Knitting History: Linen mitts ca. 1787

AntiqueLace.com has a beautiful series of photos documenting a pair of finely wrought, knitted mitts. These are elbow length, and were executed in unbleached flax thread.
Notice the textural detail!

The geek in me really wants to see if I can reconstruct this pattern and knit a replica pair. swoon

very interesting…but I’ll let you figure that pattern out on your own…:slight_smile:

I’ve got the basic textures figured out (the brightness of the photos did make it a bit challenging). Now I just have to figure out the gauge.

I may have to make my own wire needles in order to knit this. :shock:

wire needles! MMMM you’ve got some patience. Those are gorgeous though. Would love to see the result if you do it!

With my luck they’ll take me all summer. But hey, I can have them ready for Patriots’ Day 2007, mebbe? :XX:

Question for my fellow knitters:

In looking at the photos of these mitts, can any of you tell me how the picot edge on the arms might have been achieved? In looking at it I came up with the following theories:

  1. they were knit backward from hand to elbow (which would be “interesting” in a chinese-curse-sort-of-way)
  2. they were knit as we would knit them today, and then stitches were picked up to make a picot edging.

Based on the lay of the thread, which scenario is more likely? What type of cast on would show the least if method #2 is used?

I can’t answer your questions, Wynnie, but just wanted to say how much I love looking at historical knitted items! (Loving the history of it is how I ended up buying For the Love of Knitting.) In reading Andean Folk Knits, I was interested to see that many people there knit with bicylce spokes :shock: so maybe you could do that.

I can’t answer those questions either! but I was just looking at the gloves again, and you know those are really neat! They’re beautiful. I think towards next fall I might try to make something like these, but not knit too tiny, I mean not on small needles. Maybe 3 or 6. I did a picot edge on some socks from let’s see, a book… forget which knittingbook and it
had a provisional cast on but that was the top of a sock.

Weekend Knitting that’s it, the book.

I almost wonder if that edging is crocheted… :thinking:

That picot edge looks picked up to me. See the delineation from the body of the glove. Those are really amazing. Kudos to you – would love to see the finished product!