Peterson’s formula varied little over the years. The following were included in each issue: serialized fiction, short stories, poems, music, engravings, one color fashion plate, and patterns and instructions for numerous forms of needlework. The back of each issue contained the Editor’s Table, subtitled Editorial Chit-Chat. Here readers could find advice on various subjects (“Useless Accomplishments” and “A Method of Ascertaining the State of the Lungs”), book reviews, recipes, details on that issue’s fashion illustrations, Miscellaneous Receipts (“Invisible Ink” and “Dr. Johnson’s Receipt for Rheumatism”), “Parlor Amusements,” “Scientific Recreations,” and lots of self-promotion for Peterson’s.
Last year, we had the opportunity to purchase an undated bound edition of all the issues of Peterson’s from 1862. We jumped at the chance and are thrilled with our purchase. We believe that these bound editions were offered by Peterson’s, perhaps as a premium. Inscribed in delicate cursive on the first page is the name Amanda Lane. Thank you, Amanda. This PieceWork eBook presents twelve knitting projects from these 1862 issues of Peterson’s. The instructions are reproduced exactly as they appeared in originals. You’ll find an under shawl (elegant enough to be an outer shawl!), an opera hood, a shawl in colors (and illustrated in color), an infant’s shirt, a sontag, a border for a counterpane, drawers (presumably for a toddler), a collar, a Stitch in Knitting for Wool Jackets (the only pattern that is not illustrated), Knitting Pattern for Various Purposes, an under sleeve, and a complete counterpane.
All of these knitting patterns are attributed to Mrs. Jane Weaver. We’ve searched high and low for information on Jane but only find a plethora of patterns attributed to her. Who was she? Was she an actual person or is this the pen name for various staff members? The front cover of the eBook is taken from our bound volume. Charles Jacobs Peterson is pictured at bottom left. Is one of the women pictured Mrs. Jane Weaver? We’ll keep on looking for more information on her.
Happy 1862 knitting! We hope you enjoy your step back in time.