The second pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book is called A Knitted Silk Cuff (p13). As with the first pattern, there is no picture of the finished project or directions for finishing, however, the pattern does seem much more straightforward than the pattern for Siberian Cuffs. For more on my struggles with the Siberian Cuffs pattern see my earlier posts.
The pattern for A Knitted Silk Cuff calls for coarse black netting silk and four No. 22 needles.
I tackled the needles first. According to the chart compiled by Colleen Formby and provided in Commend Me To A Knitting Wife, a size 22 needle on the Lambert Filiére is equivalent to a 1.75mm needle today. Because the pattern calls for four needles, I can safely assume that it is knit in the round. Since I tend to knit loosely, I went down to 1.5mm needles (the smallest needles I own). I am anticipating that these cuffs are going to take me a while to finish so I decided to knit cuffs two at a time on a long circular needle, to avoid Second Cuff Syndrome (similar to Second Sock Syndrome).
I could not find any information regarding the modern day equivalent of “coarse netting silk” but I have decided that, based on the needle size, a lace weight yarn should work out nicely. I purchased a skein of Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace from my LYS in the colour Simple Taupe (601). This yarn is a blend of 70% alpaca and 30% silk; it is amazingly soft and I think it will knit up beautifully. I chose not to do the cuffs in black as recommended by Miss Lambert as I felt that taupe would be more versatile and wearable.
This pattern has some terms that I am already familiar with from the previous pattern that I worked on in this book, including ‘knit plain’ and ‘bring the silk forward.’ The pattern for A Knitted Silk Cuff includes the term ‘pearl’ which is simply a different spelling of purl. I am feeling optimistic and encouraged by how easy it was to interpret/translate this pattern – maybe it won’t be as difficult as I thought to work through these 170-year-old patterns!
Using the long tail method, I cast on 84 teeny tiny stitches per cuff. I knit about 5 rows and then realized that apparently, I didn’t actually have the simple pattern memorized. So I have ripped it out and cast on again. Things are going much more smoothly now and the pattern is delicate and lovely. I will post again with photographs once I have reached the point where you can see the pattern properly.
Details will be posted on my Ravelry Page.