Buttonhole looping · Early instructions

Louisiana purse, 2nd manner

The first of the three Louisiana purses, considered in detail in the preceding posts, is an openwork mesh. This differs from the closed-work stitching shared by the other two.  Here are the instructions for the second of the three:

The second manner with gold or silver thread

Fasten a thread of green cordonnet silk around the mold. Thread a needle with the same thread and another needle with a gold thread. Fasten both threads on the inside of the mold and bring them through the same hole in the top row. With the silk thread on the right-hand side [and working to the right], make 5 buttonhole stitches with it over the thread that is wrapped around the mold. Then take the gold thread and make a further 3 stitches with it over both the silk thread on the other needle and the thread wrapped around the mold. With the gold thread to the left, make another 5 stitches with the silk thread until you reach a hole. Make another 5 on its other side, then 8 [sic; should be 3] with the gold thread, and another 5 with the silk. Continue this way until the end of the round, so that between two holes there are always 10 stitches in silk with 3 in gold in their middle.

Depending on the fineness of the silk thread it may be that 5 stitches with it is too much or too little to match the space between two holes. If so, make 6 or 4, but the 3 in gold thread must always be in the middle. Start the second round with 5 stitches in silk, enclosing the gold thread left exposed between the first hole and the first complete stitches. Then make another 3 with the gold thread, 5 with silk, and so on. In this way, all of the gold stitches are joined to the ones in the following round. If you want an especially brilliant purse, work the buttonhole stitches in the opposite manner, with 5 in gold and 3 in silk. This does cost a bit more in gold thread but is especially beautiful.

Depending on how closely this pattern is worked, the one of the two threads that is carried in the loop formed by the other may be visible as a separate straight line running through the loops. This is a definitive characteristic of a common variant of both simple and twisted buttonhole looping. Emery calls the included thread a foundation element and categorizes the full structure as  looping with “two single elements.”

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