MKB 24: Trials and Tribulations

Today is the day that I try to reclaim my blogging mojo!

Several times in the past month, I have thought to myself that I should sit down and write something up, but inspiration failed me and I have not been too productive on the Victorian knitting front.  I am still working on the Long Sleeves To Wear Under The Dress but hit a snag that I was in denial about for a while which slowed me down as other, more successful and useful (let’s be honest) knitting projects caught my attention.

Now, for the patterns in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (1843, first series), the modern day equivalent for the recommended yarn can be ambiguous as the terminology has not been passed down through time.  As I have worked my way through the book I have figured out a few of modern day equivalents that seem to work well with the recommended yarn types.  For example, patterns that call for a German or Berlin wool work well with fingering weight yarn.  However, sometimes I need to rely on the recommended needle size to determine what type of yarn to start with.  In the case of this pattern, the needle size recommended is No. 17 on the Lambert Filiere and the recommended yarn is six-thread embroidery fleecy.

Based on this, I chose to knit up the pattern using 2.25mm needles and chose fingering-weight yarn based on that needle size.  Unfortunately, the resulting sleeve was going to be super tiny – it wouldn’t even wrap around my nine-year-old daughter’s wrist!

Attempt #1: 

Once I came to terms with this, I went back to the drawing board and I started the pattern again using DK weight yarn and 4.5mm needles.  In retrospect, based on the information below, I probably should have gone with a sport or DK weight yarn at the onset but it was a bit of a coin toss between going with the needle size or going with the yarn weight:

Fleecy: DK (double knitting weight). This is a wool that was produced in a range
of sizes, from two-ply, which was probably close to fingering or lace, to 12
thread, which could be close to a modern worsted weight.  (Formby, Commend Me To A Knitting Wife)

The sizing is much, much better – in fact, the gauge could probably be a little tighter but I’m not complaining.  Unfortunately, I chose a lovely pale denim blue from my stash and have run out!  I need to venture out to my LYS and see if they still carry this yarn that I purchased over 10 years ago … or at least something that will match relatively closely.

 

Wish me luck maintaining my knitting and blogging mojo!

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