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.
If you wish to work with beads, you must thread all you intend to use, before you begin to work. Then when you wish to insert a bead, no matter what the pattern is you are executing, you have only to pass a bead down to the last stitch you have worked, and to fasten it on by working the stitch as usual; but this will leave it on the wrong side; to prevent which, you must bring the crocheting thread to the front, having it on the fore finger of the left hand: by thus keeping the bead in front, and inserting the needle from the back or the stitch you are about to work, you can draw the thread through the back, and make the finishing loop in the common way: you will then find that the bead is on the right side.
To work this stitch you are to draw a loop through the first stitch on the row, or on the round, if you work in rounds, then draw a second loop through the one last made. Thus the edge stitch is formed. It is of importance to attend to the regular working of this stitch, because if it is not done, you will loose in each row a stitch. On a round, it is not necessary to work the edge stitch; but when the work has to be turned to work round the contrary way, the edge stitch is indispensible.
Make this by passing the needle through both meshes of the chain, and working two stitches instead of one, in the same space or hole.
In the former case, make two stitches in the mesh; and in the latter, take two stitches together as one, or miss one.
This means to keep the stitches exactly over each other, when working in different colors, so as to conceal the the half stitch. This must be done with care: and the more attention is paid to it, the more beautiful will the work appear.
The former is done by laying the two ends of the material contrarywise, and working a few stitches with both. The latter process is performed by drawing the material through the last stitch, which must be fastened at the back.
The most general form is that of working two stitches up and down alternately, between the stripes in the groundings; but it can be varied according to taste.
What is called making a stitch, at the beginning and end or a row, means meaking one stitch of a chain before the first and after the last, which new stitches are to be crocheted in the succeeding row.
It is a very common thing to work a pattern in crochet, in more than one color; when this is the case, it is necessary that the colors, not required, should be so managed, as not to make loops, or stitches, at the back. To accomplish this, they must be worked in the following manner. Let the threads, that are not required, be laid along the fore finger of the left hand; and the crochet needle must be inserted in the usual manner, into the stitch; you are to let it go below the threads you are carrying on, and the thread with which you are working is to be drawn at the back, through the stitch, into which you inserted the needle or hook. Make the finishing loop as usual, which you carry over the threads, and pull through the two loops you have upon the needle. Thus you will make one stitch, and the process is to be repeated as often as your work requires it.
In order that threads may be united neatly and properly, observe the following directions. Do not work up the thread quite to the end, but leave a small portion; then, on the fore finger of the left hand, by the end of the thread you are about to commence working with, the end to be toward the tip of the finger, the ball will of course be toward the arm ; work over it for about six stitches, proceeding as you do in carrying over the threads; then by the thread you worked with, but on the same finger, and continue with the thread you have last fastened on, and work over it, in the same manner, for about six stitches. The ends are then to be cut, and you work on as usual, with the thread just joined. This is the best method we know, of making the work appear neat, and, at the same time, of securing the required degree of fineness.
The process by which this is done, is as follows. First, make the stitch as usual, then work it again from the hinder or back part of the stitch. This prevents a hole, which would otherwise occur.
To do this, two stitches are taken on the needle at the same time, and you work them off as one.
We have given the fullest explanation of the various stitches in crochet, that our limited space will allow ; and we hope that the directions are so plain that no one will be at a loss to comprehend their meaning. But we cannot promise any votary of this delightful employment, even tolerable success, unless she will assiduously apply her own mind to the various directions. " No one can become an expert needlewoman, who does not think, and think deeply, too."