Knitted Punchinello Caps for Knitting Needles, c1890

Knitted Punchinello Caps for Knitting Needles, c1890

"These little caps or shields are useful for protecting the points of knitting needles when work is to be carried about or packed. To make the caps a very small quantity of coral or of Berlin wool will be required in three gay colours: say red, green and yellow; also four steel knitting needles, No. 17.

With red wool cast on 2 stitches onto each of three needles.

1st Round - Plain.

2nd Round - * Make 1, knit 2, repeat from * twice.

3rd Round - Plain.

4th Round - * Make 1, knit 3, repeat from * twice.

5th Round - Plain

6th Round - * Make 1, knit 4, repeat from * twice.

7th Round - Plain.

8th Round - * Make 1, knit 5, repeat from * twice.

9th Round - Plain.

10th Round - * Make 1, knit 6, repeat from * twice.

11th Round - Plain.

12th Round - * Make 1, knit 7, repeat from * twice.

13th Round - Plain.

14th Round - * Make 1, knit 8, repeat from * twice.

15th Round - Plain.

16th Round - * Make 1, knit 9, repeat from * twice.

17th Round - Plain.

18th Round - Join yellow wool and knit plain.

19th, 20th & 21st Rounds - Purl. Join the green wool and work.

22nd & 23rd Rounds - Plain.

24th & 6 following rounds - * Knit 3, purl 2, repeat from * all round.

31st Round - (With yellow wool) Plain.

32nd & 33rd Rounds - Purl. Cast off.

Knit a second little cap in an exactly similar manner, but begin knitting with the green wool. Purl the rib with red, work the 22nd to 30th rounds with yellow and the final purled rib with red.

Get a good cork the size for a wine bottle, cut it across exactly in half and pull one little cap over each portion with a lump of cotton wool in the "crown" of each cap to ensure a well-shaped top. Take the ends of the balls of red, green and yellow wool and wind this triple strand a dozen times round two fingers of the left hand, tie this tiny skein securely in the middle, sew it to the tip of one of the caps and cut and clip the loops until a full, thick tuft is made. Put a similar tuft on the second cap.

Next take three pieces of green wool each about 15 inches long, a similar amount of red and also of yellow. Plait the three colours together into one strand, fasten off the ends and sew these inside the knitting, between that and the cork, one on each cap. If necessary, gather in the cast-off stitches of the knitting to prevent the corks within them escaping. Finally, work the caps and their tassels about with the fingers to make them a good shape and even. If any difficulty is experienced in keeping the shields on the needles, unite the caps with a 4-inch length of elastic and use the coloured plait as a handle merely. The elastic stretches to admit both ends of a knitting needle being inserted, one in each cork, and when the needle is in place, holds it so, quite securely.

One little Punchinello cap, cork-lined, makes a good shield for a steel crochet hook and may be united by its gay plait to a small bag or reticule in which to keep the delicate work."

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