Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Unusual Artifacts: A Row Counter, c. 1900

Row Counter
Britain, 1900
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Marked with the inscription ‘The M.P. handy guide for knitting & crochet,” this row counter would have been used by knitters to keep track of their pattern by recording the number of increases or decreases which the pattern required by sliding the brass knobs to mark specific numbers. Increasing allowed for the enlargement of a piece of knitting whereas “decreasing” would do, as one might guess, the opposite. The device also features a knitting needle guage.

Tucked behind the metal sheeting on the back, curators at the V&A discovered an original set of instructions written on paper.

While the device was made until 1950, this example dates to about 1900. 


Anonymous said...

Your dating on the M.P. handy guide for knitting & crochet is incorrect. It does not date from 1900. The device was patented and went into production in 1936

Joseph Crisalli said...

The Victoria and Albert Museum states that this example is circa 1900. I'll send an email and suggest that it's otherwise. Thanks.