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 the common knitting stitch, performed in a more expeditious manner than that in general practised. The needle filled with stitches, is held in the left hand, and the material also, which is to be wrapped round the little finger once or twice. It passes to the needles over the fore finger. To form the loop on the needle held in the right hand, it is only necessary to put it into the stitch from behind, and knit off by putting the material round the needle.
You cast on any number of stitches which can be divided by seven. The first row is plain : for the second, pearl one stitch, knit five, and pearl two; thus proceed, alternately, to complete the row: for the third, knit two, pearl three, and knit four, and so proceed. The fourth row you pearl three, knit one, and pearl six, alternately. The fifth row is plain knitting. The next row you pearl two, knit two, pearl five, and so on to the end. Next knit two, pearl four and knit three, alternately. Next knit six, and pearl one, successively. Reverse the next, pearling six, and knitting one. Then in the succeeding row, knit five and pearl three, and knit four in succession. Next knit three, pearl two, and knit five, alternately. The succeeding row is plain.
You can work with any number of stitches, you choose, which can be divided by six. The first row is plain, the next pearled throughout; the third row is plain. For the first knit four stitches, and slip two at the end; then pearl a row, taking careto slip the stitches that were slipped before. Next knit a row slipping the two stitches as before. The next row is pearled still slipping the two stitches. The succeeding two rows are knitted and pearled like the others, and the two stitches are still to be slipped. The next row is pearled, and you take up all the stitches; then a row is to be knitted plain, and a row pearled, which completes the pattern. In beginning the next pattern, you pearl a row, slipping the fifth and sixth stitches, so that they shall be exactly in the centre of the previously worked pattern; you then proceed as before.
This as its name implies, is the proper stitch for garters, or any kind of an article which is wanted to fit easily yet firmly. You are to set on any number of loops you please, and knit one row plain; the next is pearled, the two next are plain; then one pearled, and so on alternately to the end.
The application of this stitch is in the preparation of mitts, gloves, etc., and sometimes it is used for purses, in which it looks extremely pretty. The material generally employed is cotton, and you begin by setting on any even number of stitches you require. A loop is made, by throwing the cotton over the pin; you then knit a loop, and make and knit alternately ; each of the two last are knitted plain, and you narrow the commencement and conclusion of each row, at the second and third loops, until you have reduced it to the number originally cast on. The usual number of stitches cast on is fourteen.
You set on the loops in fours, and must have two over. The first stitch is pearled, then turn the thread back, and knit two stitches together. Form a new stitch by bringing the thread in front,- and knit a stitch ; the thread is again to be brought in front, and the last stitch pearled, which completes the pattern. The next row is begun in a similar manner, the thread is turned back, two stitches are knitted together at the end, the thread is turned, and you knit the last stitch.
You cast on twenty-one stitches, and proceed as follows. First row, the material is to be passed forward, one stitch slipped, then knit one, and pass the slipped one over; three stitches are then to be knitted, and two taken as one; again pass the material forward, and knit one stitch. Second row, the same, except that when in the first you knitted three stitches, knit one; and when one, you knit three. For the third row, you pass the material as before, and slip one stitch, then two are taken as one, and the slipped one is passed over again; repeat this, except that in taking two stitches together, you knit one, and pass the slipped one over; finish by knitting two stitches.
This is also often used for shawls. It is knitted as follows. You knit the first stitch, and pass the other to make a loop over the needle. Two stitches are then knitted together, and you thus continue making the loops, and kniting two stitches together, until you have completed the row. You knit every second row thus; the alternate ones plain.
You cast on the stitches by fours, and the material used is silk. Knit two plain stitches, and then make a large one, by turning the silk twice over the needle; after which, knit two stitches together, and repeat this, until you have completed the work.