Exercises in Knitting

by Cornelia Mee, 1846










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Exercises in Knitting, by Cornelia Mee
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Beeton's Book of Needlework, by Isabella Beeton

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Vintage Knitting Pattern


41.  Very elegant Knitted Pelisse (coat/dress). (#27)


Pelisse Fashion Plates (none knitted, but it gives you an idea of what a pelisse is)


This may be made either smaller or larger by using finer or coarser wool and pins.

It is usually done in 4-thread fleecy, with coloured centre, and border to imitate ermine.

Cast on 270 stitches with white, bring the wool forward, slip a stitch the reversed way, knit 2 together, and repeat: every row is alike. Knit 24 rows with the white, then slip off 24 stitches at the beginning of the next row, and join the coloured wool, leave 24 stitches at the other end. These stitches are not required again till the centre is done, and are then knitted in white to form the border up the sides: this will leave 222, knit with these, with the coloured wool for 12 rows.

Next row:—Knit 27, bring the wool forward, slip 1, and instead of knitting only 2 together, knit 5 together: this decreases 1 rib. Knit to within 30 stitches of the end, decrease 1 rib as before, knit 13 rows, and decrease 1 rib at the beginning and end of the next row as before: each decreasing is done at the beginning of the row after knitting 27 stitches, and when within 30 of the end; knit 11 rows, and decrease 1 rib at each end of the next row; knit 13 rows, and decrease 1 rib at each end; knit 13 rows.

Next row:—Knit 27 stitches, decrease 1 rib; knit 6 stitches, decrease 1 rib; knit 6 stitches, decrease again; knit and repeat, decreasing after every 6 stitches, till 14 ribs are decreased; knit the 30 last stitches without decreasing; knit 24 rows without decreasing.

Next row:—Knit 27 stitches on to another needle, and knit them backwards and forwards for 42 rows: then cast off 3 stitches at the end nearest the centre, knit 2 rows, cast off 3 more stitches, knit 2 rows, and cast off 3 more stitches, till only 9 stitches are left, then cast off the 9 stitches; this completes 1 front, except the white, which will be mentioned below. The 27 last stitches are knitted in the same manner for the other front; then the stitches that remain for the back are knitted for 42 rows; then cast off 3 stitches at each end, knit 2 rows, and cast off 3 at each end, till you have cast off 18 at each end, knit 2 plain rows, and cast off the remainder of the stitches; then sew the shoulders very loosely, or it will contract them. The 24 stitches of white that were let off to another pin must be knit on each side the length of the front, and neatly sewed to it.

For the sleeves:—Cast on 66 stitches, and knit 78 rows: this is for the coloured part, and in sewing it together at the elbow, it must be rather tightened; and for the cuff, which is done in white, cast on 18 stitches and knit 66 rows, and sew it very nicely to the coloured part.

For the collar:—Cast on 120 stitches with white, knit 8 rows.

Next row:—Knit to within 12 stitches of the end, turn back, and knit to within 12 of the other end.

Next row:—Leave 6 more stitches at each end.

Next row:—Leave 24 stitches at each end, then 33, 39, 45, and 48 stitches, turning back between each as before, knit to the end of the row with white, join the coloured wool, knit 8 rows.

Next row:—Leave 12 stitches at the end, turn back, and leave the same number at the other end.

Next row:—Leave 18, then 24, 30, 36, and 42, at each end, then 2 rows of coloured, knitting the whole number of stitches, then cast off, and sew it to the neck.

A cord of tassels for the neck and waist, made of the white and coloured wool, to be added, and little tufts of black wool sewed into the white border at equal distances, completes this elegant pelisse.