I was taught when I was in my early 20's at Old Sturbridge Village, by some terrific ladies whom I worked with. It was there that I was given a sampler to work through to learn various stitches and techniques. I recently just rediscovered the sampler instructions and decided to share it with you. Old Sturbridge Village is a historical recreation of the 19th century. So if your looking for samples of stitches that were in the 1800's or samples of source material here you go. Some of the terminology will seem odd to modern day patterns. Such as the instruction to turn a row, implies the need to pearl. There were comments on my sampler that were handwritten notes that are in italics, and the stitch numbers are what was required to complete prior to starting a project at the village as an employee. It is not required to follow the amount of stitches unless you wish.
So if you enjoy historical patterns or knitting enjoy!
Knitting Sampler from OSV
You will be knitting individual squares in a variety of stitches. Each will have an eyelet hole in the corner so they can be strung together as they are finished for future reference. As new stitches are learned they can be added.
Cast on the required number of stitches. Knit 3 rows garter stitch (every row plain knitting). Begin pattern and continue till piece is square. Don’t go by number of rows knit, but by inches. Then: knit a row. Next row: Knit 2 stitches, make a stitch (by bringing the wool over the needle from the back), knit two together (by passing needle thru 2 stitches and knitting as one), and knit rest of row plain. Knit one more row plain, then cast off.
Stockinette with Plain Border
Set on 24 stitches. Knit 3 rows plain as above.
To start pattern:
Row 1- Knit 3 stitches, turn (pearl) 18 stitches, knit 3 stitches
Row 2- knit every stitch
Continue in this way, alternating these two rows, until a square has formed. Finish as above.
You should end up with a square smooth on one side and bumpy on the other, with a border of garter stitch on all 4 sides.
*If you like this border you can add it to you squares (unless otherwise noted). Cast on 6 more stitches than required, and knit the first and last three of every row.
The Workwoman’s Guide refers to the two sides of stockinette stich as inside and outside knitting.
The Elastic Rib
This is very suitable for cuffs and garters as it clings or contracts to the form.
Set on any number of stiches, (24 no border on this one)
Knit a row,
Turn a row,
Knit two rows,
Turn a row,
Continue knitting two, and turning one row to the end of the work.
Imitation Double Knitting
Set on any even number of stitches -24
Turn a stitch, and knit a stitch alternately.
As the stitch that was knit before is now to be turned, commence every row with a turn stitch; this makes both sides alike and though single, gives the appearance of knitting.
*True double knitting makes two layers at once. You’ll be doing 3 versions of it later in the sampler. Modern knitters might call this 1/1 Rib or single rib.
The Rough Cast or Huckaback Stitch
Set on any uneven number of stitches -25
Knit plain and turn stitch alternately, observing to begin every row with the plain stitch.
This is very pretty, and firm, and suitable for borders.
*Miss Lambert (see historical info) calls this the Dot Stitch. Modern knitters will know it as the Moss or Seed Stitch
The Common Plat
This is very pretty for coverlets, muffatees, &c
Set on any number of stitches in threes-24
After knitting a plain row, begin as follows: -
1st Row. Knit three plain, and turn three all along.
2nd Row. The same as above, observing to continue from where you left off in the last so that if the row ended in turning, you should begin with plain stitches and so on.
3rd Row. Observe as above
These three rows form a succession of squares, of alternate inside and outside knitting.
4th Row. As the work of the squares should now cross or sit alternately with those above, like the squares of a chess-board, the first three stitches should be the same as those with which the last row is completed.
Continue turning and knitting plain every alternate three stitches, and varying the squares every three rows, till the whole is completed.
*This pattern is a checkerboard of knit and turn or pearl stitches.
3 Double Knitting Stitches
These stitches will create a double layer of fabric.
The basic idea is that you knit every second stitch, slipping the alternating stitches to the right needle without knitting them. In the next row, the slipped stitches are knit, and the others slipped. This way you knit one side of the fabric at a time.
In the first two stitches, the yarn is “passed between the needles in front”; this is NOT making a stitch. Bring the yarn to the front of the fabric as if to turn or pearl a stitch. Then slip the next stitch and slide the yarn back between the needles for the next stitch. This process moves the yarn out of the way so that the two layer remain separated. If your layers are stuck together, this is probably the trouble.
This is very suitable for blankets, coverlets, comforters, socks, sleeves, ruffs, shawls, &c. There are three kinds of double knitting; the first is as follows-
Put on an even number of stitches -36
Knit a few plain rows,
Then begin a fresh row as follows-
Knit a stitch,
Pass the worsted between the needles in front;
Take off a stitch, putting the needle inside the loop;
Pass the worsted back again,
Knit another stitch, as before, and so on.
Another mode is as follows: -
Put on an even number of stitches, -36
Knit the first stitch plain, putting the worsted twice over the pin,
Pass the worsted between the needles before,
Slip a stitch,
Pass the worsted behind again.
Again knit a stitch, putting the wool twice over the pin and so on.
In the next row, knit those stitches that were slipped, and slip those which were before knit. It is advisable to knit the first three or four stitches plain in every row, as it confines it down neatly at the sides.
This is worked on the wrong side, and is particularly simple, and far quicker work than the former method, but as when completed, it requires turning inside out, it must be knit with plain knitting at the ends or sides, which to some, is an objection.
Set on an even number of stitches, -36
Proceed at once, without knitting a plain row,
Put the worsted in front of the pins before beginning to knit, observing always to keep it so.
Turn the first stitch,
Take off the second stitch, and so on throughout.
*This variation doesn’t require shifting the yarn between stitches, because the yarn is already forward.
All three of these stitches are constructed on the same principle. The row which creates the pattern is “make a stitch, knit 2 together.” The only difference is how many rows are worked between the pattern row. All of these are good candidates for a solid border of garter stitch.
To Make a Stitch: Bring the yarn up and over the right needle from back to front,
and under the needle to the back again for your next stitch.
To Knit 2 Together: (or narrow) Slide the right needle thru the back of 2 loops
(behind the left needle) starting with the first loop knit off as one stitch.
The Raised French Stitch
Set on an even number of stitches, -24
Turn the wool over the pin to make a stitch.
Knit two together and so on to the end of the row:
Next row, turn stitch the whole way.
Next row, knit plain,
Next row, turn-stitch, making in all three plain rows;
Repeat the whole as above.
If this is for a shawl, increase one stitch at two loops from the end of the needle, always at the same place, once in every rib.
This is very applicable for shawls, purses, muffatees, and other fancy articles
Set on 24 stitches
Knit the first stitch,
Put the cotton over the pin, to make a loop,
Knit two stitches together,
Continue making a loop, and knitting two stitches together, till the row is completed. Knit the second row plain, and so on, every other row honey-comb stitch.
Imitation Network Stitch
Set on any even number of stitches you please. -24
Knit a row plain,
Commence the next row by putting the free pin on the wool, and twisting the wool round it, by bringing it from behind over the pin, and putting it behind again, then knit two loops together, putting the pin into the one nearest to you first, then twist the wool round the pin in the manner described above; knit two together, and so on to the end. Every succeeding row is knit in the same manner.
This is a different type of pattern stitch, which adds another technique-slipping a stitch, knitting more stitches, and pulling the slipped stitch over the knitted ones. This is done by putting the point of the left needle thru the slipped stitch and sliding it over the knitted stitches and off the needle.
The Crow’s-Foot Stitch
This is very suitable for shawls, in which case, it should be begun at one of the corners and added to at every row.
Otherwise set on any number of stitches divisible by three, allowing one over, to be with.
After knitting one plain row, begin the pattern as follows-
Knit the first stitch, -only the first stitch of the row.
Make a stitch
Slip a stitch,
Knit two plain stitches,
Put the slipped stitch over the two plain ones,
Again make a stitch,
Slip a stitch, and so continue to the end.
For the next row, turn every stitch.
Increasing and Decreasing
(knitting a diamond shape) using crow’s foot for the pattern stitch
Cast on 2 stitches
Increase one stitch per row as follows:
Knit across row to last stitch. Knit 2 stitches in the last stitch-first put needle into front of stitch and knit. Do not slide stitch off left needle. Instead, bring the needle thru to back of stitch and knit again. Then slip off.
Continue until 8 stitches are on the needle.
Begin adding pattern:
Knit 3, knit in pattern (make 1, slip1, knit 2, pull slipped stitch over) until 2 stitches are left. Knit one and increase in last stitch as above (making 3 plain stitches on needle). Continue until 27 stitches are on needle. (Remember, alternate rows are turned. The pattern will look completely different. Not every row will end evenly in the pattern area. If less than 3 remain before the border, just knit them.)
Decrease on stitch per row until 8 stitches remain. Then continue decreasing one per row, but all stitches should be knit.
To decrease: Knit row as above until 4 stitches remain on needle. Knit 2, then knit last 2 together, making 3 plain stitches on needle.