This section is from the "The Ladies' Work-Table Book: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America" book, by Margaret Vincent. Also available from Amazon: The Ladies' Work Table: Domestic Needlework in Nineteenth-Century America.
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 increas-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.
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
to complete the pattern, you must work a single stitch across each square, in Irish stitch.
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. - 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. - 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
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.
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.
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, etc., to which it forms a very pretty termination indeed.
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
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.
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. - 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
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. - 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.
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
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
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 ane xtremly neat appearance.