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1850 Pattern


Toilet Cushion

 

As much as I enjoyed creating the following interpretation of this pattern, I have decided it is incorrect.   Antique Crochet from 1840 to 1900 has an improved interpretation.

 

The Lady's Album of Fancy Work for 1850 published "Clear and Explicit Directions for Working Patterns" for "Novel, Elegant, and Useful Designs in Knitting, Netting, Crochet..."   Among several sets of "Clear and Explicit Directions for Working Patterns" , we find Design number 25, "Toilet Cushion. (Crochet)". 

 

Materials-Raworth's thread No. 90Original Illustration

 

Make a chain of 9 stitches, join and work 3 rounds in double crochet.

4th round. 3 chain, 1 long in every alternate stitch.

5th round. Double crochet.-

6th round. 3 chain crochet.-

7th round. Two 3 chain crochet-stitches, 3 chain, 7 long in the center loop of 5th, 3 chain crochet-stitch.-

8th round. Three 3 chain crochet-stitches, 7 chain over the 7 long.-

9th round. Double crochet.-

10th round. 3 chain, 1 long in every alternate stitch.-

11th round. Double crochet.-

12th round. Two 3 chain crochet-stitches, 6 long in the 9th stitch.-

13th round. Four 3 chain crochet-stitches, 6 long over the 6 long.-

14th round. Three 3 chain crochet-stitches, 8 long.-

15th round. Two 3 chain crochet, 10 long.-

16th round. 3 chain, 12 long.-

17th round. Four 3 chain crochet-stitches over the 12 long, 7 long in the centre loop of 3 chain.-

13th round. Five 3 chain crochet-stitches, 9 long over the 7 long.-

14th round. Three 3 chain crocnet, 11 long.

15th round. Two  3 chain crochet, 13 long.-

16th round. 3 chain, 15 long.-

17th round. Double crochet.-

18th round. 3 chain, 2 long, missing two stitches.-

19th round. Double crochet.-

 

There is at least one error in these directions.  (Hint: count the rows.)   

 

"Clear and Explicit Directions" must refer to the picture of the finished item illustrating the pattern.

 

How does an adult woman sit comfortably on a cushion of fewer than 40 rows made in size 90 thread?  How does 1850's petite, determined lady follow this pattern to produce something resembling the picture?   She needed the picture to see the number and placement of the stitches.  (That hasn't changed a whole lot.)   She also needed bright light, good arithmetic, and  thread that could stand up to frogging.

 

The 21st century's medium-sized, stubborn women begin with these rules:

  • When picture and directions conflict, follow the picture. 
  • Replace the first stitch in each round by the correct number of chains.
  • 'double' means single, and 'long' means double.

 First ten rows

They proceed thusly:

 

Calculate the scs for the first three rounds.  From the picture we see the fourth round has 12 spaces with a dc in every other sc.  So the third round should have 24 sc.   To keep it simple, put 24 sc in all three rounds.  For round 5, and all similar rounds, place one sc in each stitch of the previous round.  So round 5 has 48 sc.

 

Round 6 presents a real challenge!  "3 chain crochet"  Where? How many?  How do we attach the chains?  Chicken out and copy round 4, ending up with 24 sps, separated by dc. 

 

Round 7 has unclear picture and directions both.   The picture shows 6 solid white groups.  24 divided by 6 is 4, so the clusters belong in every 4th sp.   The 2 dcs between the clusters go into the middle two dcs between the clusters.  Perhaps the cluster should be in the center stitch but that will not affect the following rounds.

 

Round 8 calls for 7ch over the 7 dc, but the picture seems to show 7 dc, so make a dc in each dc of the cluster, with a dc in each space and ch3 between.

 

Round 10 says dc in every alternate stitch, but then the cushion gets very curly, so frog and try dc in every third stitch, which gives us 44 sps.  Careful counting of the spaces in round 10 of the picture gives between 43 and 45.  There are 11 points in the second and third rings of the cushion.  11 divides 44 evenly.   This gives confidence in the work so far.

 

 to row 16

Round 12 calls for 2 chain loops between clusters, but the picture shows 5 or 6.  Rounds 13 through 16 decrease the spaces from 4 to 1, so assume 5 spaces for round 12, requiring 4 dcs.  Since we have 44 spaces in round 10 and need 11 clusters in round 12, we need a cluster for every fourth space.  To simplify, put each cluster in the sc in every 4th dc and space the 4 dcs evenly between.

 

Rounds 13 through 16 decrease the number of spaces by 1 and add 2 dcs to each cluster.  Accomplish the latter by putting 2 dc in the first and last dcs of the cluster.  The cushion begins to cup severely at round 16, so from and make 5ch between the clusters instead of the 3 in the pattern.

 

Round 17 specifies 4 ch3 over 12 dc, so we need 5 dcs.  This cannot be done evenly; there must be 13 dc so the attachments can be in dcs 1, 4, 7, 10, and 13.  If you have been crocheting along, like our petite needlelady, frog back to round 12 and make your clusters with 7 dc instead of 6.  Wait another minute -  4 spaces over the dcs plus the 2 spaces on the sides of the adjoining clusters give us 6 spaces.  The picture shows 8 spaces!  We need 7 dcs, not 5.  Fortunately, they can attach to dcs 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.

Completed

 

The careful reader has noticed that round 17 is followed by  round 13, etc.  The 5 rounds between first 17 and second 16 do not correspond exactly to the 8 rounds in the picture.   These rounds have the same formula as rounds 12 through first 16,  except they start with 8 spaces instead of 5.   So, for each row, reduce the ch3 spaces by 1 and add a dc in the dc at each end of the cluster, until a row with one ch3 space is made.  To reduce cupping  in the last round, make the ch3 space a ch5 space. 

 

By now, we "easily" follow rounds second 17 through 19.

 

The directions continue:

20th round. 7 chain, 7 long in centre of 7th stitch.-

21st round. 7 chain, 7 long over the 7 long.-

22d round. 7 chain, 7 long.-

23d round. 9 chain, 5 long.-

24th round. 11 chain, 3 long.-

25th round. Double crochet.

Finished SampleLace.-

1st round, 8 chain, 6 long, missing 6 stitches.-

2d round. 5 chain, 1 long incentre of 8 chain, 5 chain, 4 long over the 6 long.-

3d round. 5 chain crochet to the centre of 5 chain, 5 chain to the centre of 5 chain, 5 chain, 3 long.-

4th round. 5 chain.

Work this lace round the top of the row of leaves which is to form the side of the cushion, commencing at the 17th round.

 

Examination of the picture seems to indicate that the "Lace" is made between rows 19 and 20, and again after row 25.

This Lace is an exercise for the reader, including fixing the error.

 

Here is the design made in size 30 thread,  finished after the first Lace.  It is about 8 inches across, modified to lie approximately flat.  It is similar enough to the picture that we believe we understood the "Clear and Explicit Directions" approximately well.

 

 

 

NOTE: It was much easier to work this out first with SymblCro.