To use Victorian era needle craft patterns we need to convert the needle sizes from what they called them to what we call them today. Also the yarn sizes/types need translation through the same time machine. Thankfully, we live in the future and have easy access to LOTS of info. With a minimal amount of effort I found Vintage Stitch-O-Roma’s blog with a “Handy-Dandy Vintage Needle Conversion chart“.
Also a conversion chart for crochet hooks.
What about all the crazy yarn names? The Vintage Yarns blog has a chart that talks about some.
So, if the pattern calls for:
- 7 oz. Bladwin’s beehvie soft vest wool, white, 4-ply
- 4 steel knitting needles, no.12
- fine bone crochet hook
The modern translation would be:
- 4-ply sock yarn
- 2.75mm or US #2 knitting needles
- C or 2.75mm
With this information as a guide I can attempt any number of Victorian era patterns. First on my list is from Piecework Magazine reprint of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Vol.9, Weldon’s Practical Crochet (22nd series), page 5, “Child’s Crochet Petticoat”.
Pattern calls for:
- 6 hanks of Shawline Wool
- coarse bone crochet needle, no.4 or no.6 for the skirt
- a finer needle, no.10 for the body
- a worsted or heavy weighted wool (according to The Cowl Queen Chronicles blog)
- 2.0mm or 1.8mm for skirt
- 1.3mm for the body
Time to get started…