You never know what you’re going to get when you open up a volume of Weldon’s Practical Knitter. From the elegant to the bizarre, the patterns are rarely what we would call “practical.” But what do you know? Throughout the volumes, there is an abundance of truly practical garments and accessories! From the shapely “Lady’s Fitwell Jacket" (Twenty-First Series), which seems easy enough to make, and a number of handsome garments for fishermen, including a Guernsey, a jersey, steering gloves, various mittens, a warm undervest, and more.
Of course, there are a few fanciful patterns sprinkled throughout, but without those, it just wouldn’t be Weldon’s! You’ll find an entire series devoted to socks and clocks, including a handful of knitted alphabet patterns, and lace edgings, beaded cuffs, a “Knitted Ball Shaped like an Orange,” d’Oyleys, Victorian doll clothing, sweet patterns for baby, and so much more.
If you’ve never deciphered a Victorian knitting pattern, why not start here with this pattern for cabled cuffs, featured in the Twenty-Third Series?
Cable-twist knitting is very suitable for cuffs, as it is very elastic, and the cuffs therefore cling closely round the wrists. Procure 1 oz. of grey Andalusian wool and a pair of No. 15 steel knitting needles. Cast 58 stitches on one needle. 1st row—Slip 1, knit 1, * purl 1, knit 4, purl 1, knit 2, and repeat from * to the end of the row. 2nd row—Slip 1, purl 1, * knit 1, purl 4, knit 1, purl 2, and repeat from *. 3rd row—As first row. 4th row—As second row. 5th row—Slip 1, knit 1, * purl 1, slip the next 2 stitches upon a spare needle (or on a large pin will do), knit the next 2 stitches, then replace the 2 slipped stitches on the left-hand needle, and knit them in the usual manner, purl the next stitch, knit 2, and repeat from * to the end of the row. 6th row—Slip 1, purl 1, * knit 1, purl 4, knit 1, purl 2, and repeat from *. Repeat from the first row to the sixth row 7 times. Then finish by knitting the first, the second, and third rows, and cast off loosely. Sew up the cuff; and complete it by working a little crochet edge at top and bottom, using a medium-sized steel crochet needle, do 1 double crochet between the two stitches of the plain knit stripe, 1 chain, 7 treble in the centre of the four stitches of the cable stripe, 1 chain and repeat the same; join neatly at the end of the round.
These cuffs may also be knitted upon four needles by those who prefer working without a join. Commence by casting 16 stitches on each of two needles and 24 stitches on a third needle, making 56 stitches in the round; or for a larger cuff cast 24 stitches on each of two needles and 16 stitches on a third needle, making 64 stitches in the round. 1st round—Knit 2, purl 1, knit 4, purl 1, and repeat the same to the end of the round. Work 3 more rounds in the same manner. 5th round—Knit 2, purl 1, twist the cable 2 stitches over 2 stitches, purl 1, and repeat the same. 6th round—Knit 2, purl 1, knit 4, purl 1, and repeat to the end of the round. Work 4 more rounds like the sixth round. Then repeat from the fifth round until you have done seven twists of the cable, and 4 rounds besides, when cast off loosely, and finish the cuff with a crochet edge.
Happy Victorian knitting!