Tag Archives: Victorian

She sells seashells…

I had hoped to have this pattern published earlier in the day–I’m just a few minutes late for the first day of summer with the “Wrinkled Shell Cloth” ! Making a cloth is a useful way to learn new stitches and this cloth is an interesting combination from the 1880s.

wrinkled shell cloth

The pattern will be available free, to celebrate the beginning of summer, for just one week.  I hope you will take the time to visit my Facebook Page to find the code you’ll need…and show support and help me by hitting the ‘Like’ button on Facebook and adding the design to Favourites on Ravelry as well  😉 Thanks!

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Fleurs de Lis for Paris KAL: Day 2

Once you start browsing through Victorian knitting stitch instructions you can find quite a few “diaper” patterns.  This does not refer to making babies garments, but to stitch patterns that use knit and purl stitches to make a regular, usually small-scale geometric design–the raised ‘bumps’ of the purl stitches against flat knit stitches form diamonds, triangles, squares, etc. “Damask” and “diaper” also refer to other needlework techniques such as embroidery and weaving–“damask” patterns were usually larger scale and more ornate.  Here are 2 examples from Church Embroidery Ancient and Modern, practically illustrated; by Anastasia Dolby; 1867.

1867 needlework diaper pattern 1 1867 needlework diaper pattern 2

Let’s return to knitting a ‘damask’ pattern! Here are the Rows for Day 2 of the Fleurs de Lis for Paris KAL.

Day 2

11.  k2, p1, k1, p8, k5, p4, k4, p3, k4, p4, k5, p8, k1, p1, k2.

12.  k3, p1, k8, p5, k4, p4, k3, p4, k4, p5, k8, p1, k3.

13.  k2, p1, k1, p7, k7, p2, k5, p3, k5, p2, k7, p7, k1, p1, k2.

14.  k3, p1, k7, p7, k2, p5, k3, p5, k2, p7, k7, p1, k3.

15.  k2, p1, k1, p7, k2, p2, k4, p1, k4, p5, k4, p1, k4, p2, k2, p7, k1, p1, k2.

16.  k3, p1, k7, p2, k2, p4, k1, p4, k5, p4, k1, p4, k2, p2, k7, p1, k3.

17.  k2, p1, k1, p8, k1, p2, k9, p5, k9, p2, k1, p8, k1, p1, k2.

18.  k3, p1, k8, p1, k2, p9, k5, p9, k2, p1, k8, p1, k3.

19.  k2, p1, k1, p10, k7, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k7, p10, k1, p1, k2.

20.  k3, p1, k10, p7, k2, p2, k3, p2, k2, p7, k10, p1, k3.


Below is a clip that shows you the original Victorian era pattern.  Don’t forget that “seam” just means “purl.”

Beautiful Counterpane orig fleurs de lis 11-20

I hope you enjoy this antique pattern and information about Victorian era “Fancywork.”

Please don’t forget that my pattern is Copyright.  If you want to share the information please share a LINK to my blog, do not embed or copy & paste the pattern–that’s illegal and just not nice 🙂 I have put many hours into rewriting and knitting these patterns to ensure as few errors as possible; when I find ‘free’ patterns being shared illegally, I change them to ‘paid’ patterns to compensate for all the hours I must spend writing to internet service providers to get the patterns removed.

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Fleurs de Lis for Paris KAL- Introduction

Like so many, my thoughts and prayers have been with all of those in Paris affected by the recent attacks.  It is deeply troubling when so many die and are injured at the same time, so senselessly: innocent victims of a few peoples violent actions.

There is not much I can do except be with them in spirit… and as a small way of showing this I’d like to offer, for fellow knitters, a free KAL (knit-along) of a ‘Fleurs de lis’ design, rewritten from a Victorian era ‘counterpane’ square.  I hope that as you knit each stitch, you will think of all the people who were killed, injured; their families and friends; the first responders; and all those nearby who lived for hours in fear, not even sure what was happening.

fleurs de Lis for Paris kal

There are quite a few counterpane, or bedspread, patterns from the Victorian era.  They were usually knit in cotton thread, in squares, triangles, strips, or other small segments that were later sewn together.  This pattern is from 1862; it is a square that begins with 53 stitches cast on. It called for cotton that was about like modern size 10 crochet thread and 2mm needles. The squares were pieced together with strips of a simple lace insertion.  I added the pattern to the Ravelry database a few years ago, with a link to the original pattern as well as notes about errors I had found–you will find it listed as “Beautiful Counterpane.”

Once my rewritten pattern is finished it will be included in Ravelry’s database as “Fleurs de Lis for Paris.”  If you would like to KnitAlong with me as I rewrite it, visit my blog each day as I add more rows.  If you find any errors or need help, please contact me here or on Facebook–it is usually quicker to get in touch there in a personal message.  If you knit the pattern I hope you will add it to Favourites on Ravelry, queue it, add photos, link to it, etc.  It is always nice to see how other people choose to make things!

I first knit this pattern with worsted weight cotton to use with just one edge of the insertion and it has seen several years of service as a dish towel.  This time I will knit it in size 10 cotton thread so that I can better replicate the original design.  I will probably use it as a d’oyley! It could be knit in wool or acrylic to make an afghan, working several squares and strips of insertion.  The fleurs de lis pattern is a ‘damask’ design in knit and purl–so a fairly tight tension is best, to show the design well.

The first few rows will be posted on Sunday/November 15/2015, right here on the West Coast Fibre Arts blog, so be sure to come back later today.  If you subscribe to the blog, you will be notified when there is a new post; or you can ‘Like’ my Facebook page so the posts show up in your newsfeed there.

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Victoria’s Secrets KAL CAL

Sign up now for “Victoria’s Secrets” mini mystery: you can knit it, crochet it, weave it, or sew it! From now until the 31 May/2015 it is just $1.00, instead of the regular price of $2.95–use the coupon code found on the pattern page.  One pattern will show you all these options to make a quick little accessory based on a Victorian sewing pattern!  You can use any yarn, with the right sized needles or hook–because you will cast on or make the beginning chain a certain length, instead of a specified number of stitches 🙂 You can use weaving sticks to make them…or upcycle a felted wool sweater; try making a shabby chic/boho set, too!

Victoria's Secrets sign up

If you want to purchase a set of weaving sticks they are $4 each in sets, minimum of 4 sticks

(4 for $16, or 6 for $24, 8 for $32): hand made from local Comox Valley wood. Ships within 7-10 days.  For the Victoria’s Secret pattern I am using 8 weaving sticks.

These are handcrafted from Vancouver Island reclaimed wood sticks, each one is unique and special! No two are identical, and will have slight bends and some will have some inner bark left on.  Just send me a private message on Facebook and I’ll get back to you with a Paypal invoice that includes shipping to your postal code/zip code.  Weaving sticks are easy to use and a lot of fun for making scarves, too! Even young children can use them.

weaving sticks

They are fun for making “skinny scarves” using as few as 4 sticks; you can use several strands of yarn at once to make weaving really fast!  Great stashbusters! There are more photos here on my Facebook page.

weaving sticks2 weaving sticks3


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1871 Irish Crochet D’Oyley: Mavourneen CAL

Victorian Flowers: Mavourneen 1 pattern is in the Pattern store now.  It is the first motif for an Irish Crochet style D’Oyley–there are 15 more, and some of the motifs require that more than one be made the same.  I hope you will join the new Facebook West Coast Fibre Arts KAL & CAL Group and share photos and comments and make this d’oyley with me!

Mavourneen 1

The coupon code to get the new pattern free for the first week is in the Facebook Group and also in the Friday Flowers thread in the Ravelry Group.  

Next week the coupon code to get the pattern free will be offered in a different way–I am just sorting out the details so please look on here next week for the Coupon News!

#doily #d’oyley #Victorian #IrishCrochet

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Victorian CAL Cloth of the Month: March

This design is a little different, but I hope you have fun making it! It is a fun way to practice making a circular “wheel” from 1887 used originally to make a “tidy” or d’oyley using cotton thread.  By using worsted weight cotton instead of thread, one motif makes a practical 15 inch table mat; or you can complete just 3 rounds of the pattern and make a 6 inch washcloth or coaster.

Pretty & Practical…the March design won’t take long to finish!

victorian CAL cloth 3

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Victorian KAL Cloth of the Month

Join us on West Coast Fibre Arts for the very first

Victorian KAL Cloth of the Month!

Learn new stitches and read about what inspired the choices.

The pattern is just $1.95–and it is 50% off for the until January 21/2015 at midnight Pacific Time, in my Ravelry Store.  Pre-purchase now at 50% off, and the pattern will be automatically updated on January15/2015

victoiran KAL cloth1

Victorian women had the choice of dozens of magazines & books that either included or were devoted entirely to “Fancy Work,” which included all forms of fibre fun…knitting, crochet, tatting, embroidery, patchwork, sewing, millinery, and more.  We are fortunate that some of these have been preserved in private collections, libraries, and museums–and that many institutions and organizations have made the works available online for those of us intrigued by the needlework and needle-workers of the past.

Sometimes I just browse through these works, jotting down bits and pieces that intrigue me.  Though I may begin with a search for a particular subject or item–for instance, I may search for “crochet hood”–I invariably get sidetracked and end up wandering down various side-paths and byways–many of them unrelated to knitting or crochet (which is what happened when I was looking for a stitch to use for the first Victorian KAL Cloth!).

I set myself the goal of having one Crochet Cloth of the Month AND one Knit Cloth of the Month this year, all based on Victorian era stitch patterns & offered to my faithful followers and new readers in the form of a little Mystery CAL or KAL.  There is only 1 ‘clue’ for each cloth–the entire pattern is released on the pattern release day–but it will be a mystery what stitches are used until you make the cloth!

What may make this even more fun is that I will be using the stitches from the cloths to make a longer Mystery KAL or CAL later on!  Making the cloths is a way to learn how to do the required stitches.  If you need help with them, you can ask now–then when the other project comes up, you will be ready.

I hope you’ll join us…and there is now a West Coast Fibre Arts Ravelry Group, too, where you can share comments, photos, meet others, and make sure you don’t miss new CAL and KAL projects!

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