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Grace Coolidge’s Great-Grandmother’s Counterpane

Knit a counterpane from the January/February 2011 issue based on the one made by First Lady Grace Coolidge.

Kristine Byrnes Apr 30, 2021 - 17 min read

Grace Coolidge’s Great-Grandmother’s Counterpane Primary Image

The square Kristine Byrnes knitted from First Lady Grace Coolidge’s pattern for Great-Grandmother’s Counterpane. Photo by Joe Coca

The Sunday, November 21, 1926, New York Herald Tribune and other newspapers published the pattern for this knitted bedspread calling simply for “[c]otton yarn” and “[s]teel needles, number 17.” Mrs. Coolidge’s notes on the pattern recommend using long steel needles so that “the entire block may be knitted with two needles by using corks or sealing wax on the ends to prevent the stitches slipping off the needles.” The needles called for in the original are no longer made. They would have measured between a modern size 0000 (1.25 mm) and a 00000 (1.0 mm).

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