I finished this yesterday and it is only a few days late! This project has some successes and some loses.
The successes are: it is wearable, I will be glad of it on cold days, I figured out the vague parts of the pattern so doing it again will be easier and I figured out just how much wool I would need to do it again properly.
The failures are: the mass of old yarn that I had in my stash turned out to not be massive enough, and the yarn was more or less retro with the brand being discontinued-getting more was impossible. The shortages meant I had to do a lot of fiddling with the pattern to get something useable out of it. Fiddling with the pattern means I didn’t get to make up the pattern as it was originally intended (and that was disappointing.) But, the learning process was a good one and I actually enjoyed the actual knitting so on the whole this project was a small win.
The Challenge: 3 protection (against the cold)
Material: 14 balls of acrylic/wool blend yarn 1.4 oz each (slightly thicker than worsted weight)
Pattern: Peterson Magazine knitted Talma
Notions: size 9 circular needles
How historically accurate is it?: 40% The colors are plausible. The pattern is original. A woman would have adapted the pattern for size and available supplies just as I did. The yarn is wrong because of the acrylic in the blend but there was enough real wool in it to give it that lanolin kind of feel. The yarn was a looser twist than would have been used in the Victorian era. The strand was also thicker than I believe would have been common. At least, the knitted objects I have seen in museums were made of a tighter thinner strand. The benefits to my thicker strand are: increased warmth and my finished item ended up bigger which compensated for the tendency for Victorian patterns to make up much smaller than my modern, well fed frame.
Hours to complete: approximately 100
First worn: yesterday for the photo
Total cost: free. It was a stash buster. The wool was given to me.