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. 90
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.
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.
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.
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.