Many people before myself have talked about the “A Facsimile Edition of Weldon’s Practical Needlework” books. My set of 12 books was printed in 2005 by Piecework Magazine. Each book is a bound copy of 12 issues of Weldon’s Practical Needlework newsletters, one for each month of the year that they were originally published in. The newsletters began to be published around 1885. These facsimiles are printed exactly as the originals, including all the mistakes.
The topics covered include:
Knitting, Crochet, Macrame lace, Arranging Patchwork, Drawn thread work, Smocking, Cross-stitch, Embroidery, Crewel Work, Bazaar Articles, Applique Work, Netting and many more.
They include many detailed illustrations along with the written instructions. Over time terms have changed for yarn, needle sizes and construction instructions. To be able to work any of these patterns, Victorian terms need to be “translated” into modern terms. There are multiple people that have done just that. My favorite is Franklin Habit. In 2018 I took one of his classes at the now defunct Madrona Fiber Festival (replaced by Red Alder). I used one of his ‘translations’ to make the blue Easter sweaters that I made last year for grandsons. Other patterns that he has translated for future-us are at Knitty.com
Like Franklin Habit, I like living in the future, but love the look of historical dress. I bemoan the fact that we no longer have milestones in our dress. For instance: going from the short skirts of misses to the long skirts of adult women, or boys going from short pants to the long pants of an adult man, even the transition of toddlers going from gowns of babyhood to clothes of older children.
To feed my soul (despite having lots of WIP’s and NO time), I am going to make projects from these books. I will be trying to use the size of needles, and the type of yarn that our Victorian sisters would have used. This will involve checking with other people’s research into classifications of yarn and needle sizes of yesteryear and translating into available resources of us in the future.
I will not be working on ALL of the projects available in these books. For example, I have NO interest in paper crafts and I will not be making something for flies to rest on (ewwww). But for those projects that I will be making, I’d love it if you came along for the journey. 😉
(I actually got a head start on one project)