January 21, 2013

1861 Ladies' Wool Tie Pattern

It's a bit late for New Year's but here's a quick knitting pattern from 1861. The knitted tie is bordered with imitation, knitted ermine which was popular at the time. It has fallen out of fashion in modern times to give New Year's gifts but it's still a neat idea.

All of my period knitting items use the conversion table and information written by Collen Formby. If you haven't read that article, it's a lifesaver when trying to create period knitting projects.

I like that this tie would create a bit of warmth around the neck without adding a lot of bulk. It would also be a way to add a bit of color to an otherwise plain dress. The full pattern in the book includes a set of matching cuffs.

One thing about 1850s clothing that looks really strange to our modern eyes is the use of matching which looks excessive to us. For instance, it was popular for women to wear two identical bracelets, one on each wrist. Women might also wear a large "show piece" necklace with equally large matching earrings.Today we would consider the looks gaudy.

Unfortunately every once in a while, my historical wardrobe will sneak into my modern one and I'll find myself over-jeweled in a way that looks almost sarcastic today. Only one of the few problems with trying to be stylish in multiple centuries. :)     


  1. Thank you for posting the knitting pattern. I'd love to try it when I get a bit braver and better with my knitting skills. At the moment I'm having fun knitting the three piece Petersons 1860s scarf which is perfect for practice (it's just knit stitch) plus I don't have to concentrate too much on it – which is probably a good thing with a jealous two year old girl trying to steal it :D

    1. Knitting is very easy once you get the hang of the basics. Good luck! I'd love to see the scarf when you're done.

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