bottom of another, and you work the three stitches between the corners in black or dark wool. The squares must be filled in with long stitch, working from corner to corner, across the canvas.

Wave Pattern.—These are extremely beautiful, when worked in four or five shades. They are done in Irish stitch, and the rows must be worked close together, the wool is passed over six threads, and the rows dropped a few threads below each other, so as to form a wave. The pattern may be varied almost infinitely; the following forms a beautiful specimen: work six rows of any length you choose, dropping one stitch at the top and adding one to the bottom of each row; then proceed upwards, for six rows, and you will obtain a beautiful pointed wave, the seventh row forming the centre; then work nine rows, of which the first, third, fifth seventh, and ninth, must be level with the second row of the[76] pointed wave; and the second, fourth, sixth, and eight, must be on a level with the first and last rows, while the first, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth, must drop two stitches, so as to produce an irregular edge; then work a pointed wave, as before, and the pattern is complete.

Windsor Pattern

Windsor Pattern.—In working this pattern, you must count eight threads down the canvas, and then increase one each way, until you have twelve, so as to form a diamond of six sides. The second row must be begun with twelve threads, so as to join the longest stitch in the former row. When each row is finished, the intersectional diamonds must be filled in; which may be done either in silk or gold thread, and has an extremely neat appearance.



For bottle-stand, or any small piece of work, star patterns are very beautiful. The materials proper for working them, are silk and wool, with gold or any other kind of beads, and gold thread or twist. For foundations, you may use either velvet or silk canvas.

Small sprigs are pretty, for work that is not too large; chenille is proper for the flowers, and the stalks and leaves look best in silk; a few gold beads add to the effect.

For large pieces of work, medallion patterns are much used, and produce a good impression on the eye; the outline is to be traced in brilliant silk, and for the centre employ two shades of the same color, working half in each shade; the medallion should be placed upon a white field, and the whole grounded in a dark color, which harmonizes well with the design of the pattern.

Bags may be worked in a variety of ways, to suit taste and convenience. The border is often made to resemble black lace, and when properly executed, looks extremely well. The parts filled up, should be worked in black floss or black wool. Leaves may be worked with gold twist, or beads may be employed. The grounding should be in fine twisted silk: any color may be used. In other cases, white wool, white silk, silver and glass beads, and several other materials are in requisition; so that here is ample scope for classification and arrangement. A mourning bag[78] looks well done to imitate lace, worked in black floss silk, and ornamented with black glass and silver beads, disposed in a tasteful and ornamental style. Sometimes a bag is worked as a shield of four squares; in such a case, two squares should be worked in feather stitch, and the others in any stitch that will form a pleasing contrast: the border should be a simple, but elegant lace pattern.

For braces and bracelets, any small border pattern may be adopted. They should be worked in two colors, highly contrasted, for bracelets: gold twist round the edge is a great addition.

These suggestions in reference to patterns, might have been greatly extended; but we wish every young lady to draw upon the resources of her own mind, and to think for herself. To one, who is desirous to excel, we have said enough; a little thought will enable her to apply the general principles, here laid down, to any particular case; and, without the employment of the thinking faculty, the most minute instructions, in this or any other art, would fail in producing their intended effects.




Embroidery with Silk.—The materials used as foundations, are various, embracing silk, satin, cloth, and velvet; and the silk employed in working is purse silk, deckers, half twist, and floss; but floss is most in request.

Embroidery should always be worked in a frame, as it cannot be done well on the hand, except in very small pieces. The same careful attention to shades, before recommended, is necessary here; for small flowers two or three shades are sufficient; but in roses and others, that are large, five shades are in general required; the darker shades should be worked into the centre of the flower, (and it is often advisable to work them in French knots,)[79-*] and thence proceed with the lighter, until you come to the lightest, which forms the outline. The pattern must be correctly drawn upon the material, and in working leaves you must begin with the points, working in the lighter shades first, and veining with a shade more dark: you may soften the blending, by working each shade up, between the stitches of the preceding shade. Three,[80] or at most four shades, are sufficient for the leaves: the introduction of more would injure the effect.

Chenille Embroidery.—Is very beautiful for screens, &c., but must not be used for any work that is liable to pressure. Choose a needle as large as can be conveniently used, and be careful not to have the lengths of chenille too long, as it is apt to get rough in the working. For flowers, it is necessary that the shades should not be too near. The chenille must pass through the material freely, so as not to draw it. It looks well done in velvet, with occasional introductions of gold and silver thread.

Raised Embroidery.—Draw the pattern on the material as before. Work the flowers, &c., to the height required, in soft cotton, taking care that the centre is much higher than the edges. A careful study of nature is indispensable to the attainment of excellence in this kind of work. Pursue the same method with your colors, as in flat embroidery, only working them much closer. The most striking effect is produced when the flowers or animals are raised, and leaves in flat embroidery. Much in this, as in every department of this charming art, must depend upon the taste and judgment—correct or otherwise—of the fair artist. A servile copyist will never attain to excellence.

Embroidery in Wool.—This is proper for any large piece of work. The rules for shading embroidery with silk apply here; only the work must not be quite so thick on the material; care must also be taken to bring the wool through on the right side, as near as possible to where it passes through, in order that none may appear on the wrong side, which would occasion much trouble in drawing it, even when removed from the frame. When finished, and while in the frame, it will be proper to damp the back with a little isinglass water, and press with a warm iron on[81] the wrong side. This kind of work is appropriate for the ornamenting of various articles of dress, on which, when judiciously placed, it has a pleasing effect.

Patterns.—This is a part of fancy needlework to which too much attention cannot be paid, but it is one much neglected. We want to see native genius developed, and we are convinced that many a fair one could increase our stock of patterns, with new and surprising conceptions, if she could but be induced to make the trial. To draw patterns for embroidery or braid work, get a piece of cartridge paper, and having drawn out the design, trace it off upon tissue paper, or which is better, a tracing paper, properly prepared; after which you will find it easy to pierce it through with a piercer, taking care not to run one hole into another. Lay the paper so prepared upon the material which you intend to work, and dust it with a pounce bag, so that the powder may go through the holes; the paper must then be carefully removed, and if the material be dark, take a camel’s hair pencil, and paint the marks with a mixture of white lead and gum water; or if you prefer it, you can trace the marks left by the pounce, with a black-lead pencil, but the other methods are preferable. A little practice and perseverance will enable you to became tolerably proficient in this department, and confer upon you the further advantage of aiding you in acquiring those habits of untiring diligence, which are so essential to the attainment of any object. Ever recollect, that anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.

[79-*] This applies especially to the working of dahlias: begin with the centre knot and work round it as many as are required.




This is a subject which must be carefully attended to, or much unnecessary trouble will be incurred in consequence.

To Dress a Frame for Cross Stitch.—The canvas must be hemmed neatly round: then count your threads, and place the centre one exactly in the middle of the frame. The canvas must be drawn as tight as the screws or pegs will permit; and if too long, should be wrapped round the poles with tissue paper, to keep it from dust and the friction of the arms, as that is essential to the beauty of the work. It must in all cases be rolled under, or it will occasion much trouble in the working. When placed quite even in the frame, secure by fine twine passed over the stretchers, and through the canvas very closely; both sides must be tightened gradually, or it will draw to one side, and the work will be spoiled.

To Dress a Frame for Cloth Work.—Stretch your cloth in the frame as tight as possible, the right side uppermost.

The canvas on which you intend to work, must be of a size to correspond with the pattern, and must be placed exactly in the centre of the cloth, to which it is to be secured as smooth as possible. When the work is finished the canvas must be cut, and[83] the threads drawn out, first one and then the other. It is necessary to be especially careful in working, not to split the threads, as that would prevent them drawing, and would spoil the appearance of the work. In all cases, it is advisable to place the cloth so as that the nap may go downward. In working bouquets of flowers, this rule is indispensable.

The patterns for cloth work should be light and open. It looks well for sofas, arm chairs, &c., but is by no means so durable as work done with wool, entirely on canvas.

To Dress a Frame for Tent Stitch.—Prepare the frame, and brace the canvas as for cross stitch, only not quite even, but inclining the contrary way to that in which you slant your stitch. This is necessary, as tent stitch always twists a little. This method will cause the work, when taken out of the frame, to appear tolerably straight. Should it after all be crooked, it should be nailed at the edges to a square board, and the work may then be pulled even by the threads so as to become perfectly straight. The back of the work should then be slightly brushed over with isinglass water, taking care not to let the liquid come through to the right side. A sheet of paper must be placed between the work and the board, and when nearly dry, another must be laid upon it, and the whole ironed with a warm iron, not too hot, or the brilliancy of the colors will be destroyed.

Some persons use flour instead of isinglass, but it is highly improper, and should never be resorted to.


Armorial Bearings.—Work the arms and crest in silk, as brilliancy is the thing here principally required. It will be proper that[84] the scroll should be worked in wool. The contrast will have a pleasing effect.

Applique.—This is a very beautiful kind of work. The material may be either silk, or cloth, or any other fabric which may be preferred. Upon this foundation, pieces of satin, velvet, &c., are to be carefully tacked down; the pattern, leaves, flowers, &c., must then be drawn, both on the foundation, and the materials of which they are to be formed; after which, they must be cut out and sewed on in the neatest manner possible. They are then to be braided with their own colors round the edges; you must also braid the tendrils and the veins of leaves; work the centre of leaves in a long stitch, and the kind of silk called purse silk, and after braiding the centre of flowers—if single—work over them with French knots, made by twining the silk twice round the needle, and passing it through the material. This kind of work, as covers for tables chairs, &c., is very elegant, and has a good effect.

Bead Work.—Use the canvas called bolting; and work two threads each way on the slant, with china silk, taking especial care that the beads are all turned the same way, that the whole may appear uniform. Work the pattern with thick beads and ground with transparent ones. You must, in this kind of work, have as few shades as possible.

Braid Work.—Trace the pattern in the material, and proceed with the various shades, from the outline or lightest, to the darkest, till the whole is completed. In this work only two shades are for leaves, and three for flowers; make the points as sharp as possible, and in turning the points, work one stitch up close to the point where you turn the braid, and another immediately afterwards to keep it in its place. Vein the leaves in a bouquet with purse silk use gold braid in finishing as taste may direct; and in fastening[85] draw the braid through the material. The best instrument for this purpose is a chenille needle. In braid work and applique, only one stitch must be taken at a time, or else the work will appear puckered.

Braces.—Work in silk canvas three inches broad, in silk or wool, in any pattern you prefer.

Gem, or Set Patterns.—For this kind of work, ground in black or dark wool, and work the patterns in silks, as distinct and bright as possible, and with the utmost variety of colors. The beauty of these productions of the needle, depends chiefly upon their brilliant and gem-like appearance.

Gobelin.—If you work in coarse canvas, adopt the same contrast of shades as you employ in cross stitch; if the material be fine, you must shade as in tent stitch.

Gentlemen’s Waistcoats.—To ornament the dress of a father, brother, or husband, must at all times be a pleasing employment for domestic affection. For dress waistcoats, embroider satin, either in the form of a wreath, round the edge of the waistcoat, or in small sprigs; for morning, you may work in any pattern you prefer. Patterns of the Caledonian Clans are now much admired.

Landscapes.—These may be rendered extremely beautiful, if properly managed. The trees in front should be much lighter than those seen in the back ground, and great care should be taken to prevent the latter having too blue a cast, as this renders them unharmonious, when contrasted with the sky. Represent water by shades of a blue grey: the sky should be a serene blue, with much closeness, and mingled with clouds composed of varying tints of a white and a yellow drab. If mountains are seen in the distance, they should be of a grey lavender tint, and some living animal[86] should, in nearly all cases, be introduced. The presence of a cow, sheep, &c., gives life and animation to the view.

Mosaic Work.—If you work with wool, cut it into short lengths, and untwist it. No wool can be procured sufficiently fine for this kind of work. If you work with silk, the finest floss is preferable to any other: split silk would be found extremely inconvenient, and the work would not look so well. Care must be taken that the shades are very distinct, or they will appear jumbled and unsightly. It will also be necessary to fasten off at every shade, and not to pass from one flower to another, as in that case the fastenings would become visible on the right side, and thus impair the beauty of the performance. In working a landscape, some recommend placing behind the canvas a painted sky, to avoid the trouble of working one. As a compliance with such advice would tend to foster habits of idleness, and thus weaken the sense of moral propriety which should in all we do be ever present with us, as well as destroy that nice sense of honor and sincerity which flies from every species of deception, we hope the fair votaries of this delightful art will reject the suggestion with the contempt it merits.

Patterns on Canvas.—Employ for canvas four or five shades, beginning with the darkest, and softening gradually into a lighter tint, till you come to the lightest, following the distinction of contrast exhibited by the Berlin patterns. If you wish to introduce silk into any part, it will be best to work it in last. Be careful to avoid taking odd threads, if you work the pattern in cross stitch.

Perforated Card.—The needle must not be too large, or the holes will be liable to get broken. The smaller ones must be worked in silk: the larger patterns may be done in either silk or wool. Sometimes the flowers are worked in Chenille, and the[87] leaves in silk; this gives to card cases, &c., a beautiful and highly ornamental appearance.

Rug Bordering.—Use a wooden mesh, grooved, an inch and a quarter in width; pass the material over the mesh, and work in cross stitch: the material to be used, is what is called slacks, (a kind of worsted,) which must be six or eight times doubled. You must leave three threads between each row, and not more than eight rows are required to complete the border.

Wire Work.—For this work choose shades of a light in preference to a dark color, and work with silk. If you employ both silk and wool, silk must be used for the lighter shades, or the beauty of the work will be impaired. Sponge the whole before commencing work.




Lace.—This imitation is used as an elegant finish for carriage bags, sofa pillows, &c.; and also for ladies’ work bags, to which it is both ornamental and becoming.

Princess Royal.—This pattern is especially proper for bags or small stands.

Point Stitch, is well adapted for working covers for hassocks, as well as for bags of a considerable size.

Basket Stitch.—This kind of work is very elegant for flower, fruit, or work baskets; or any other of an ornamental character.

German Pattern, is well adapted for slippers, as, when worked, it is found to be very durable, and its appearance peculiarly fits it for this application.

Embroidery, is of almost universal application: that with chenille is much used in the ornamental parts of dress, and is productive of a most pleasing effect. Embroidery in wool is also much in use for the same purpose.

Rug Borderings.—These may be considered as articles of domestic economy; and besides the pleasure which arises from seeing the parlor, or the side-board, adorned with the elegant productions of a daughter, or a sister, this kind of work is at all times,[89] when properly executed, superior, considered merely as work, far superior to any similar productions emanating from the loom.

Gentlemen’s Waistcoats and Braces.—By being able to perform this kind of work, it is at all times in the power of the fair sex to offer an elegant present to a father, husband, or brother, and thus to increase the hallowed pleasures of the domestic circle. This reason is amply sufficient to induce our lovely countrywomen to cultivate this department of fancy needlework.

Wire Work.—This is a lovely material for baskets, and various kinds of ornamental fabrications.

Working Figures.—This delightful application of the needle may be rendered subservient to numerous useful and interesting purposes. By it the sister arts of painting and design may be materially promoted: the scenes of former days may be delineated on the historic canvas, or the portrait of a departed friend may be placed before us, as when blooming in all the living lustre of angelic loveliness. Let this portion of the art be especially and assiduously cultivated.

Armorial Bearings.—These are proper for screens, and may be made of a high moral utility, by exciting in the minds of the young, an ardent desire to become acquainted with the events of history, and with the actions and principles of former times.

Mosaic Work, and Perforated Card.—These are used for note books, ornamental card cases, hand screens, book marks and a variety of other useful purposes.

Braid Work.—The application of this kind of work is well known, and is so general, that no particular cases need be pointed out.

Applique.—This is very elegant, as employed for table covers,[90] sofas, chairs, &c.; indeed it always looks pretty, and to whatever it is applied it has a pleasing effect.

Star Patterns, are proper for sofa cushions, bottle stands, or any piece of work that is small.

Medallion Pattern.—Where the work is coarse, or large, these may be introduced with good effect; but especial attention must be paid to a proper combination of colors and shades.




Instructions in Grounding.—Care must be taken in grounding to make the effect of contrast very conspicuous. Thus, if you ground in dark colors, your pattern should be worked in shades of a light and lively tint; for those in which dark shades predominate, a light ground is indispensible. The canvas for white grounding should be white; and if for dark grounding, a striped fabric is employed. The stripes will sometimes appear through the wool. To prevent this it will be necessary to rub over the surface with a little Indian ink water previous to commencing working, but care must be taken not to let the mixture run into the edges of the work, and it must be quite dry before you commence grounding. A camel’s hair brush is best for this purpose. In working in cross stitch, it is best to do so on the slant, working from right to left across the canvas, and then back again. This is preferable to crossing each stitch as you proceed, and gives an improved appearance to the work.

If you work in tent stitch, work straight, or your performance will be uneven when taken out of the frame. In all cases begin to go round from the centre, and work outwards, taking care to fasten off as you finish with each needleful, which should not be[92] too long, as the wool is liable to get rough and soiled. It is also necessary to have them irregular as to length, to prevent the fastenings coming together which they will be apt to do if this suggestion is not attended to. For working in tent stitch with single wool, the canvas must not have more than fourteen threads to an inch; for cross stitch you must have a canvas not coarser than twenty-two threads to an inch; for the former, you will for every two and a half square inches require a skein of wool; in the latter case a skein will cover two inches. Following this calculation, you can easily ascertain the quantity of wool required for any piece of work; and it is advisable to purchase all your wool at the same time, otherwise you will have much trouble in matching the shades. An attention to these instructions will soon make you a proficient in the grounding department of the art.

Working Figures.—This is at once one of the most difficult, and at the same time one of the most pleasing tasks which the votary of fancy needlework will have to perform; they generally produce the best effect when worked in wool and silk, with a judicious mixture of gold and silver beads. The hair and drapery should be worked in cross stitch; and the face, neck, and hands, in tent stitch; working four of the latter for one of the former. To obtain the proper tints for the face, &c., is no easy task; but it must be carefully attended to, as almost the whole beauty of the work depends upon it. The shades in these parts of the figure must be extremely close; indeed upon shading of the features the perfection of the performance mainly depends. The drapery also demands considerable care: the shades must be very distinct, particularly the lighter ones in the folds of the dress; and the back ground should be subdued as much as possible, that a proper prominence may be given to the figure: this object will be aided[93] considerably by working in the lighter shades in silk: any representation of water or of painted glass, should be worked in the same material. The intention of the fair worker should be to give to her performance as near an approximation to oil painting as possible.

Raised Work.—This should be done with German wool, as it more nearly resembles velvet. For working flowers, you must have two meshes, one-seventh of an inch in width, and the pattern must be worked in gobelin stitch. Be careful not to take one mesh out, until you have completed the next row. You work across the flowers; and in order to save an unnecessary waste of time, as well as to facilitate your work, it will be best to thread as many needles as you require shades, taking care not to get the various shades mixed together. This is more needful, as you cannot, as in cross stitch, finish one shade before commencing another. When the pattern is worked, cut straight across each row, with a pair of scissors suitable to the purpose, and shear the flower into its proper form.

For working animals or birds, you must have three meshes; the first, one quarter; and the third, one seventh of an inch: the second must be a medium between these two. You will require the largest for the breast, and the upper parts of the wings. Cross stitch may be employed in working the beak, or feet, and is indeed preferable. You may work leaves, either in cross stitch or in gobelin stitch, as taste or fancy may direct. You may work either from a drawing on canvas, or from Berlin pattern; but the latter is decidedly to be preferred.

Working Berlin Patterns.—For these patterns, it will be necessary to work in canvas, of eighteen or ten threads to the inch, according as you may desire the work to be a larger, or of the[94] same size as the pattern: and, it must be borne in mind, that all the patterns are drawn for tent stitch, so that if you work in cross stitch, and wish to have it the same size as the pattern, you must count twenty stitches on the canvas, for ten on the paper. The choice of colors, for these patterns, is a matter of essential importance as the transition from shade to shade, if sudden and abrupt, will entirely destroy the beauty of the design. A natural succession of tints, softly blending into each other, can, alone produce the desired effect. In working flowers, five or six shades will be required: in a rose, or other large flower, six shades are almost indispensible; of these, the darkest should form the perfect centre, then the next (not prominently, though perceptibly) differing from it, and the next four to the lightest tint; the whole, to be so managed, as to give to the flower that fulness, and distinctness, which its position in the design demands. For small flowers, so many shades are rarely necessary. The two darkest shades should be strong, the others soft; this secures sufficiency of contrast, without impairing that harmony of tints, which is so indispensible. You must recollect, that for work done in tent stitch, a greater contrast of shade is required, than for that done in cross stitch. This remark should never be lost sight of. A proper attention to the shading of leaves, is indispensible; the kinds of green required, for this purpose, are bright grass green, for a rose; Saxon green, for lilies, convolvolus, peonies, &c.; French green, for iris, marigold, narcissus, &c.; and for poppies, tulips, &c.; a willow green, which has a rather bluer tint than French green is generally; and for leaves which stand up above the flowers, or near them, it is proper to work the tips in a very light green, as reflecting the rays of light: the next shade should be four times darker, or three at the least; the next two; then the fourth shade, two darker than the[95] third; and the fifth, two darker than the fourth: take care that the veins of leaves be distinctly marked, and those which are in the shade should be darker than those upon which the light falls; and if of a color having a bluish tint, a few worked in olive green will have a fine effect. The stalks of roses, &c., should be worked in olive brown or a very dark green. White flowers are often spoilt, by being worked of too dark a shade; if you do not work with silk, you may obtain two distinct shades of white, by using Moravian cotton and white wool; these combined with three shades of light stone color—the second two shades darker than the first, and the third darker than the second, in the same proportions—will produce a beautiful white flower, which if properly shaded, by leaves of the proper tints, will have a most beautiful appearance. The lighter parts of all flowers, in Berlin patterns, may be worked in silk; and in many cases that is a decided improvement; but it should never be introduced in the leaves; here it would be out of place. We again repeat, beware of servile copying: try to engage your own judgment in this work, and, remember, that to become used to think and to discriminate, is one of the most valuable acquisitions that a young lady can attain.

We have now, we trust, placed before the young student of fancy needlework, such plain directions, in all things essential to the art, as cannot fail, if a proper degree of thought and attention is bestowed upon them, to make her a proficient in this delightful employment. With one or two additional remarks, we will conclude this portion of our labors. The young votary of the needle must recollect that, if she allows her fondness for this accomplishment to draw off her attention from the more serious or useful business of life, she will act decidedly wrong and had far better never learn it at all. Another thing to be especially guarded against,[96] is, not to devote too much time to this, or any other engagement, at once; the mind and body are both injured, to a serious extent, by dwelling too long on a single object. Let it never for a moment be forgotten, relaxation and exercise are indispensible, if you wish to enjoy good health, or an even and pleasant temper. Again, take care that you never become so absorbed in the object of your pursuit, as to allow it to interfere with the calls of friendship, benevolence, or duty. The young lady who can forget her moral and domestic duties, in the fascinations of the embroidery frame, gives but little promise of excellence, in the more advanced stages of life.

Let neatness, and order, characterize all your arrangements.

Cut your silks and wools into proper lengths, and fold them in paper, writing the color on each, and numbering them according to their shades, 1, 2, 3, &c., beginning with the darkest.

Dispose all your materials so as to come at them without trouble or inconvenience, and use every possible care to prevent your work from being spoiled in the performance.

We advise every young lady to pay particular attention to painting and design; and to render every accomplishment subservient to some high and moral development of the heart, and of the character.




Before entering upon the immediate subject of this chapter, we wish to make a few remarks; which, we trust, will be acceptable to our fair readers.

The art of knitting is supposed to have been invented by the Spanish; and would doubtless form, in connection with needlework, an agreeable relaxation, amid the stiff formality and unvarying mechanical movements which made up, for the most part, the lives of the ancient female nobility of that peninsula. The Scotch also lay claim to the invention, but we think upon no sufficient authority. Knitted silk-hose were first worn in England by Henry VIII., and we are told that a present of a pair of long knitted silk stockings, of Spanish manufacture, was presented to the young prince (Edward VI.), by Sir Thomas Gresham, and was graciously received, as a gift of some importance. Clumsy and unsightly cloth-hose had been previously worn: and, though we are told by Howel, that Queen Elizabeth was presented with a pair of black knitted silk stockings, by Mistress Montague, her silk-woman, yet her maids of honor were not allowed to wear an article of dress, which her royal pride deemed only suited to regal magnificence. We believe the first pair of knitted stockings, ever made in Eng[98]land, were the production of one William Rider, an apprentice, residing on London Bridge; who, having accidentally seen a pair of knitted worsted stockings, while detained on some business, at the house of one of the Italian merchants, made a pair of a similar kind, which he presented to the Earl of Pembroke, 1564. The stocking-frame was the invention of Mr. W. Lee, M. A., who had been expelled from Cambridge, for marrying, in contravention to the statutes of the university. Himself and his wife, it seems, were reduced to the necessity of depending upon the skill of the latter, in the art of knitting, for their subsistence; and as necessity is the parent of invention, Mr. Lee, by carefully watching the motion of the needles, was enabled, in 1589, to invent the stocking-frame; which has been the source of much advantage to others, though there is reason to believe the contrivance was of little service to the original proprietor. Since its first introduction, knitting has been applied to a vast variety of purposes, and has been improved to an extent almost beyond belief. It has furnished to the blind, the indigent, and almost destitute Irish cottage girl, the means, pleasure and profit at the same time. Many ladies, including some in the rank of royalty, have employed their hours of leisure in the fabrication of articles, the produce of which have gone to the funds of charity, and have tendered to the alleviation of at least some of

“The numerous ills that flesh is heir to;”

and amongst those, the labors of the Hon. Mrs. Wingfield, upon the estates of Lord de Vesci, in Ireland, ought not to be forgotten.

To Cast on the Loops or Stitches.—Take the material in the right hand, and twist it round the little finger, bring it under the next two, and pass it over the fore finger. Then take the end in the left hand, (holding the needle in the right,) wrap it round[99] the little finger, and thence bring it over the thumb, and round the two fore fingers. By this process the young learner will find that she has formed a loop: she must then bring the needle under the lower thread of the material, and above that which is over the fore finger of the right hand under the needle, which must be brought down through the loop, and the thread which is in the left hand, being drawn tight, completes the operation. This process must be repeated as many times as there are stitches cast on.

Knitting Stitch.—The needle must be put through the cast-on stitch, and the material turned over it, which is to be taken up, and the under loop, or stitch, is to be let off. This is called plain stitch, and is to be continued until one round is completed.

Pearl Stitch.—Called also seam, ribbed, and turn stitch, is formed by knitting with the material before the needle; and instead of bringing the needle over the upper thread, it is brought under it.

To Rib, is to knit plain and pearled stitches alternately. Three plain, and three pearled, is generally the rule.

To cast over.—This means bringing the material round the needle, forward.

Narrowing.—This is to decrease the number of stitches by knitting two together, so as to form only one loop.

Raising.—This is to increase the number of stitches, and is effected by knitting one stitch as usual, and then omitting to slip out the left hand needle, and to pass the material forward and form a second stitch, putting the needle under the stitch. Care must be taken to put the thread back when the additional stitch is finished.

To Seam.—Knit a pearl stitch every alternate row.

A Row, means the stitches from one end of the needle to the[100] other; and a ROUND, the whole of the stitches on two, three, or more needles. Note, in casting on a stocking, there must always be an odd stitch cast on for the seam.

To bring the thread forward, means to pass it between the needles toward the person of the operator.

A Loop Stitch, is made by passing the thread before the needle. In knitting the succeeding loop, it will take its proper place.

A Slip Stitch, is made by passing it from one needle to another without knitting it.

To fasten on.—This term refers to fastening the end of the material, when it is necessary to do so during the progress of the work. The best way is to place the two ends contrarywise to each other, and knit a few stitches with both.

To cast off.—This is done by knitting two stitches, passing the first over the second, and so proceeding to the last stitch, which is to be made secure by passing thread through it.

Welts, are rounds of alternate plain and ribbed stitches, done at the top of stockings, and are designed to prevent their twisting or curling up.

Sometimes knitting is done in rows of plain and pearl stitches, or in a variety of neat and fanciful patterns. Scarcely any kind of work is susceptible of so much variety, or can be applied to so many ornamental fabrics or uses in domestic economy. The fair votary of this art must be careful neither to knit too tight or too loose. A medium, which will soon be acquired by care and practice, is the best, and shows the various kinds of work to the best advantage. The young lady should take care to preserve her needles entirely free from rust, and to handle the materials of her work with as delicate a touch as possible.

[101]Having thus given instructions in the common rudiments of this useful art, we proceed to give plain directions for some of the most beautiful.


Bee’s Stitch.—In knitting a purse in this stitch, you must cast the loops on three needles, having twenty on each. The two first rows in plain knitting. The third is thus worked. Having brought the silk in front, a stitch is to be slipped, and you knit the next, pulling the one you slipped over it; you knit the next, and the succeeding one is pearled; proceed in this manner for one round. The next round you knit plain; the next is to be executed like the third. Proceed thus in alternate rounds, and you can introduce two colors, highly contrasted, knitting six or eight rounds of each.

Berlin Wire Stitch.—The stitches cast on must be an even number. Knit three, four, or five plain rows. Then begin the work by taking off the first stitch, knit one stitch, knit off two stitches together, and make a stitch; repeat this process to the end of the row; the next row is to be knitted plain, and so on alternately.

This work may be done either with large pins and lamb’s wool, if it be intended for shawls, &c., or with fine needles and thread, in which case it forms a beautiful kind of insertion work for frocks, capes, collars, and other articles of dress. If it is intended for insertion work, the number of stitches cast on are eight, and one pattern is formed by each four stitches.

Common Plait.—This is employed for muffatees, coverlets, and various other articles. You cast on the stitches in threes:[102] the number is unlimited. Knit one row plain, then proceed as follows. Row first, three plain stitches and three pearled. Second row the same, taking care to begin where the last is finished, that is, if you ended with plain stitches, you begin with the pearled. Proceed in the same way with the third row, and you will have a succession of squares, of inside and outside knitting, alternately. The fourth row is to be begun with the same kind of stitches as completed the first row; continue as before, and the work will be in squares, like those of a chess board. This stitch is extremely pretty.

Chain Stitch.—The number of loops to be cast on is thirteen. Knit the first two rows plain, and in beginning the third, knit three plain stitches, and bring the material in front, then pearl seven stitches; the material is then to be turned back, and you knit the other three stitches plain. The next row is plain knitting, and then you proceed as in the third row, and so on alternately, until you have completed sixteen rows. You then knit three stitches plain, and take off the four succeeding ones upon a spare pin. The next three stitches from behind the pin, are to be knitted so as to miss it completely, and the material is to be drawn so tight, as that the pins may be connected together as closely as possible. This done you knit the four stitches of the third pin, which completes the twist. The remaining three stitches are then to be knitted, and a fresh link begun, by knitting three stitches, pearling seven, knitting three, and so proceeding for sixteen rows, when another twist is to be made.

Crow’s-foot Stitch.—This stitch may be worked in two ways. If it be for a shawl, begin at the corner, and raise at the beginning and end of each row.

In the other method, you cast on any number of stitches that[103] can be divided by three, and you must cast on one additional for the commencement. You knit the first row plain and then proceed according to the following directions: First, knit a stitch. Second, make a stitch. Third, slip the next. Fourth, knit two stitches together. Fifth, put the stitch you slipped over the two last knitted; this is to be repeated, with the exception of the first knitted stitch, to the end of the row. The next row is composed entirely of pearled stitches. This stitch is neat and elegant.

Double Knitting.—Of this stitch there are three kinds, now in general use. In executing them proceed as follows. Having cast on any even number of stitches, knit a few rows in plain knitting; then, for the double stitch, begin the row by knitting a stitch, and pass the material in front, between the knitting pins. Then a stitch is to be taken off, being careful to put the needle inside the loop, and to pass the material back again. You then knit another stitch, and so proceed to the end of the row.

For the second kind of double knitting, you cast on an even number of stitches, as before, and the first stitch is knitted plain; the material being put twice over the pin. Then, as in the first kind, pass the material between the needles; a stitch is to be slipped, and the material passed again behind. This process is repeated in every stitch to the end of the row. In the next row, you reverse the work, knitting the stitches that were before slipped, and slipping the knitted ones. The third kind is very simple, and can be done quicker than the others. It is worked on the wrong side, and when completed must be turned inside out; hence it is necessary to knit plain at the sides or ends. The number of stitches must be even, as in the previous methods. No plain row is needed; but you commence by putting the material in front of the pins, and being careful to keep it constantly in that position.[104] Turn the first stitch, take off the second, and so on alternately, till the row is finished.

Dutch Common Knitting.—This is the common knitting stitch, performed in a more expeditious manner than that in general practised. The needle filled with stitches, is held in the left hand, and the material also, which is to be wrapped round the little finger once or twice. It passes to the needles over the fore finger. To form the loop on the needle held in the right hand, it is only necessary to put it into the stitch from behind, and knit off by putting the material round the needle.

Embossed Diamond.—You cast on any number of stitches which can be divided by seven. The first row is plain: for the second, pearl one stitch, knit five, and pearl two; thus proceed, alternately, to complete the row: for the third, knit two, pearl three, and knit four, and so proceed. The fourth row you pearl three, knit one, and pearl six, alternately. The fifth row is plain knitting. The next row you pearl two, knit two, pearl five, and so on to the end. Next knit two, pearl four and knit three, alternately. Next knit six, and pearl one, successively. Reverse the next, pearling six, and knitting one. Then in the succeeding row, knit five and pearl three, and knit four in succession. Next knit three, pearl two, and knit five, alternately. The succeeding row is plain.

Embossed Hexagon Stitch.—You can work with any number of stitches you choose, which can be divided by six. The first row is plain, the next pearled throughout; the third row is plain. For the first knit four stitches, and slip two at the end; then pearl a row, taking care to slip the stitches that were slipped before. Next knit a row slipping the two stitches as before. The next row is pearled still slipping the two stitches. The succeeding two rows are knitted and pearled like the others, and the two stitches[105] are still to be slipped. The next row is pearled, and you take up all the stitches; then a row is to be knitted plain, and a row pearled, which completes the pattern. In beginning the next pattern, you pearl a row, slipping the fifth and sixth stitches, so that they shall be exactly in the centre of the previously worked pattern; you then proceed as before.

Elastic Rib.—This as its name implies, is the proper stitch for garters, or any kind of an article which is wanted to fit easily yet firmly. You are to set on any number of loops you please, and knit one row plain; the next is pearled, the two next are plain; then one pearled, and so on alternately to the end.

Fantail Stitch.—The application of this stitch is in the preparation of mitts, gloves, &c., and sometimes it is used for purses, in which it looks extremely pretty. The material generally employed is cotton, and you begin by setting on any even number of stitches you require. A loop is made, by throwing the cotton over the pin; you then knit a loop, and make and knit alternately; each of the two last are knitted plain, and you narrow the commencement and conclusion of each row, at the second and third loops, until you have reduced it to the number originally cast on. The usual number of stitches cast on is fourteen.

French Stitch.—You set on the loops in fours, and must have two over. The first stitch is pearled, then turn the thread back, and knit two stitches together. Form a new stitch by bringing the thread in front, and knit a stitch; the thread is again to be brought in front, and the last stitch pearled, which completes the pattern. The next row is begun in a similar manner, the thread is turned back, two stitches are knitted together at the end, the thread is turned, and you knit the last stitch.

German Knitting.—You cast on twenty-one stitches, and pro[106]ceed as follows. First row, the material is to be passed forward, one stitch slipped, then knit one, and pass the slipped one over; three stitches are then to be knitted, and two taken as one; again pass the material forward, and knit one stitch. Second row, the same, except that when in the first you knitted three stitches, knit one; and when one, you knit three. For the third row, you pass the material as before, and slip one stitch, then two are taken as one, and the slipped one is passed over again; repeat this, except that in taking two stitches together, you knit one, and pass the slipped one over; finish by knitting two stitches.

Honeycomb Stitch.—This is also often used for shawls. It is knitted as follows. You knit the first stitch, and pass the other to make a loop over the needle. Two stitches are then knitted together, and you thus continue making the loops, and knitting two stitches together, until you have completed the row. You knit every second row thus; the alternate ones plain.

Herring-bone Bag Stitch.—You cast on the stitches by fours, and the material used is silk. Knit two plain stitches, and then make a large one, by turning the silk twice over the needle; after which, knit two stitches together, and repeat this, until you have completed the work.

Imitation Net-work Stitch.—You set on any number of stitches you please, but you must have no odd ones. The first row is plain knitting. The next row you commence by bringing the wool upon the first pin, and twisting it round it by bringing it over from behind, and putting it behind again. You are then to knit two loops together, and the pin must be put first into the one nearest to you, and the wool is to be twisted round the pin as before. Then again, knit two together, and so on to the end. Each row is done in the same manner.

[107]Knit Herring-bone Stitch.—Any number of stitches you please may be cast on, observing to have three for each pattern, and one over at each end. The first row must be plain: then, in beginning the second, take off the first stitch, and knit two together in pearl stitch. Next make one, by passing the material before, and knitting one, pearl two stitches together, and make and knit a stitch as before. Every row is the same.

Lace Wave Stitch.—The number of stitches must be even. The first stitch is to be slipped; then knit one, and make one, by casting the material over the pin. Narrow, by knitting two stitches together, and again knit a stitch; then make one, and again narrow; and so on till you complete the row. The next row is done plain. The third row is as follows: two stitches knitted plain; make one stitch, and narrow two in one; then knit one stitch; make and narrow, as before to the end; then knit a row plain. For the fifth row, knit three stitches plain, and thus proceed as in the third row. The sixth row is done plain; and the seventh one commences by knitting four stitches plain, and then proceeding as before. The eighth row is plain; and the ninth is begun by knitting five plain stitches, and proceed as above; then knit two rows plain, and the pattern is complete. This can be continued to any length required.

Moss Stitch.—This is easily done. Cast on any even number of loops, and for the first row, the first loop is slipped, the material brought in front; the stitch is pearled, and repeat so to the end. The next row is so worked, that the stitches knit in the proceeding row, must be pearled in this.

Open Hem.—The number of stitches is unlimited, but they must be capable of being divided by four. At the beginning of each row you slip the first stitch, and knit the second. Then make a stitch[108] by putting the cotton over the pin; knit two loops together; knit one stitch, make a stitch, and so proceed. You must have very fine pins and sewing cotton.

Open Cross Stitch.—This is done in the following manner. Two colors are to be employed, and the first row of each is done in pearl stitch. In working the second row of each, the following is the order of procedure: first, knit a stitch: second, make a stitch; third, slip one; fourth, two are to be knitted together, and the one slipped is to be drawn over the knitted ones; thus you proceed to the end of the row. The two next are to be commenced with the other color; and thus you work two rows with each color, successively. The fresh color is always to cross from beneath the last one, or otherwise a hole would be left in the work. In the making of shawls, this stitch is often adopted, and it looks well, but, of course, requires to be bordered with some other pattern.

Ornamental Ladder Stitch.—The stitches are to be set on in elevens. Commence by knitting two stitches plain, then knit two together, and repeat the same, drawing the first loop over the second; proceed thus to the end. Commence the second row by pearling two stitches; pass the material over the pin twice; again pearl two stitches, and so proceed to the end. In the next row, knit two; pass the material round the pin twice, knit two, and so continue. Thus you proceed with alternate rows of knitted and pearled stitches, being careful to slip the stitches made by throwing the material round the pin, without knitting them.

Pine Apple Stitch.—For a bag you must cast on thirty-six loops on three needles, and proceed thus: First row, knit one plain, raise one by throwing the silk over the pin, knit one plain, then raise, knit two plain, you knit the next two together, drawing[109] the last loop over the first; you will then have six loops. In the second row, knit the first raised loop, then raise, knit the next one plain, then raise, knit plain till you come to the next raising, and omit knitting the two together as in the first row. Third row, you knit plain to the raising, and then proceed as in the first row. You knit the fourth as the second; and so proceed alternately, until you have twelve rows. Then in the stitches you had previously narrowed, you must raise, and introduce a bead upon each plain loop, with a thread, and again raise. Where you had previously raised, you must narrow with the bead you have upon the silk. In this manner proceed raising and narrowing alternately, until you have twelve rows as before. You then reverse, and again work as in the first part of the pattern.

Plain Open Stitch.—The stitches set on must be an even number. The two first rows are plain. Then commence the third row, by knitting one stitch; pass the material in front, and form a new stitch, by knitting two together. This is to be repeated, until you come to the last stitch, which must be knit. Then knit two plain rows and proceed as before.

Porcupine Stitch.—This is proper for a purse, and when properly executed, is extremely pretty. You cast on, upon each of three needles, thirty-six loops, and knit one plain round. For the next, you knit four stitches: and, having brought the silk forward, knit one loop: this will form the middle stitch of the pattern. Then, again bringing the silk forward, knit fourteen stitches; after which, slip one, and leaving the under part, knit two together, and draw the stitches, last slipped, over it. Then knit four stitches, as at the commencement, and so proceed for six rounds, increasing before and after each middle stitch. You knit till within one of where you decreased. The stitch thus left is to be slipped, and[110] you then knit two together, and draw the slipped loop over it. You are then to knit one plain round, and the next row is also plain, except the loops which are over the middle stitches, where you are to insert a bead, by bringing it through the stitches. You next knit a round plain, and must be careful to keep the beads on the outside of the purse, or rather in the inside while knitting, as this purse is done the wrong side out. You are to knit, until you come within one loop of the bead, which must be slipped, and you knit the next two together. You are then to increase six rounds on each side of the stitch decreased as in the proceeding pattern, which will make that the middle or bead stitch. The material should be done in middle sized purse silk, on needles, No. 18.

Rough-cast Stitch.—Any odd number of stitches may be cast on. Each row is begun with a plain stitch, and the others are plain and pearled alternately. This is very suitable for borders, as it is firm and looks neat.

Wave Knitting.—This is proper for a pin-cushion, and looks extremely neat. Commence by casting on seventy-nine loops. Then proceed as follows. First row, knit four loops plain, pearl one, knit nine plain, and repeat to the end of the row, finishing with four plain loops. Commence the second row with three pearled stitches, knit three plain, pearl seven, repeat as before. Third row, knit two plain, pearl five, knit five plain, repeat. Fourth row, pearl one, knit seven plain, pearl three, repeat. Fifth row, pearl nine, knit one plain, pearl nine, and repeat to the end. This finishes the pattern.




A Biroche.—The stitch is very simple. You bring the wool forward, slip one, and knit two together. This elegant cushion is made up of sixteen narrow rows, and sixteen broad stripes, which decrease gradually toward the centre. It may be made in double German wool, or other material, with No. 19 ivory or wooden pins. Cast on ninety stitches, and knit two turns; then in gold color three turns, and again two in black: this forms the narrow stripe. Then form the broad stripe thus: knit two stitches, and turn; then knit two of the black, and turn; this must be continued, taking every time two additional stitches of the black, until you are within two stitches of the top, and then turn. You will now find the wool has descended to the wide part of the stripe. You then again commence a narrow stripe, and so go on, until the whole is completed. When the last wide stripe is finished, knit it to the first narrow stripe, and make up the biroche in any manner you please.

A Baby’s Cap.—Cast on 240 stitches, on three pins; knit twelve rounds, and be sure you pearl every alternate stitch: in the succeeding round you must pearl the stitches which were left plain in the preceding ones. Then take in eighty stitches, namely;[112] one at every fourth, which will form a full border; then proceed to knit the cap thus: one row plain, the next open, then three plain, and twenty-four double knitting; again knit three rows plain, one open, repeat the three plain rows, again repeat the double knitting, and the plain and open rows as before; you next proceed to form the hinder part of the cap, by casting on twenty-four stitches at each end of the pins; knit forty-eight rows of double knitting, take in to the size of the crown, and knit three rows plain, one open, and repeat the three plain rows; then fasten off at top, unite the open space at the back, and repeat the plain and open rows as before. You form the crown, by casting on sixteen loops; then increase a loop at each end, for sixteen rows; then knit sixteen, and decrease as you increased, and thus the circle becomes regularly formed.

Baby’s Hood.—Use No. 18 needles, and double German wool; cast on fifty stitches, and knit eighty rows plain; roll up sixty, to form the front. Three inches of the cast off part are to be sewed together, and the rest is to be drawn up for the crown. Then cast on fifty stitches to form the foundation of the hood, and knit forty rows plain. Line with white silk, and trim with satin ribbon.

Baby’s Shoe.—Work with two colors, in stripes. You cast on twenty-eight stitches, in blue, and knit one row plain; then knit a plain row in white, adding one stitch at the end to form the heel, and turn; then a similar row in blue, to increase and turn, repeat this without increasing, and changing the colors each time, until you have ten stripes. Then knit one row in blue, and turn, casting off seventeen stitches. You begin from the heel. The remaining thirteen stitches are knitted with white; turn; knit a row with blue; turn: and so continue, until you have five rows of[113] one color, and four of the other. The thirteen stitches are then to be done in blue, and seventeen to correspond, are to be added; turn: this side is finished like the other, decreasing from the heel. You then sew up the heel and toe, so as to form a shoe. You are then, with four needles, to pick up the stitches round the ankle and fore foot, putting an equal number upon each of the three needles, and knit five rows plain; make a stitch by bringing the wool forward, then slip one; knit the next two, and pass the slip-stitch over them; again bring the wool forward, and repeat the process for one round: knit eighteen rows, five plain, four pearled; repeat and finish, bringing the wool forward, knitting two together; then knit two rows plain, and cast off. You must use No. 14 needles, and double German wool.

A Beautiful Fringe and Border.—This can be applied to a variety of useful purposes. It is executed as follows. The number of stitches must be even, and of any depth you deem desirable. Begin, by making a stitch, laying the material over the needle; put it through two loops, and knit them as one; repeat to the end of the row; thus continue to knit as many rows as you please, and when the stripe is of sufficient length, fasten off, letting from four to ten stitches fall off the needle to unravel for the fringe.

A Comforter.—On a moderate sized pin, cast on forty stitches; and in knitting, carry the wool twice round the pin for each stitch. The comforter is to be done in double knitting, and may be finished with a fringe and border at the end. Without the fringe, you will require a quarter of a pound of six-thread untwisted lamb’s wool; for the fringe a little more will be required.

Another Comforter.—You are to cast on thirty stitches, and knit plain sixty-four ribs, knitting them backwards and forwards;[114] then take twenty-two stitches from the middle of the side, and you will have twenty-one left one each end. Form a chest-piece, by knitting as before, twenty-two ribs, and fasten off: you have only to sew up the end, and it is done.

Zephyr.—This is a light shawl for a baby, and may be made either of a half-handkerchief form, or a square. Cast on about 130 loops, and knit in French or honey-comb stitch, which you like; or any other pretty pattern you prefer, as embossed hexagon, &c. You may add a fringe and border, which gives to the zephyr a rich and finished appearance.

An Over-shoe.—These are useful to wear in the house, or to slip over a satin shoe, when occasion requires. The number of stitches to be cast on is thirty-four. Knit a square, plain, which is to be doubled, and sewn up on one side, to the heel; then sew up three inches for the instep, and form the toe by puckering in the end.

A Knitted Muff, in imitation of Sable.—You cast on seventy or eighty stitches. Knit the first three rows plain; then, for the fourth row, bring the wool forward, and taking two stitches at the back, knit them; repeat to the end: these four must be repeated, until the piece is about half a yard long, taking care that the shading is as correct as possible. You must here use No. 19 needles, and double German wool. The shades required are four, and you begin with the lightest, proceeding to the darkest, and then reversing them. The muff must be stuffed, and lined with silk.

A Strong Knitted Purse.—Any number of stitches, that can be divided by three, will do. First and third row: The wool is to be brought forward, then slip one, knit two, and pass over them the slip stitch; repeat second and fourth row plain. Third and fifth row: knit two, before commencing the pattern; the holes[115] will then fall in a diagonal direction: It will require to be well stretched.

Barege Knitting, for Shawls.—In this kind of work, you commence with any number of stitches you require: and, after knitting one row plain, you begin the second, by knitting three stitches; then, bring the wool forward, and knit three together, taking them off at the back; again you bring the wool forward, and knit three, as before. The third row is pearled; and the fourth is the second repeated, only beginning by knitting three stitches together. Fifth row, the same as the third; and thus proceed with any number of rows you choose. You may introduce any patterns in flowers, &c., you may desire, by breaking off the ground color, and fastening on that which is designed for the pattern, by means of a slip knot, made at the end of the wool. All flowers, &c., must be done in plain knitting.

Checked Patterns.—Any number of stitches may be cast on, that can be divided by six. Then knit the first three rows three pearl stitches, and three plain; second three rows, knit three stitches plain, and three pearl. This pattern may be worked for children’s socks, bags, mats, (if done in coarse materials,) &c.

Close Stitch, for a Waistcoat.—This is to be done in two colors, and cast on any odd number of stitches. First and fifth row, with one color; knit one, and slip one, in succession. Second and sixth row, with the same color; knit one, bring the wool forward, and slip one; pass the wool back, knit one, repeat. The third is the first reversed, and the fourth is worked exactly as the second, omitting the first stitch.

Pine Apple Purse.—The material is purse twist, and you will require two colors; one skein of green, and one and a half of orange. Cast on 159 stitches, and proceed as follows. Knit the[116] first row, and turn it, then knit two rows, and again turn. To have ten points you must narrow and widen alternately every seven stitches. Proceed in this way with the green twist for fifteen rounds; then with the orange knit one plain row and turn, knit seven rows as before, knit one plain row and turn, then reverse the narrowings, so as to take up the loops at the beginning of every row of points, and make a loop on each side: you are to have eight rows of points. You make no loops in the second row, but having counted when you have finished the points, you seam in the first row of green and reverse the narrowings without taking up the loops, proceed to knit twelve rows; after which, you must narrow until you have but four loops on each pin, then knit the stalks, and narrow off.

Star, with Eight Points.—This is proper for the bottom of a bag or purse. In working it, proceed according to the following directions. You work with five needles, on each of four of which you cast on two stitches, eight in whole, knit one plain round. Then, first row, raise, knit one, raise, knit one, and put on one bead at every knitted loop. Second row, you knit a plain round. Third row, raise, knit two plain, raise, two plain; the raising is at the beginning and middle of each needle; and you thus proceed, until you have fifty beads on a needle, for a bag, and eighteen for a purse. To take off the points, proceed as follows: first row, raise one, knit one, raise one, slip one off needle as in knitting, knit one, and draw the one not knitted over it; knit plain, and put on beads until you come to the middle of the needle; thus proceed with each pin, and the star will be completed.

Knee Caps.—You commence with casting on eleven loops, and knitting eight rounds; then begin to raise every alternate round until you have forty-seven loops on the pins, knit eleven rounds[117] plain, and then narrow until you have reduced the loops to eleven. Take off.

Knitting Footing.—The material is fine cotton, and you cast eleven stitches. Knit one row plain. Second row, knit one, make one, knit two together, knit three plain, make one, knit two together knit three plain. Third row, is the second row reversed; the fourth is the same as the second; and you thus proceed with each row, alternately, for any length you please. A bag knitted the same way, and put over blue or crimson silk, looks extremely handsome. The material for a bag is fine worsted, and you may cast on any number of stitches that can be divided by eleven, taking care to have one additional stitch for each twenty-two; that is, for four elevens, cast on forty-six.

Double Nightcap.—You will find five needles are required. You must cast on two stitches on each of four needles, and in the first row increase two, and in the second one plain stitch in each. In the third row, the centre stitch on each needle must be seamed, and you must increase on each side of it every other row, until you have attained the width required. You then knit the fourth and every succeeding row plain, until the cap is of a sufficient length, say twenty-four to twenty-eight inches, then decrease the first row, and make the other end to correspond with the one first knitted.

Dotted Knitting, for Baby’s Shoes, &c.—Cast on and knit as many rows as you desire, knitting one stitch plain, and the next pearled. Begin every other row with a pearled stitch. An odd number of stitches are required, and No. 8 needles.

Knitted Fringe.—This may be made of any material deemed most suitable for the purposes to which it is to be applied. Cast on eight stitches. First knit two, then make one by bringing the[118] cotton round the needle, and knitting it when it occurs in the next row; then knit two stitches together, knit one, make one as before, knit two together, knit eight, and so proceed to the end of the row. When you have knitted as many rows as you require, cast off five stitches and leave three, to be unravelled, for the fringe. They may be knitted in two or more colors, taking care to knit them in equal spaces; that is, with an equal number of stitches in each color.

Gentleman’s Travelling Cap.—You first cast on an even number of stitches, and thus proceed; the first row is plain; then slip off the first stitch in each row, and make one, by bringing the material in front; then slip a stitch the contrary way, knit the next, and so proceed to the end of the row: you commence the next by slipping a stitch as before; then knit two stitches together to the last, which is to be knitted plain: repeat these rows alternately.

Herring-bone Purse.—The number of stitches must be so as to be divided by four. The silk is to be brought forward, then slip one, knit one, and bring the slip stitch over it. Knit one, again bring the silk forward, pearl one, and so repeat. This purse should be knitted with second sized netting silk, No. 13.

Half Handkerchief.—This is extremely pretty, when properly executed. Begin with one stitch to form the point, and knit as many rows, increasing one each row as is required to give you seven loops upon the pin. You must increase always at the same end: then commence the pattern. Make one stitch, slip one, and knit two stitches together, putting the slipped stitch over the two knitted as one. Repeat this until you have got to four stitches from the end; then again make a stitch, and knit the remainder plain. The next row is to be done in pearl stitch, and the succeeding one as the first pattern. Every row of pearl stitch must be in[119]creased one, and the three last stitches are to be knitted plain. This handkerchief must be one yard and a quarter long on the straight side. When completed, fasten off.

Habit Shirt.—These are worn under a shawl, and are extremely comfortable: they protect the chest from cold. The material most proper for them is floss wool, and they should be knitted with steel pins. You knit the front first, and begin by casting on as many loops as will form the length required. As it is necessary that one end should be a good deal more sloped than the other, you must be careful to increase at the end most sloped, at each end of the row; but at the other, you are only to increase at the end, and not at the beginning: having knitted one of the fronts, knit the other to match it, and then begin the back. Commence at the bottom, or narrow part of the waist, and increase at each end of every row, until it is wide enough to reach from one shoulder to the other, and then decrease at both ends of each row for the neck. You then finish the centre stitches, and knit up first on one side and then the other, decreasing each row, until a proper hollow is obtained. You then knit the collar straight, and of any depth you please. Make up, by sewing the various parts together, and set on a ribbon to the back, to tie round the waist, and another to secure it at the throat.

Harlequin Quilt, with Tucks.—This is done in double knitting stitch, with six threads fleecy. The pieces are six inches square. Each square consists of about 24 stitches, and they are to be sewn together with a tuft of wool, black or white, at each corner. The square should be knitted in at least three colors, including white; in a quilt one yard and a half square, there will be 225 pieces, 113 of which should be white. Make the tufts as follows: wind four-thread fleecy about 12 times round a grooved[120] wooden mesh, one inch in width: then slip a coarse thread in the groove, and tie the wool quite tight, but taking care that an end is left to it, which can be drawn through and fastened to the quilt. The loops of wool are to be cut through on the other side of the mesh; after which it is to be combed and dressed as neatly as possible.

Pattern for a Light Scarf.—Cast on the number of stitches required upon No. 18 needles, and any kind of material you choose; three-threads fleecy is generally preferred. Knit one plain stitch, then two together, and so on alternately, to the end of the row: each succeeding one is but a repetition of the first: it may be done in stripes, with various colors.

Plain Knitted Muffatees.—For these you will require four needles. On three of these cast on an equal number of stitches, according to the size required, and knit each round three pearl and three plain: finish with one plain and two pearl rows.

Stockings.—Cast on first size 73, second 85, third 91, fourth 99, fifth 109, sixth 133. Then knit rounds to the commencement of the narrowings, 40, 52, 54, 56, 60, and 74, respectively, according to the sizes given above. The narrowings in the leg are according to the size, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, and 21. After which you knit 18, 20, 25, 27, 30, or 45 rounds to the heel, which is to be formed in the following manner. The stitches are to be divided in half, taking care to have the seam stitch for the middle, and the heel is to be knitted in alternate turns of plain and pearled stitches. The length, of course, varies in proportion to the size, being 12 turns for the first and second, 13 for the third, 14 for the fourth, 15 for the fifth, and 20 for the sixth. The heel is finished by knitting the nine middle stitches in rows, the same as the heel, and taking up one of the others with the last loop of each row,[121] till all is taken off. There will thus be nine stitches when the heel is finished. Having got thus far, you proceed to form the foot as follows. You take up sixteen on each side of the heel, in the second row, and taking them up, you make a seam on each side of the instep, knitting another stitch in the loop under the first and last, which prevents holes in the corners, that would otherwise occur. Then narrow every second round on the heel sides of the seam until the number of stitches are the same as those in the instep, or what is commonly called the fore foot needle. You will have for the instep 28, 32, 34, 40, or 46, as the case may be; and the rounds between the heel and toe narrowings, will be 14, 18, 23, 26, 30, and 34, respectively; and the narrowings for the feet will be 6, 8, 8, 8, 9, and 10, on each side, according to the measurement given. You begin the toe by narrowing double at the seams, leaving only the seam stitch between, and narrowing twice with three, and twice with two rounds left between each narrowing: then narrow twice, leaving but one round between, and then every round until sixteen stitches only are left. Finish by putting the two needles having stitches on them together. And when two stitches are done in this manner, cast them off, the first over the last, until the whole is taken off the needles. It should be noted, that the stitches in the heel vary with the size of the stocking, and are as follows: first size 29, second 33, third 33, fourth 37, fifth 41, and sixth 45.

Some workers take off the heel, in the same manner as the toe is here directed to be finished.

Open-work Stockings.—On each needle cast on 52 stitches with fine cotton, knit the welts and raise one stitch for the seam. When you arrive at the narrowings, narrow every eighth row, and when you have 38 stitches on each needle, cease, and knit[122] until the article is completed; then take half the stitches to form the heel, knit 23 loops, and narrow on each side of the seam for three rows. In forming the heel, narrow every row once the fourth loop from the seam, and then the loops must be taken up, the end one as close as possible. Take three stitches from each side of the fore foot needle to the other, and knit a round plain; after which, widen every fifth stitch on both sides of the heel. Alternate rows of the heel needles are then to be narrowed until only 36 loops remain on each. The stitches to be narrowed are the fifth and sixth from the ends. Knit the feet of a proper length, and then narrow at the ends of the needles every other row, until only ten remain on each; narrow every row until you have only three, which you cast off in the usual manner. The open pattern is produced by knitting every fifth round thus: take two stitches in one, and bring the cotton in front of the needle, that it may form a stitch before taking the succeeding two into one. The more open you desire the work to be, the fewer stitches and the finer needles you will require.

A Night Stocking.—This is easily done: cast on 54 stitches on large needles, and pearl every other stitch, narrowing gradually toward the end.

Socks.—These are very useful articles, and are easy of execution. In the first size there are 49 stitches, in the second 55, and in the third 85; they have 16, 23, or 24 turns to the heel, in which there are 25, 29, or 43 stitches, as the size may require. The instep has 24, 25, or 42 stitches; and the length of the heel is 10, 12, or 14 turns. The length of the foot between the narrowings, is 10, 15, and 28 rounds.

Corner for a Shawl.—This, if properly executed, according to the directions, looks extremely handsome. Begin by casting[123] on two loops, to form the point; knit them, and proceed as follows. First row, make a loop, knit the two original ones together, make a loop; you will then have three loops upon the pin; knit four additional rows in plain and pearled alternately, increasing a stitch at the beginning and end of each row, and then on the fifth row you will have eleven stitches. In the next row commence the pattern thus. Sixth row begin with six plain stitches, pearl one, knit six plain. Seventh row plain knitting. Eighth row, knit six plain, pearl one, knit two together, pearl one, knit two together, pearl one, knit six plain. Ninth row plain. Tenth, knit six plain, pass the material in front to make a stitch, knit two together, again make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, knit six plain. Eleventh row plain. Twelfth, knit six plain, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, knit six plain. Thirteenth row plain. Fourteenth, knit six plain, pearl three, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, knit two together, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, pearl three, knit six plain. Fifteenth row plain. Sixteenth, knit six plain, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl five, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, knit six plain. Seventeenth row plain. Eighteenth, six plain, pearl three, knit two together, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, knit five plain, pearl three, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, knit two together, pearl three, knit six plain. Nineteenth row plain. Twentieth, knit six plain, knit two together, pearl three, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl four, make a stitch, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, make a stitch, knit[124] two together, make a stitch, pearl four, make a stitch, knit two together, pearl three, knit two together, knit six plain. The twenty-first row is plain, and you then decrease as you increased, knitting the twenty-second row as the twentieth, and so proceed until you have two loops on the pin. The square is then complete.

Border for the Shawl.—Having finished the corner, pick up the twenty-one stitches on one side, and knit one row plain; the second row, knit two plain, three pearled, three plain, again pearl three, then three plain, pearl three, knit four plain. The third row knit plain; the fourth row, pearl one stitch, knit one, pearl one, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three together, knit one, pearl one, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl four, knit four plain. Fifth row plain. Sixth row knit one, pearl one, knit one, pearl one, knit two together, make a stitch, pearl three, knit one, pearl one, knit one, pearl one, knit two together, make a stitch, knit six plain. Seventh row plain. Eighth row, same as the sixth. Ninth plain. Tenth as the fourth. Eleventh plain. Twelfth as the second, repeat the first three rows, and re-commence the pattern. The shawl must be knitted on the same sized pins as the border and corner, and must have as many loops as there are stitches in the length of the border. The border and corner may be done in two colors, which must harmonize well with each other, and form a good contrast to the shawl itself.




Netting is another employment, to which the attention of the fair has been directed from the remotest times. Specimens of Egyptian network, performed three thousand years since, are still in existence; and, from that time, the art, in connection with that of spinning flax, was there carried to its highest state of perfection. With these specimens, are preserved some of the needles anciently used in netting. They are to be found in one of the museums at Berlin. The Egyptian nets were made of flax, and were so fine and delicate, that according to Pliny, “they could pass through a small ring, and a single person could carry a sufficient number of them to surround a whole wood. Julius Lupus, while governor of Egypt, had some of these nets, each string of which consisted of one hundred and fifty threads.” But even this fineness was far exceeded by the thread of a linen corslet, presented by Amasis, king of Egypt, to the Rhodians, the threads of which, as we learn from the same authority, were each composed of three hundred and sixty-five fibres. Herodotus also mentions a corslet of a similar texture.

[126]In connection with other elegant female accomplishments, netting has continued to claim the attention of the ladies of Europe, in every advanced state of civilization, and, in the present day, is cultivated with considerable success. Netting was a favorite employment of the late Queen Charlotte, during the latter years of her life.

Plain Netting

Plain Netting.—Take the mesh in the left hand, (having previously made a long loop with twine, and fixed it to any convenient support,) between the two first fingers and the thumb. The netting needle must be threaded with the material, and fastened by a knot to the long loop before spoken of, and the mesh must be held up as close as possible to this knot under the twine. The silk is to be held in the right hand between the fore finger and the thumb and must be passed under and around the left hand, so that the material may be formed into a slack loop, passing over all the fingers, except the little one. In this position, the silk must be held between the upper side of the mesh and the left-hand thumb, and the needle must be passed back, round the pin or mesh, allowing the material to form a larger loop, so as to include the little finger. The needle will thus be brought round, in front of the mesh, and must pass under the first loop, between the mesh and the fingers, and thus through the loop called the foundation loop, and thence over that portion of the material which goes backward for the purpose of forming the second loop. The needle must be kept in its position, till the right hand is so brought round as to be able to pull it through, and then the needle being drawn out and held in the right hand, the worker must disengage all the fingers of the left except the last, which is to retain its hold of the second loop, which[127] was formed by passing the material round it. By means of this hold, retained by the little finger, the material is to be drawn to the mesh, and the knot thus formed be drawn tight to the foundation. This process is to be repeated, until a sufficient number of stitches are formed as are necessary, according to the width of the net desired. As the mesh is filled, some of the loops must be suffered to drop off; and when the row is completed, it must be drawn out, and a row of loops will be found suspended from the foundation by their respective knots, and moving freely onwards. The work is then to be turned over, which will cause the ends of the rows to be reversed; and in netting a second row, it will be done as before from left to right. In commencing the second, and all the succeeding rows, the mesh must be so placed as to come up close to the bottom of the preceding row or loops, and the former process with the needle must be repeated. It will be needful, to have a sufficient quantity of material always wound on the needle, or otherwise it will not move freely round, as it is indispensible it should do.

Bead Stitch.—To execute this stitch properly, requires care, but it is very ornamental. Beads of all kinds, may be introduced. In order to net with beads, you must procure a long taper darning needle: the stitch is as follows; string a bead upon the thread or silk you net with: this bead is to be brought to the front of the mesh, and held there until the knot is made; at the back of the mesh, bring the needle and thread, passing the point through the bead which is upon the front of the mesh. The needle and thread are then to be drawn through it, by which means the bead will be brought quite up to the knot just made. By working the beads in this manner, they will be kept stationary upon the thread, and so remain in their places, and impart much beauty to the work.


Diamond Netting

Diamond Netting.—This kind of netting is easy of execution, and looks extremely pretty. It is done by making every other stitch a loop stitch, in order to effect which, the silk must be put twice round the mesh, instead of once, as in plain netting. Treble diamond netting is similar, only the process is rather more difficult in execution. After netting three rows plain, at the beginning, the first row is to be composed of one loop stitch, and three plain stitches, repeated until the row is finished: then in working the second row, commence with a plain stitch, then follow with a loop, then two plain stitches, and repeat as before. For the third row begin with one or two plain stitches, make a loop, then net a stitch plain, and repeat the two loops and the plain stitch to the end of the row. For the fourth row you net three stitches in plain netting, then make a loop stitch, and repeat as in previous rows. An attention to this arrangement, will soon enable the young student in net-work, to net in as many stitches as may seem desirable.

Diamond Netting, of Five Stitches

Diamond Netting, of Five Stitches.—Commence with a long loop, then net five loops plain, repeat to the end of the row, finishing with a long loop. Second row, begin with a plain loop, make a loose stitch to meet the short loop in the previous row, and withdraw the mesh before commencing the next loop, work four loops plain, and so proceed. Third row is commenced as the second: withdraw the mesh as before, and work three plain loops. Begin the fourth[129] row with a plain stitch, work a long loop, then a loose stitch; withdraw the mesh, and work two plain stitches; again withdraw the mesh, work a plain stitch, and so proceed to the end. The fifth is begun with two plain stitches; then form a loose stitch, withdraw the mesh, work one plain loop, again withdraw the mesh, and finish with two plain stitches. The sixth row commences with three stitches plain, then make one loose stitch, and finish with two plain ones. For the seventh row, commence as in the last case; make a long loop, and finish with two plain stitches. The eighth row begins with three stitches in plain netting; withdraw the mesh, net one stitch plain, make a loose stitch, again withdraw the mesh, and finish the row with a plain stitch. In doing the ninth row net two stitches plain, withdraw the mesh, net two more plain stitches, make a loose stitch, again withdraw the mesh, and finish with a plain stitch. The tenth row is begun as the last, but instead of the loose stitch, net a plain one, then make the loose stitch, and withdraw the mesh. The mesh proper for this kind of netting is No. 18, and the silk called second-sized purse twist, is the best adapted for this kind of work.

Dotted Netting

Dotted Netting.—This is easily done. Cast on the number of loops you require, and proceed as follows. Begin with long loop, in which you next increase two stitches; repeat to the end of the row. None of the rows are at all varied; and you must carefully preserve its uniform appearance, as in that consists its principal beauty.

Shaded Silk Netting.—This is beautiful, when the shades blend well together. Of course, each row must be worked in one shade, and the next needful must be matched with the utmost care.[130] It is not possible to give minute rules on such a subject: but, in this, as in other things, practice will insure success.

Grecian Netting

Grecian Netting.—This is beautiful, and should be worked with fine silk, and with two meshes, No. 9 and 18; one plain row is to be netted with the large mesh, and then in the next row employ the small one. The silk is twisted round the fingers as in plain netting, and the needle must pass through the finger loop into the first stitch, and thence into the second. Then let the second be drawn through the first, and the first through the second, finishing the stitch by releasing your fingers and pulling the material tight. The succeeding stitch is a small loop, that appears to cross the stitches twisted together. These three kinds of stitches form the pattern, and are to be repeated until the work is completed. Grecian netting may be employed for a variety of purposes, and you can, of course, vary both the material and the meshes as best accords with the design you are intending to accomplish.

French Ground Net

French Ground Net.—You must have an even number of loops on the foundation, then proceed. First row, plain stitches and long loops, alternately; second row plain; make a loose stitch, and repeat. Begin the fourth with a loose stitch, net one plain, repeat to the end; commence the fifth row by netting one plain loop, make a long loop, and the little loop as in the third row; in coming after the last long loop, the little loop must be exchanged for a plain stitch.

Another kind of Honeycomb Netting.—Use a mesh No. 17, and set on an even number of stitches. Net the first row plain, having the silk round the mesh twice. For the second row you[131] put the silk once round the mesh and net the second loop, having previously half twisted it. Then net the first loop plain, net the fourth as the second, again net a stitch plain, and thus proceed with plain and half-twisted stitches, alternately. The third row is the same as the first, and the fourth as the second. These kinds of netting are very pretty for purses, bags, &c., and may be done in different colors if the purse is worked in four or five rows of plain, and the same number of honeycomb netting.

Honeycomb Netting

Honeycomb Netting.—You are to make an even number of loops, putting the silk twice round a No. 18 mesh, for the second row net with the silk once round the mesh, and put the first stitch through the second at the back, and net it; then the second stitch is pulled through the middle of the first and netted: you do the same with each two of the other stitches, and must be careful not to burst them. For the third row, the silk is put twice round the mesh, and the netting is plain. You proceed thus in alternate rows until the work is done.

Honeycomb Netting, with two Meshes.—The meshes proper are No. 9 and 16. Cast on an even number of stitches, and net the first row plain, with the No. 9 mesh. With mesh No. 16 net the second row, working the second stitch first and the first second, and so proceed netting the fourth stitch, and then the third, and so on to the end. Work the third row with No. 9 as before, and the fourth row as the second, only netting the first loop plain, and then taking, first the third, and then the second, and so on to the[132] end, finishing with a loop in plain netting. The next row is done plain with No. 9, the next with No. 16, exactly as the first twisted row. The odd stitch netted plain, only occurs at the commencement of each alternate row of netting done with No. 16. This kind of netting is proper for a veil.

Leaf Netting.—This is pretty when executed properly. You should work with cotton, and No. 14 mesh. Five loops are required for each pattern. Commence the first row by netting two plain loops for the edge, then net three plain, in the next loop increase four, and repeat this operation to the end of the row; finish with two plain loops. Begin the second row as before, and collect all the loops increased in each of the twice four loops formed in the last row, into one; then net four loops plain; repeat this to the end of the row, and net two plain as before. The third row is plain netting. The fourth row has two loops netted plain, then two more plain; you then increase four on each of the next two loops, net one plain, and repeat the operation to the end of the row; finish by netting two stitches plain. Fifth row, commence as before, net one plain loop, collect the increased loops as the second row, net three plain, and so repeat; net two plain to finish the row. The next row is netted plain. Repeat these rows as often as your work requires it to be done.

Net with Points.—This is done by making a foundation of, say, ninety stitches. Net on this foundation with any color you please. Net fifty stitches and return back again, proceed as before, only decreasing ten stitches, and so go on, until the required point is gained. Two colors are required.


Maltese Netting, in Spots

Maltese Netting, in Spots.—This is neat and elegant: it is done as follows. The first two rows are netted plain: you commence the third row by netting seven stitches; the silk is then to be passed round the mesh, and the needle brought under the knot in the second row, but without netting it; that is between the stitch you last netted and the one you are about to net. A loop is then made, which is not to be netted separately, as that would increase a stitch in the next row; but it is to be taken up with the last of the seven stitches previously netted. If you desire the spots to appear very distinct and prominent, let the silk pass twice round the mesh, and afterwards through the loop, and repeat the operation to the end. You may do this spotting, either as it appears in the pattern, or in almost any form you please.

Plain Open Netting

Plain Open Netting.—This is pretty, and easy of execution. The operation is performed by netting three rows plain, then a row of loop stitches, then three rows plain, and a row of loops as before. You may net to any length you please. The direction here given is all that is necessary, and if duly attended to will enable any young lady to attain proficiency.

Round Netting

Round Netting.—You commence making the loops, as in common netting, by twisting the silk round the fingers, then pass the needle and the silk through the finger-loop, and bring it up on the back side of the mesh, between it and the fore finger; the fingers and loop are still to be kept on them[134] as before; the middle is then to be reversed, and brought down through the first loop, (on the foundation,) and taking a slanting direction over the mesh. Having drawn it entirely through, you withdraw your finger from the loop, as in ordinary netting. You every succeeding loop in the same way.




A Purse, with China Silk.—Make as many stitches on the foundation as you please. Net three rows with plain colors, then five with China silk. Repeat.

A Seam Purse, with Beads.—You will need four skeins of fine silk, and a mesh, No. 8. On a foundation of one hundred stitches, net one plain row. Then in the next row, net a plain and a bead stitch successively. Net the third row plain, and begin the next with a bead stitch. Proceed thus till the purse is completed.

A Netted Bag, with Ring.—On a foundation of sixty stitches, net the bag to half the length required; then net in a gilt ring, and finish the bag. Draw it up with ribbon, and place a gilded or silk tassel at the bottom. You will require coarse netting silk, and a No. 16 mesh. You may use union cord, or gilt twist, if you prefer it.

Dice Pattern Purse.—This is done in two colors, highly contrasted. You must have two skeins of second sized silk, and a No. 10 mesh. On a foundation of ninety-eight stitches, net seven with the darkest color. You net seven rows. Then introduce the lighter silk, by joining it to the seventh stitch of the first row[136] of the dark color, and net seven rows upon the succeeding seven stitches of the foundation. You must be careful to loop in the last dark stitch on each row: repeat this process until the purse is of the length you require; of course reversing the squares. In cutting off the silk, you must leave sufficient to make a weaver’s knot, with which is to be fastened to the succeeding color.

Honeycomb Mittens.—You commence by casting on fifty stitches; the first four rows are to netted plain: after which, you net one row with the silk, twice round the mesh; again net two rows with the silk round the mesh once: you then commence netting rounds, and net rows as before. The first row is to be netted with the silk twice round the mesh, the second is in honey-comb pattern; the third round is executed as the first, and the fourth as the second; for the fifth round you net eleven stitches with the silk, round the mesh, as in the first row, and make two increased stitches in the twelfth loop; in the next row, you are to net five stitches and increase two, netting the whole, as in the first row; net the seventh like the second, and let this be repeated for the four succeeding rounds, a plain and a pattern round alternately; in the next round, which is plain, pass the silk twice round the mesh, and net seven stitches; increase two stitches in the eighth round and net seventeen in plain and pattern, alternate rounds; in the eighteenth increase two, and net five rounds; again increase two, and net five; and on each side again increase two; net three rounds after the last increase, continuing to net till you arrive at the stitch over the last stitch you increased, and net it to the one corresponding to it on the other side of the thumb; if it does not fit as it ought to do, you must decrease, until that object is secured; you are to finish the thumb, by netting a round with the silk, put twice round the mesh, and two rounds in plain netting; the silk is to be[137] fastened to the side of the thumb, in order to finish the hand: and you are to net plain and pattern rounds successively. When the mitten is nearly the length you wish, finish in the same manner you did the thumb, using double silk.

Netted Cuffs.—The materials are German wool and French floss silk, and the work is executed with a mesh, No. 11, and a small steel one, No. 15. You commence on a foundation of fifty-four loops; and in order to form the right side, you net one row of wool with the large mesh, and three rows of silk with the small one, alternately, till you have netted twenty four rows. Then you form the wrong side, by netting one row of wool with the larger mesh, and two rows of the same material with the small one. You will require nine rows netted with the wide mesh, with two narrow rows between each. Then net one wide row with wool, having in each loop three stitches; above this, knit one narrow row of silk, and do the same at the other end. You have only to double the cuffs, turning the plain side inmost, and the rows of wool and silk will form a kind of border and finish to the whole.

Netted Cuff with Silk and Wool.—On a foundation of ninety-six stitches, and with a No. 11 mesh, net one row plain in floss silk. Second row the same. Then with an ivory mesh of half an inch in width, net one row in German wool. The fourth row is to be done two stitches in one, with wool, using a small mesh. Then for the inside half of the cuff, net fourteen rows with the large and small meshes, successively. These to be done in silk and wool alternately. The next three rows to be netted in dark wool. Then with the small mesh net two rows in silk, the same color as at the commencement, alternately, with seven rows of wool, in proper shades, and finish with an edge to correspond with the beginning.

[138]Netted Fringe.—Use a mesh No. 18, and net the required length, dropping off the stitches on the left. Net the next row the same. Then with a flat mesh, the width of the fringe, placing the grooved edge downward, net one row. These latter loops are to be cut, and either left as they are, or knitted two and two together, as the taste of the worker may dictate.

Netted Opera Cap.—Work with one mesh, half an inch wide; and another, smaller, of steel; and begin on a foundation of seventy-four stitches. You must procure in double German wool, two colors that contrast well: commence with the darkest shade, and net with the wide mesh one row; the second is to be netted with the narrow one, and so on alternately: the sixth and seventh are both worked with the narrow mesh: then net five more rows with the wide and narrow meshes alternately: this done, you commence with the other color, and net one row, having three stitches on each loop of the row preceding: you now introduce silk of the same color as that of the wool first used, and net one row with the narrow mesh; in that row all the stitches of the last row, netted in wool, must be taken up separately; the foundation is now to be removed, and rows of the lighter colored wool and silk, are to be netted to correspond. Net another piece of work in exactly the same manner as the former, and taking one of the pieces, fold it in the middle, and net one row with the narrow mesh in the centre row of knots; in the piece thus doubled, proceed to net a row with the wide mesh, then two with the narrow one, and again one with the wide mesh. The other piece is then to be folded in the same manner, and united to the former one by netting a row, taking up as before the centre row of knots. This makes the front of the cap appear in four pieces. At the back, in the centre row of knots, net a row with the narrow mesh,[139] to keep it on an even fold. You draw up the cap at the end, and put the strings on. This completes it.

Netted Scollop Edging

Netted Scollop Edging.—You work this with a flat mesh, and set on as many stitches as you intend to have scollops. The flat mesh should be No. 3; and you will also require two round ones, one No. 14 and the other No. 18. Begin the work as follows. Net the first row with the flat mesh, and increase eighteen stitches into each of the loops on the foundation. For the second row, use the mesh No. 14, and net a plain stitch into each loop. Then, with the mesh No. 18, net the third row in long loops, by passing the material twice round the mesh; you are to increase two stitches in the same loop, and so continue to the end of the row. In the fourth row you use the mesh No. 14 and leaving all the increased stitches without netting them, net the long loops plain. The fifth and sixth rows are netted plain with the mesh No. 14, which finishes the scollop.

Plain Netted Gentleman’s Purse.—Of coarse netting silk, you will require five skeins, and a mesh, No. 13. You must have a foundation of eighty stitches on which to commence, and you net to the length of ten inches. Net up the sides and damp it slightly, after which it is put upon a purse stretcher, where it is to be left for a few hours, then take it off and trim it as you please.

A Lady’s Purse.—Net in the same manner seventy stitches on the foundation, and nine inches in length is sufficient. Employ a mesh No. 10, and fine netting silk. Two colors may be used, netting five rows with one, and four with the other.

Plain Netted Mittens.—Begin on forty-eight stitches as a[140] foundation, and net four rows plain; then form the loops, for the ribbon, with a mesh double the size of that you work with. Then five rows more are to be netted plain; and in the next you must join both ends, and net one plain round, taking care in the twelfth stitch to increase. Again net round, and increase as before. Net the remaining stitches. You must then net sixteen rounds, increasing two stitches, to form the thumb, in the same place as the other increased stitches, every other round. Join the thumb stitches, and net seven rounds, which is the length of the thumb, decreasing a stitch or two in every round. With the larger mesh you are to net two stitches in every loop, and then net one round, taking the two together. Net two or three rounds with a finer mesh: this finishes the thumb. Net as many rounds as are wanted for the hand, and finish as before. Run in the ribbon, and edge with lace. You must have a No. 12 mesh, and five skeins of silk.

A Plain Scollop

A Plain Scollop.—You must cast on one stitch for each scollop: this is the first row. For the second, use a flat mesh No. 1, and increase twenty stitches in each loop. Net the third with a round mesh No. 14, netting all the increased loops plain. The two next rows are netted plain, with the same mesh, which finishes the pattern.

Cap Border Scollop

Cap Border Scollop.—You commence with one stitch for each scollop, as in last pattern. For the second row, use the flat mesh No. 1, and increase in each loop twelve stitches. Net the third round with the round mesh No. 15, and be careful to net the increased stitches plain. The last row is netted plain, with the same mesh as the preced[141]ing one. The cotton used in the netting of these scollops, should be about the size of what is called third-sized purse twist.

Net Cravat.—This is netted with German wool, and with a mesh No. 9. Having cast on 400 stitches, in the color you intend first to use, net twenty-three rows in plain netting. Then introduce the other color, or white; and again, in the same manner, net twenty-three rows. Proceed thus, till you have three stripes of each color: then net the two sides together, and draw up the ends. You may add tassels, if you choose.

A Net Scarf.—This is to be worked with two flat needles, No. 8 and No. 2, and in that kind of silk called dockers. You are to commence, by casting on 210 stitches, and netting four rows with the smaller mesh, and thirty or thirty-two with the larger one. These repeated, six times, completes the scarf. You must add the four narrow rows, which will complete the edge. The scarf is to be drawn up at each end, and have tassels attached.

A Long Purse, in Points.—Upon your foundation loops, put sixty stitches in one of the colors you intend to use, and return on them. Then, in the next row, put on forty stitches, the next forty, and so on to ten, always returning on the number last put on, and leaving the ten unnetted. You then, with another needle, introduce your other color, and put on ten stitches upon the foundation loops, commencing ten loops from the sixty of the first color. When you have reached the last of the sixty, which you will do when you have put on the ten, you must draw the mesh out, and pass the needle with the second color, through the concluding stitch of the first, working back upon the second color the ten stitches last introduced. The rest of the row is increased ten; and you must then decrease, as you did with the first color. One pattern is then complete; and you re-commence and proceed as before.




Crochet has been long known, but it has only become a favorite with the fair votaries of the needle, during the last few years. It is very difficult to describe, though easy of execution, and can be applied to a variety of useful and ornamental purposes. It is most frequently adopted in working shawls, table covers, pillows, mats, slippers, carriage mats, and a great variety of other things of elegance and utility. Silk, cotton, and wool, are employed, and the work is so easy, that a moderate share of attention to details, will make an expert workman.

Stitches.—These are called plain single crochet, plain double crochet, plain stitch open crochet, and open crochet, with a variety of stitches. It is not easy to describe the manner of working crochet stitch, though it is easy of execution: perhaps the following will be found tolerably correct. Take a skein of wool, and having wound it, make a loop at one end, like the first link in a chain; through this draw another, and so on, until the chain is of the length required. Each must be made rather tight as it is drawn through its preceding loop. This forms the foundation, and the young worker may then proceed with the article she intends to make. She must pass the needle through the last loop of the[143] foundation, and catching the silk or other material from behind, draw it through and so proceed with every succeeding loop of the foundation, until the row is completed. Having thus formed the first row, she must proceed as before to form a second, and so on from right to left, and from left to right, until she has all the rows required. This is the most effectual way we know of for the learner to pursue and she will find that her work is the same on both sides, producing raised and depressed rows in alternate succession. In working she must not generally work backward and forward, but must finish each row separately.

Plain Crochet.—Make only one loop in each stitch. In making common purses in crochet, this is the stitch generally employed.

Plain Double Crochet.—Keep two loops on the needle before finishing the stitch. This stitch is more generally in use than any of the others described.

Plain Stitch Open Crochet.—This stitch is done in the following manner. To the last link of the foundation chain, crochet five stitches, which must be again crocheted in the fifth stitch of the chain. This is to be repeated to the foundation. The rest of the rows are to be done in the same way, attaching every fifth stitch to the centre one of each loop in the row preceding. This looks extremely well for purses, and it can be varied by employing two or more colors as taste or fancy may direct.

Open Crochet

Open Crochet.—This stitch is difficult to describe; an attention to the following rules will, we hope, enable the reader to understand it. First make a chain of the length required for the foundation; then work one stitch plain, and bring the material round the needle, which must be passed through the first loop of the chain, through which bring the material, and you will thus have three stitches on[144] the needle. Through the two first of these the material must be drawn, which will leave two; through these the material must be again drawn, and that will leave one, through which you are to make one stitch plain, as at the commencement. You then put the material over the needle, and through the fourth link of the chain, and proceed as before. You will thus have one plain stitch between each two double ones, which will leave an open space.

Double Open Crochet

Double Open Crochet.—This is a similar stitch, only the single stitch is omitted, and the two long stitches are made together, by passing the needle through the next loop without making a stitch. Thus you will have two long stitches and one open stitch in succession.

Treble Open Crochet

Treble Open Crochet.—This is exactly like the last, only making three long stitches, instead of two, before every plain stitch. It looks neat and elegant, and may have beads introduced, which produce a charming effect. The following directions will enable the novice to work with beads with freedom and accuracy. Thread the beads on a strong silk, and pass one on to the middle stitch of each of the three long ones.

This will, of course, place a bead in the centre of each square. Beads of various colors may be introduced, so as to form a diamond. A gold or polished steel one should form the centre of each diamond.

Double Stitch Crochet.—To work this you have only to take both meshes of the chain, instead of one, as in common crochet.

Plain Stitch Elastic Crochet.—Work backward and forwards, first taking one mesh of the chain, and then the other. The upper mesh must be taken first.

[145]Bead Stitch.—If you wish to work with beads, you must thread all you intend to use, before you begin to work. Then when you wish to insert a bead, no matter what the pattern is you are executing, you have only to pass a bead down to the last stitch you have worked, and to fasten it on by working the stitch as usual; but this will leave it on the wrong side; to prevent which, you must bring the crocheting thread to the front, having it on the fore finger of the left hand: by thus keeping the bead in front, and inserting the needle from the back of the stitch you are about to work, you can draw the thread through the back, and make the finishing loop in the common way: you will then find that the bead is on the right side.

Edge Stitch.—To work this stitch you are to draw a loop through the first stitch on the row, or on the round, if you work in rounds, then draw a second loop through the one last made. Thus the edge stitch is formed. It is of importance to attend to the regular working of this stitch, because if it is not done, you will lose in each row a stitch. On a round, it is not necessary to work the edge stitch; but when the work has to be turned to work round the contrary way, the edge stitch is indispensible.

A Raised Stitch.—Make this by passing the needle through, both meshes of the chain, and working two stitches instead of one, in the same space or hole.

To increase or decrease a Stitch.—In the former case, make two stitches in the mesh; and in the latter, take two stitches together as one, or miss one.

True Stitch.—This means to keep the stitches exactly over each other, when working in different colors, so as to conceal the half stitch. This must be done with care: and the more attention is paid to it, the more beautiful will the work appear.

[146]To fasten on or off.—The former is done by laying the two ends of the material contrary wise, and working a few stitches with both. The latter process is performed by drawing the material through the last stitch, which must be fastened at the back.

A Dividing Line.—The most general form is that of working two stitches up and down alternately, between the stripes in the groundings; but it can be varied according to taste.

What is called making a stitch, at the beginning and end of a row, means making one stitch of a chain before the first and after the last, which new stitches are to be crocheted in the succeeding row.

To Carry on a Thread in Double Crochet.—It is a very common thing to work a pattern in crochet, in more than one color; when this is the case, it is necessary that the colors, not required, should be so managed, as not to make loops, or stitches, at the back. To accomplish this, they must be worked in the following manner. Let the threads, that are not required, be laid along the fore finger of the left hand; and the crochet needle must be inserted in the usual manner, into the stitch; you are to let it go below the threads you are carrying on, and the thread with which you are working is to be drawn at the back, through the stitch, into which you inserted the needle or hook. Make the finishing loop as usual, which you carry over the threads, and pull through the two loops you have upon the needle. Thus you will make one stitch, and the process is to be repeated as often as your work requires it.

Joining the Threads.—In order that threads may be united neatly and properly, observe the following directions. Do not work up the thread quite to the end, but leave a small portion; then, on the fore finger of the left hand, by the end of the thread[147] you are about to commence working with, the end to be toward the tip of the finger, the ball will of course be toward the arm; work over it for about six stitches, proceeding as you do in carrying over the threads; then by the thread you worked with, but on the same finger, and continue with the thread you have last fastened on, and work over it, in the same manner, for about six stitches. The ends are then to be cut, and you work on as usual, with the thread just joined. This is the best method we know, of making the work appear neat, and, at the same time, of securing the required degree of fineness.

To Increase a Stitch in Crochet.—The process by which this is done, is as follows. First, make the stitch as usual, then work it again from the hinder or back part of the stitch. This prevents a hole, which would otherwise occur.

To take in a Stitch.—To do this, two stitches are taken on the needle at the same time, and you work them off as one.

We have given the fullest explanation of the various stitches in crochet, that our limited space will allow; and we hope that the directions are so plain that no one will be at a loss to comprehend their meaning. But we cannot promise any votary of this delightful employment, even tolerable success, unless she will assiduously apply her own mind to the various directions. “No one can become an expert needlewoman, who does not think, and think deeply, too.[148]



Crochet Edging, for Collars

Crochet Edging, for Collars, &c.—Ascertain the length you will require, and cast on the necessary number of chain stitches; you must use a steel hook No. 19. You will find your labor facilitated by sewing a piece of tape at the beginning and the end of the foundation-row of chain stitch. If the tops be an inch wide, it will form a good beginning and termination. The foundation of chain stitch forms the first row; the second is worked thus; the hook is inserted through the first loop of the foundation; (this will be on the tape,) through which, a loop is to be brought in the usual manner; directly above this, a second loop is worked, which forms the beginning. You now leave the tape, and work two chain stitches; after which, you throw a stitch on the needle, by casting the material over it. Then, taking the third loop on the foundation, counting from the one last worked, you insert the hook, passing two loops without working them, and catching the thread from behind, pull it through. Thus, you will have on the needle three loops; and you must now throw a stitch on the hook, which is, in like manner, to be pulled through the first loop, near the point. By this, you will still have three loops on the hook.[149] Again, throw on a stitch as before, which draw through the two first loops on the end of the hook; then throw on another stitch, which must be pulled through the two loops remaining on the hook. You will then have only one loop upon the needle; and thus one stitch is completed. Make two chain stitches, as before, and then perform another stitch; and so proceed, as in the former row, but instead of inserting the hook in the third loop, as before, pass it into the first open portion of the work, and work the stitch over the two chain stitches of the second row, as follows. The needle being inserted into the open space, you are to catch the material in from behind, and draw it through, by which you will have three loops on the hook: then throw a loop on as before, and let it be drawn through the first loop, on the point of the hook. Another loop is next to be thrown in, and drawn through the two loops nearest the hook, on which you will now have two loops. You thus complete the stitch, as in the previous row, and so proceed to the end. The next row is the same in all respects; and the fifth is to form a Vandyke edge: it is worked in the following manner: the needle is inserted into the open space, and work a double tambour stitch round the chain stitches of the fourth row; then seven chain stitches are to be made and fastened to the two chain stitches of the last row, in the same manner as before. Thus one scollop or vandyke is completed, and you work all the others in the same way.

Petticoat Crochet Edging

Petticoat Crochet Edging.—Work this in the following manner. First row like the last pattern. The second like the second of the last; and finish with the fifth row of the same pattern. Persian cotton, No. 6, is the best material; and you work with a long steel crochet needle, having an ivory screw handle.

[150]Crochet Edging, Handkerchiefs.—This is done in three rows, worked as the first, second, third, and fifth rows of crochet edging, for collars. The material is Persian thread, No. 12; and you work with a fine steel crochet needle, with a screw handle.

Insertion, or Crochet Beading.—You work this, if narrow, as first and second rows of the first pattern; if you have it wider, work it as the third row. It may be either worked with No. 8 or No. 12 cotton, and looks neat and handsome.

The following remarks on crochet should be carefully attended to. It is necessary to work this kind of work, rather loose than otherwise, as it is liable to cut, if done over tight. The size of the stitch depends, of course, upon that of the needle; and, therefore, care should be taken, to have them gauged. If a needle will go into the slit, opposite No. 4, but not into No. 5, then it is a No. 4 needle.

Sofa Pillow.—Work in six threads fleecy, and with a good sized crochet needle; work as follows. For the first stripe, commence with two rows of the same color; the three next rows, in different shades, of a color that will contrast well with that of the two first; the sixth row must be of a different color, or it may be white. The next five rows are to correspond, reversing the colors and shades. The second stripe is composed of seven rows: the first, three distinct shades of the same color; the middle one, a contrast; and the other three, the same shades as the first, but reversed as before. The third stripe is the same, but, of course, the colors are different. A white row in the middle of each stripe, is, in our opinion, the best. The fourth stripe is a repetition of the first, omitting the color in the first two rows, the fifth of the second, and the sixth of the third. The last stripe is to correspond exactly with the first.

[151]Turkish Pattern, for a Table Cover.—Use a steel needle, and six threads fleecy. Form the dividing line of two shades of the same color, say claret, and have four stripes, namely, white, gold color, blue, and scarlet. Then, on the white stripe, work the pattern in two greens, two scarlets, two blues, a brown, and a yellow. On the gold color, in two blues and one claret, white, lilac, and green. On the blue, in two scarlets, two greens, one drab, white, brown, and orange. And on the scarlet, one green, one white, two blues, a claret, and a bright yellow. We have merely given the colors in the above, as a specimen, and to assist the youthful artist in the formation of habits of arrangement. She can, of course, adopt any colors and shades she pleases; and the more she employs her own thought and judgment, the more original will her work appear.

A Plain Crochet Bag, in Silk.—Begin at the top with a chain, of one hundred and fifty stitches. The material to work with, may be any kind of silk that is proper for the purpose, and of any color that may be deemed desirable. On this foundation, a plain row is to be worked, and then a row in two colors, in two stitches of each alternately. The second color is employed to form the ground of the pattern. Work one plain row, and then work large stars, in a color to contrast with the plain ground. Between the large stars, work small ones, in a different color. One row of plain ground is to be crocheted on each side of the pattern; and before commencing the second stripe, repeat the row of two colors in two stitches of each. The ground of the next stripe is to contrast highly with that of the former one. The larger stars should also be well contrasted; but, all in the same stripe, must be of the same color; all the small stars should be alike. The stripes are to be repeated successively, until the bag is completed.

[152]A Greek Cap, in coarse Chenille.—With a chain of six or eight stitches, begin at the top, and having united the ends, work round and round, in rows, until it is eight inches across. You must increase your stitches, in each row, so as to preserve the work flat. Work the stitches in open crochet, and between every two rows, it will be best to introduce a few plain lines, in black and gold. This cap is extremely elegant.

A Crochet Neck Chain.—Commence with fine plain stitches; then put the needle through the back of the second, and make one stitch plain. By twisting the chain, after every stitch, you will find that one stitch appears to cross; that stitch is the one to be next taken, and crocheted.

A Plain Crochet Purse.—This purse is made with middle-sized netting silk, and is strong and durable. A chain is to be made of one hundred and forty stitches, of any color you prefer, on which, you are to crochet three rows plain in the same color. Then, five rows, in a color making a good contrast. Repeat these stripes as many times as are requisite, and crochet up the sides. Draw up the ends, and trim the purse.

We deem it unnecessary to add more examples in crochet, as without engravings, they would not be understood. This kind of work is capable of being applied to an almost indefinite number of purposes; but in almost all cases, though easy of execution, the patterns are not easy to be described in writing. We have, however, done all that is required, to afford an insight into this kind of needlework; and have shewn that for purses, bags, caps, neck chains, &c., it can be readily brought into requisition. Much care and judgment are required in the arrangement of colors, as on this, almost the whole beauty of the work depends.




Tatting Open Stitch

Tatting Open Stitch.—Take your tatting needle, and, having threaded it with the appropriate material make a knot at the end. In order to make the loops, put the knot just made on the fore finger of the left hand, and form also a loop round the second, third and fourth fingers, extending them for that purpose. These loops are made by carrying the thread round the back of them, bringing it to the fore finger again, so as to pass over the knot. In this position they must be held tightly down by the pressure of the thumb. You will observe that the thumb and fore finger are never to be moved while you form the scollop, but you are to bring the needle and thread toward you in a straight direction from the fore finger and thumb, between the second and third fingers: the needle is then to be inserted from behind the finger loop, up through the middle, between the thread[154] which is on the needle, and the thread round the fingers. You must be careful to have the thread (on the needle) between you and the needle, after you have drawn it through. From the right hand to the left the needle must be extended as tight as possible, leaving loose the loop which is round the finger as you make the stitch with the loop, and not with that portion of the thread which is next the needle. You are to withdraw the second finger, and allow the loop round the fingers to form round the thread. The fingers are then to be again inserted, and form the stitch with the second finger by drawing it up to its proper place, close to the thumb. This will finish the stitch. For the next, cast the thread over the back part of the hand, instead of bringing it to you as in the former stitch, and let the needle be inserted down through the finger loop, between the first and second fingers; then draw it up through between the two threads over the back part of the fingers, and form the stitch with the second one, as in the previous stitch. You work the third stitch the same as the first, only longer, that it may form a long loop. Repeat the second stitch, then the long loop; and thus proceed until you have seven loops: after this, the thread is to be drawn up, so as to form the scollop.

Star Tatting

Star Tatting.—The material for this kind of work is bobbin, such as is generally used for children’s caps. You have only to work six scollops and draw them up close, so as to form a star. When made with precision and regularity, they present a neat appearance. Star tatting is well adapted for trimmings to a great many articles of apparel and ornament.


Common Tatting Edging.—Make the loops, and work the first stitch as in the first pattern; then work twenty stitches the same way to form the scollop. When it is finished, you must draw up the thread tight, and then commence another. If it has been properly done, the scollop will draw freely.



In bringing the Ladies’ Work-Table Book to a close, we cannot persuade ourselves to dismiss the subject, without a word or two to our fair friends, as to the use, necessary to be made, of all the useful or ornamental accomplishments their circumstances and situations may enable them to acquire. We should never, for one moment, suffer the utile to be absent from our thoughts: she who has no definite aim in what she does, can never have any good ground of hope, that, in her progress through life, she can attain to excellence.

These remarks apply principally to that large class, who are dependent upon exertion of some kind, for the means of comfort and respectability, in their respective stations. But, as those ladies, whose circumstances render a practical acquaintance with the arts here treated of, a matter of indifference, a knowledge of them is, by no means, unnecessary. In many ways indeed, a lady, blessed with affluence, may render an acquaintance with the details of needlework extensively useful.

It is often the case that young persons are engaged in families, whose education has been, from some cause or other, lamentably neglected. In those cases, the lady who feels her obligations, and[157] is actuated by a true Christian spirit, will consider herself as standing in the place of a mother to her humble dependents; and, under a deep sense of her high responsibilities, will endeavor to improve, and fit them, by suitable and kindly-imparted instructions, for the proper discharge of the duties of that station, which it may be presumed they will in after days be called upon to fill. In this case, how useful will the kind and careful mistress find a knowledge of that art, which teaches the proper method of making those articles of dress which are so essential to every family who, however humble, are desirous of securing the respect of the wise and the good, by judicious economy, and a neat and respectable appearance.

Those ladies who are in the habit of devoting a portion of their time to the superintendence of our female charity schools, will also find such knowledge extremely beneficial. To those who are disposed to follow the example of the holy Dorcas, in providing garments for the deserving and destitute poor, an acquaintance with plain needlework is indispensible; and indeed, it will, in every walk of life, be found useful to her who is, by the animating love of the Lord Jesus, disposed

“To seek the wretched out,
And court the offices of soft humanity.”

Another advantage may also be gained, by a manifestation of the kindly solicitude for the improvement of domestics, here pointed out. In cases where the secular tuition of young persons has been neglected, it will be generally found that their religious and moral training has been equally uncared for. Let the Christian lady evince a real desire to improve the temporal condition of those beneath her influence, and she will soon find that the best affections of the heart are opened to the reception of instructions of a higher[158] and still more important character. Hard indeed must be that heart which can resist the influence of genuine kindness exercised in a friendly Christian spirit. We once had the pleasure of seeing a young servant baptized in the faith of Christ, while those in whose service she was, and two others, highly respectable persons, answered for her at the font. This beautiful meeting together of the rich and the poor, took place in one of the most splendid parish churches in England, and left on our minds an impression which will never be effaced.

In the foregoing pages we have endeavored to lay before the young votary of the needle, such instructions as we hope will be found sufficiently clear to enable her to produce many a delightful specimen of her assiduity, taste, and judgment. We have sought to be concise, without being obscure; and to give plain directions, without making our readers mere imitators, or copyists. One fault which is to be found in all the books on these subjects, which we have seen, we have carefully avoided; that is, the giving a list of the various colours to be employed in the fabrication of each example given. Nothing can be more absurd, and mischievous than this. The young work-woman can only exercise her judgment, to any extent, in this department of her labors. The various stitches she must form according to the prescribed rule; because, in most instances, they can be performed in no other manner; but in the choice of materials, and colors, she should have free scope: here judgment, taste, and fancy, should range untrammelled by rules and forms; and yet this is rarely done, because the lady is taught to rely upon her patterns, and scarcely ever to consult her own sense of beauty or propriety. We see the effect of this, in the sameness, and monotonous appearance of almost all kinds of fancy-work: and we have endeavored to do our best, to introduce a more cor[159]rect taste and principle into this department of the elegant arts, in which females are engaged. We know that much native genius exists among our fair countrywomen; and we wish to see it expand, as freely as the refreshing breeze, that sweeps over our native hills.

We have before alluded to the various and interesting uses to which the needle can be applied, and the high moral ends it is so well calculated to promote: and if such be its importance, then it will be readily admitted by all, that he who has made the most improvements, and produced the most finished specimens of this all-important instrument, has conferred a real benefit upon his race.

We have a higher end in view, than promoting the acquisition of accomplishments, however elegant or pleasing. We wish to direct the minds of those whom we are thus endeavoring to interest and instruct, to the immortal beauties of moral excellence. These works may be made conducive, in a high degree, to the development of family affection, and the promotion, to a vast extent, of the purposes of genuine charity, benevolence, and friendship. But there is yet a higher kind of use, to which we would apply them. We would have the young lady, who is becoming expert and clever at her needle to reflect, as the beautiful fabric grows beneath her forming hand, that her work, and the power and skill to plan and execute it, is an emanation of the Immortal Mind; of that Mind, whose creative powers are a faint, but legible transcript of the Omnipotent Wisdom of the Deity. This thought gives a permanency to what would, in any other light be only transitory as the summer cloud. It is Omnipotent Wisdom and Power, which has contrived and executed all the beautiful wonders of creation; and that Wisdom and Power were called into activity by Omnipotent Love. We wish to impress this sublime truth upon the mind of our young[160] readers, because we wish them to place their Heavenly Father before them—as their pattern and example—in all that they take in hand; and to remember that, as He formed the universe by Wisdom, from Love—so all their actions and elegant contrivances should be the result of judgment, guided by affection—that they may thus become like their Father, who is in Heaven.

Indeed, it is only when accomplishments are rendered subservient to the development of moral goodness, that they may become pursuits at all worthy of an accountable being. We were not sent into this world to flutter through life, like the gaudy butterfly, only to be seen and admired. We were designed to be useful to our fellow beings; and to make all our powers and capabilities, in some way or other conducive to the happiness and welfare of our co-journeyers on the path of time. To this end, we wish our fair countrywomen to devote their best attention; and, in its attainment, to exert every energy which they possess. We wish them to make all the knowledge which they may acquire subserve some noble purpose; which will outlive the present hour. But to do this, the well-spring of the purest affections must be opened in the soul; and the elegant productions of taste and genius become vitalized, and animated, by the spirit of love. Thus, and thus only, can the occupations of a leisure hour be converted into efficient ministers of good; and such they will assuredly be found, if practised from right motives, and placed in due subordination to the right exercise of more important duties. The young votaress of the needle, of drawing, or of music, should ever bear in mind, that the time employed in those pursuits, will be accounted lost or improved, by the impartial Judge of all—just in proportion as they have been made to serve the purposes of selfish gratification, or to minister to the development of an elevated moral character—generous and warm affections—and[161] the cultivation of those virtues, which, as essentials of the Christian character, shall outlive the ravages of time, and qualify the soul for all the beatitudes of a coming eternity.

In all then that the young lady aims to learn, or to accomplish, let her place a high and moral standard before her, and resolve to render every transaction of her life conducive to her preparation for a higher state of being. Our various faculties and powers were not given us to be wasted, but to be used to the honor of our Creator—the comfort and welfare of those around us—and, as a consequence of our faithful discharge of our several obligations, conducive, in an eminent degree, to our happiness. No mistake can be more fatal, than an idea that, for what we call trifles, we shall have no account to render. What we call trifles, may be, in their consequence, both to ourselves and others, the most important acts of our lives. It is not by great events that our characters are formed; but by the neglect or performance of our duties in that state of life, into which the Wisdom of our Heavenly Father has seen fit to call us. To elevate the sufferings, soothe the sorrows, increase the comforts, and enhance the joys of all around us, should be the highest aim of a laudable ambition—and every endeavor should be most assiduously devoted to the accomplishment of these important ends. It is, in fact, only when we thus employ our various talents and capabilities, that they are really useful, in any other case, they are only ministers to our personal pride, and selfish gratification, instead of becoming links in that golden chain, by which the faithful performance of appointed duties is elevated to the possession of “a crown of righteousness, that fadeth not away.”

Let, then, the youthful female, as she plies her needle, or exercises her judgment or ingenuity, in the choice of colors or mate[162]rials, or in the invention of new developments of creative genius, ever remember to exercise those powers as a Christian—let her cultivate, in her inmost soul, the conviction, that all her skill and power is imparted from on high—and let her be careful to make all she does, a sacrifice, acceptable to her God, by doing all in the spirit, and under the influence of that sacred charity—that boundless benevolence—which ever rejoices, in making its various capabilities subservient to the good of others, and thus gives to the otherwise perishable occurrences of time, an endurance and a continuity, that shall endure for ever.




Transcriber’s Note

The following typographical errors were corrected:

Page Error Correction
iv human felicity human felicity.
v fair one fair one.
v then, how, to fabricate then, how to fabricate
vi form and utilty form and utility
ix netting of a purse, netting of a purse.
18 very difficult t very difficult to
19 both sides, This both sides. This
21 Knitting Netting, Knitting, Netting,
22 than others than others.
22 Wool.—This Wool.—This
22 yarn, for mitts, yarn, for mitts.
24 her to devise her to devise.
25 Tissue Paper Tissue Paper.
27 extacy;” extacy;
27 native sky. native sky.”
28 principal stiches principal stitches
29 thread with out thread without
30 Gathering Gathering.
30 are gathered, Then are gathered. Then
33 appropriate situations appropriate situations.
34 intricate to describle intricate to describe
36 must take grest must take great
38 visiter visitor
41 colico, ore calico, are
44 adies’ Night Jackets. Ladies’ Night Jackets.
48 wrong, side wrong side
48 Plain Scarf Plain Scarf.
51 Another meth d Another method
55 into the other, into the other.
60 in the middle in the middle.
60 like a star like a star.
64 painting in oil, painting in oil.
65 Cross Stitch Cross Stitch.
65 This is a stich This is a stitch
66 arrangment arrangement
67 same color same color.
70 unavailable repentance unavailable repentance.
71 increas-increasing increasing
72 inprovement improvement
76 is complete is complete.
76 ane xtremly an extremely
fn 79-* The footnote marker was missing on the footnote
80 Chenille Embroidery Chenille Embroidery.
81 perseverence perseverance
83 restored to resorted to
84 braided with ther braided with their
85 lavendar lavender
88 considerable size considerable size.
89 assidously assiduously
93 the, first the first
96 forgotton forgotten
96 incovenience inconvenience
98 Lee., M. A, Lee, M. A.,
98 first intoduction first introduction
98 the means the means,
99 Pearl Stitch Pearl Stitch.
100 Note, in cas tingon Note, in casting on
102 other three stiches other three stitches
102 that tbe pins that the pins
103 previous methods previous methods.
104 stitches, you choose stitches you choose
104 taking careto taking care to
106 loops, and kniting loops, and knitting
107 knit three siitches knit three stitches
111 preceeding preceding
112 five rows o five rows of
113 ancle ankle
113 each stitch; The each stitch. The
114 fringe and borber fringe and border
115 knitting three stiches knitting three stitches
118 when it ouccurs when it occurs
120 Pattern for a Light Scarf Pattern for a Light Scarf.
120 generaly generally
122 every other stich every other stitch
123 Eleventh row plain Eleventh row plain.
123 make a siitch make a stitch
123 knit two togteher knit two together
124 twenty-seeond twenty-second
127 bottom of the preceeding bottom of the preceding
128 For the fouth For the fourth
129 principal beauty principal beauty.
131 the end Work the end. Work
134 You every is missing a word, probably work. This change was not made in the text
134 succeding succeeding
135 ninety-eight stiiches ninety-eight stitches
136 net seven stiches net seven stitches
137 double silk double silk.
137 to the whole, to the whole.
140 loop Net loop. Net
143 can be be varied can be varied
144 each square, each square.
145 back or the back of the
145 loose in each lose in each
145 To increase or decrease a Stitch. To Increase or Decrease a Stitch.
145 conceal the the half conceal the half
146 means meaking means making
150 This is done it This is done in
152 same color same color.
153 Take you tatting Take your tatting
157 of a highe of a higher
160 puposes of selfish purposes of selfish
161 sooth soothe
163 Bedroom Bed-room
163 —— on Gathers —— —— on Gathers
164 Tatting Edging Tatting Edging,
164 Fan-tail Fantail
165 Travelling Cap Travelling Cap,
165 Imitation Network Imitation Net-work

The Index has been standardized to have a , between the index entry and the page number.

The following words had inconsistent spelling and hyphenation.