Project No. 5: Casting On

Now that I have an idea of what muffatees actually were (i.e. a catch-all term covering various types of hand, wrist and arm warmers) and that Miss Lambert seems to have used the word muffatee and cuff interchangeably, I am ready to cast on the Muffatees in Two Colours (My Knitting Book, 1843, First Series).

The pattern calls for German wool and three No. 25 needles.

The closest equivalent to German (or Berlin) wool is fingering weight yarn or needlepoint yarn. Miss Lambert suggests using cerise and brown and commencing with the brown. I had some lovely shades of grey and green in my stash so I used Knit Picks Palette (100% Peruvian Highland wool) in Ash (23731) and Clover (24256). Since Miss Lambert calls for more than two needles, the muffatees are to be knit in the round. The modern day equivalent for No. 25 needles is a 1.25mm. Once again, I felt that the needle size was small for the yarn weight. In order to better match the yarn weight, I used a 2.5mm needle. She does not give directions for including a thumb hole so these muffatees will be a hollow tube.

Miss Lambert directs the knitter to cast on 88 stitches but given that I am using a larger needle than recommended, I cast on 72 stitches. Fingers crossed my muffatee will be wide enough and will work out well.

While doing my research into muffatees, I discovered this delightful quote:

“Old Mrs. Rabbit was a widow; she earned her living by knitting rabbit-wool mittens and muffatees (I once bought a pair at a bazaar).”  Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny (1904).

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