Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Home Book of Pleasure and Instruction

Published in 1867, The Home Book of Pleasure and Instruction was edited by Mrs. R. Valentine.  The title page then goes on to list 17 contributors:  Mrs. Aylmer, Edward Dalziel, Miss Dyson, Mrs. English, Miss Hartshorne, Rev. C. Hartshorne, Miss Johnson, Mrs. Maule, Captain McCoy, Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin, Mrs. Ogilvy, Miss Peard, Miss Stephens, Albert Warren, Henry Warren, Elizabeth Watts, and Miss Yonge.  The Contents page often lists which of the contributors the instructions came from.

The book includes the following netting information:
  1. Very Pretty Antimacassar on Net by Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin - with illustration (page 307)
  2. Edges in Netting by M. J. (page 307
  3. Another and Wider Edging by M. J. (page 308)
  4. Mignotte Netting by M. J. (page 308)
  5. A Pretty Edging or Frill in Netting by M. J. (page 308)
The antimacassar appears to be attributed to Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin.  If you follow the "By do." (which I took to mean "By ditto" or by the same person listed as the contributor for the previous item), you eventually back up to a pattern which says "By Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin."  The design on this antimacassar is fastened onto the diamond-mesh netting using a crochet hook rather then the usual embroidery methods.

The section on Netting, which includes the other four patterns, is listed as "By M. J."  My guess would be Miss Johnson.  I don't know why only initials were used in the Contents for this contributor when all the other contributors' names were spelled out.

The size of the mesh sticks in these patterns is indicated by a circle or a line meant to portray the correct size.  While this method of sizing worked fine if you had the original book, since I am looking at a digitized version of the original, I'm not sure what size mesh stick to use because I don't know if the digitized version of the book prints the same size as the original book.

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Several years ago I made a top-down net bag to hold the baby bibs I give as presents to new babies and their mothers.  This was one of those bags, and I made it only once.  When I make a bag the first time, I assume that I will make mistakes, so, while I write down the instructions, I do not usually keep track of how much yarn I am using.  That comes later when I make the bag a second time as I am following the directions I wrote down.

I did make two changes to this bag.  I made this one out of cotton yarn, and I made it a moebius bag by twisting the handles.  I have such fun using them - a single surface with a single edge - to carry things.  

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