Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Holidays from the State House!

For centuries, the State House has celebrated the holiday season with decorations and concerts. Today, children from schools in Maryland ensure that the State House stays decorated by making ornaments that hang on the official State House tree.

Stereographic image of the State House in the snow, 1836-1872. Image courtesy of the Maryland Historical Society.

Before the building was accommodated with central heating, its occupants would warm themselves with fireplaces located in the offices and official rooms. The building was kept stocked with wood, which was often acquired in huge quantities by men like Jubb Fowler who worked as caretakers of the State House.

We hope you stay warm this holiday season and to help you, please enjoy these early nineteenth-century knitting instructions for gloves from the Ridout family!

Knitting instructions for gloves from the Ridout Papers. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 910-0-35-17.

Directions for knitting Gloves.

Put twenty two stitches on three needles. Pearl every other stitch until you have knit two inches. Then pearl every other stitch every third row, knitting the intermediate rows plain after pearling the second row commence widening to form the thumb. Widen once, knit two plain, widen again in the middle of one of the needles, widden ten times knitting three rows between the widenings, then take off twenty two stitches to form the thumb, leaving twenty on needles. Then cast on eight stitches and narrow them on to four knitting three rows between the narrowings. From the taking off the thumb knit eleven pearl rows and then commence the fingers.

For the little finger take fourteen stitches and cast on six stitches and narrow twice on the stitches the second time, you knit round leaving eighteen stitches, then knit on until you have twelve pearled rows, then narrow twice on each needle. Narrow twice on each needle after every pearling until you have six stitches left.

Third finger - take sixteen stitches off the thread on each needle cast two gores of six stitches each knit and narrow like little finger leaving twenty four stitches - Then knit sixteen pearled rows before commencing narrowing which is done like little finger.

Second finger- Take eighteen stitches off the thread, cast on two gores of 6 stitches each, knit.

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