Apparently, Victorians didn’t really wear toques.
At my work, as an outreach event, we participate in a local maple syrup festival, dressed in our Victorian finest. We have warm dresses, bonnets, capes, sontags, and undersleeves a plenty for staying warm, but this is the first year where we’ll have a man representing the museum, and I wanted to make sure his ears were going to stay warm for the three hour shift.
I searched and searched and didn’t really find any Victorian toque patterns. There was one historical text from the turn of the 20th century which remarked on the weather in our area, and the author tried to insist that it was warm enough where we are not to need a toque. I’d love to have a word with him on days that it’s below freezing, but I digress.
So, rather than make our guide a Victorian toque, I made him one from World War II. The pattern was from the Canadian Red Cross Knitting Instructions for War Work, Number 1 For the Services, and this pamphlet was published in November, 1940. It is the Toque Useful for a Sleeping Cap (RAV LINK).
All in all, it’s a basic toque. That said, I really have to question the instructions. You cast on your stitches, work ribbing for 3.5 inches, purl a row, then rib another inch. Then, you turn the work inside out and knit plain for 3 inches before the crown decreases.
Why do you turn it inside out? No idea. It never says to turn it back right-side out. The row of purling creates a brim turn, a nice place for the brim to fold at, but, if it’s meant to be work with the knit stitches out, why purl the row then turn inside out? Why not knit that row, and then knit the main part of the head? Like said, I have questions.
I followed the pattern as written, turning inside out and all. I used Berroco Ultra Wool for the project, a nice, superwash, worsted weight yarn. I got the recommended gauge of 5sts/inch with this yarn while using the recommended ‘No 8 Knitting Needles,’ which I took to mean 4mm (or US6).
It was also a fast knit. I needed to move up the timeline for when the hat was ready, and I was able to dedicate about two evenings to getting it finished.
I’m not going to leave the pattern directly here as I’m sure the status of copyright for the pattern, but I will leave a link for the pamphlet which I accessed via Ravelry. You can find this instruction booklet here: https://meakknits.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/canadian-red-cross-knitting-november-1940.pdf