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Sample book

Sample book

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1825-1874 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Hume, Elizabeth (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand knitted wool, glazed cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Miss F. M. Wilcox

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This book consists of knitting samples and handwritten notes by a knitter called Elizabeth Hume. Her pieces of work are attached to 12 glazed-cotton pages. Most of the samples are of fine lace knitting, but there are some pieces of solid wool knitting, of undyed Shetland wool and of coloured knitting. The book also includes examples of cotton knitting threads and wool.

The notes refer to patterns in the Knitting, Netting and Crochet Book. This best-selling volume of patterns by Mrs Gaugain was published in 1846. Jane Gaugain was the first British woman to publish knitting 'recipes' (the early name for patterns) and pioneered the use of abbreviations to describe the knitting stitches required.

Physical description

Book of knitting samples and handwritten notes. The pieces of knitting are attached to twelve brown glazed cotton pages. Most of the samples are of fine lace knitting and there are also pieces of solid wool knitting, of undyed Shetland wool and of coloured knitting.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1825-1874 (made)


Hume, Elizabeth (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Hand knitted wool, glazed cotton

Marks and inscriptions

Some of the samples are marked 'Manuscript' and have names such as 'Gothic', 'Irish', Turkish', and 'Spanish Edge'.

One piece of thick, open-patterned wool knitting is marked 'Fanny's quilt 1844 - shetland shawl Vol 2. 10 diamonds deep - the border 50 stitches No 55 Vol 1st and Miss Nickson's edge (36 stitches here Pins no 11 1 1/2 yd Lond. 1 1/4 wide" No 19 pins)'


Height: 14 cm of page, Width: 25.5 cm of page

Descriptive line

Sample book of knitting, made by Elizabeth Hume, England, 1825-1874.

Labels and date

Glaxed cotton with hand-knitted samples in wool and cotton, manuscript notes and yarn samples.
English, mid 19th century.

Printed instruction books for amateur knitters first appeared in the early 19th century and had few and often inadequate instructions. It was prudent, therefore, to make samples before embarking on a large piece of work. These, knitted by Miss Elizabeth Hume following instructions from Mrs Gaugain, The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, in three volumes, I.J. Gaugain and Ackerman & Co, 1841-46.

Given by Mrs F.M Wilcox
T.71-1975 [1985]


Wool; Cotton


Hand knitting; Glazing


Books; Pattern books


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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