Designs Obtainable from Museums - The Materials Required - Buttonholing and Lace Stitch

Addition of Sequins

The main idea of the embroidery described here, though worked out on original lines, has been gathered at a museum on the Continent, where a fan composed of fifteen or sixteen parts of similar embroidery fixed to the shell staves was on view. The design should first be drawn, and then by means of transfer paper transferred to stiff white or light coloured silk, taffetas being the best to use, as it gives a firm support while working. Besides, this fabric does not quickly get out of shape, and can be removed with ease on completion of the work.

Motif in process of working, showing traced pattern and the embroidery commenced

Motif in process of working, showing traced pattern and the embroidery commenced

Each little motif is worked by itself in buttonhole stitch over two threads of gold in filoselle silk of two shades for the inner and outer outline. The buttonholing should be done firmly on the material, of which every particle is carefully removed when the work is finished.

Thread two fine needles (No. 9) with gold thread. It is advisable also to have two needles ready threaded with the two colours of silk used for each motif. Begin by drawing the gold threads through the material at the point of commencement, leaving short ends hanging on the wrong side, to be made neat later. Secure the gold thread on to the pattern with one buttonhole stitch, using coloured filoselle silk. Then make a lace stitch with one thread of gold only.

This lace stitch is the simplest or ground work stitch of English point lace, and consists in making links or ties with the gold thread, these being picked up and secured when the pattern is worked round to the opposite side of the motif, gathering the two gold threads again with the second buttonhole stitch. The lace stitch must be fixed through the material, as it cannot be secured otherwise.

Work in this alternating way until the angle of the pattern is reached, when, on the opposite side to the one worked so far, gather up the lace stitches over the two gold threads, and work a lace stitch again with one gold thread to complete the lattice. This time, however, do not work through the material, but only through the embroidery, and, as before, alternating one lace stitch in gold thread with one buttonhole stitch in filoselle silk.

Motif in silk and gold thread embroidery when finished. The addition of sequins adds to the rich Oriental effect of this work

Motif in silk and gold thread embroidery when finished. The addition of sequins adds to the rich Oriental effect of this work

The outer and second part of the pattern is again worked in buttonhole stitch over two gold threads, which are simply guided with the left hand according to the pattern the embroideress is making. When two or three motifs are being finished, the picots, or loops to make the connection between them secure, are made by using one gold thread at the convenient point for that purpose, and then gathering up the loops which are made when working the outer buttonhole stitching at the points where motifs should be connected. The worker should always be careful to fix a finished motif on to the one she is working where they join, so that they hang well together when the foundation material is removed.

The buttonhole stitches must not be worked too closely, as the gold threads should be clearly seen, for, when finished, the work should be transparent. Each thread should be threaded into a needle, as thus at any moment it can be worked independently.

As a variety of coloured silks can be employed, the worker of artistic taste will easily obtain an Oriental effect, each part having a different colour for the dominant note.

When the embroidery is finished, small sequins may be sewn o\er a few motifs, but these should be added with discretion, or the beauty of the work will be lost.

This embroidery forms an effective decoration for bags and cushion covers, and may even be utilised as a dress garniture, such as plastron or revers, as it can be made of any size and shape.

The odds and ends of the embroidery silks left over from other work can easily be used up for small motifs, and any light-coloured silk is suitable for the foundation on which to work. Thus the gold thread and the sequins are the only items to be specially purchased.

Wearing Qualities of Hand knitted Hosiery   General Rules for Working   When Putting the Work

Wearing Qualities of Hand-knitted Hosiery - General Rules for Working - When Putting the Work

Aside - Wool to Use - Calculations for Stitches Required

Although the shape and fit of machine-made stockings are very good, many people prefer to knit their own.

The following general rules may be followed for knitting either stockings or socks:

Stockings should always be made to pass easily over the largest part of the leg, and to come well up over the knee.

As the leg is much smaller at the ankle than at the "calf," the knitting must be shaped by decreasings. These are always made on the seam-stitch needle, and on either side of the seam.

As a general rule, knit five or seven rounds between the decreasings.

Never knot the wool when joining a new piece. Not only are knots insecure, but they cause discomfort to the wearer. Leave the end of the wool about three or four inches long, then take the new wool and place it close to the needles, holding it about an inch or two from the entire end with the fingers of the left hand. Knit five stitches in the usual way, drawing the two strands of wool through at the same time. The ends can afterwards be trimmed, but they should not be cut too closely to the knitting.

The heel must be made a good length. A better shaped foot is obtained if the instep gusset is long.

The toes may be finished off either inside or outside, but whichever method is chosen the end of the wool should be darned in and not cut off.

Stockings can be knitted either ribbed, plain, or in a fancy pattern. In each case the same general directions must be followed; but in the first special care is needed with the decreasings for the calf.

Two purl and two plain is a common rib. Three plain and one purl is very pretty, and is more elastic than the former.

Only the instep of the foot should be ribbed in a ribbed stocking; the under part and the toes should be plain knitting.

When knitting with four needles, always draw the wool somewhat tightly at the commencement of each needle to avoid the formation of ladders.

Always allow the same number of stitches on the needles for the instep as for the ankle.

When knitting the leg, and before putting it away, always knit to the seam stitch, fold the four needles together, and neaten the form of the work. This keeps the leg a good shape, and makes it easier to fold up. This remark also applies to the foot, which should be knitted to the centre of the instep needle.

To strengthen the heel, knit with double

Needlework wool, the second wool being somewhat finer in texture than the one in use. Silk is very durable, and is suitable to use with wool. Of course, it must be of the same colour as the knitting wool.

For ordinary wear, Alloa yarn, Welsh yarn, and Scotch fingering are the most suitable wools for men's and boys' stockings and socks, with which knitting needles No. 14 or 15 should be used.

Beehive or German yarn may be recommended for women's and girls' ordinary stockings, and No. 16 needles. For summer wear, nothing looks nicer than D.m.c. cotton, knitted either plain or with open-worked fronts. Suitable needles to use with this cotton are No. 16 or 17.

The following scale to which to work will be found useful; but it must be borne in mind that no two people's measurements are exactly the same, and so the scale must be adapted to suit individual requirements.

The two measurements which it is essential to know, and from which all other calculations must be made, are:

(a) The length of the foot.

(b) The size of the leg just below the knee. This is generally about I 1/2 times the length of the foot.

Having obtained these, make the following calculations:

Length of leg = 2 1/2 times the length of the foot.

Length to the first narrowing = 1 1/3 times the length of the foot.

Length from the last narrowing to the heel = 1/2 the length of the foot.

Length of straight piece for the heel = 1/3 the length of the foot.

Length of the toe=1/3 the length of the foot.

To find the number of stitches to cast on, knit one or two short rows as a trial and count the number of stitches to an inch in the work. An average number is seven. Therefore, if the leg measures 12 inches round, below the knee, 84 stitches must be cast on.

To calculate the number of decreasings, take the size of the leg round the ankle. This is about equal to the length of the foot. Thus, if the foot is eight inches long, the ankle will measure about eight inches round. Multiply this number by seven (number of stitches to the inch), and this will give the number of stitches required for the ankle = 56.

The difference between this number and that at first cast on gives the number of stitches to be decreased: 84 - 56 = 28. As each decreasing means the reduction of two stitches, this allows fourteen decreasings.