Friday, 5 July 2019

The "pence jug" is finished

- for which I am duly thankful.
   "And what," I hear you ask, "is a pence jug?"
It is one of those Victorian era oddities. They were made to keep things like loose coins in - before wallets and coin purses became common.  They were actually made in the shape of jugs.
It is the sort of thing the Victorians excelled at. The pence jugs were even made with a lip...although you did not pour the coins out.
These little things were only ever a few inches high. They are very fiddly to knit because they are made in the round. 
Mine is made from a tiny amount of pale grey silk left over from the chemo caps my then teen knitters were making. There wasn't enough to do anything else - except perhaps a couple of book marks and the cone it was on had been sitting there for a couple of years. It is the authentic sort of thing from which to make a pence jug. There were no artificial fibres in mid-Victorian times. Pence jugs were made from cotton, silk or wool.
I made it with the materials to hand - as the Victorians would have done - and in just one colour  but two colours were also common. It is knitted at a tighter tension than I would normally use for that yarn but that is also right. You don't want to lose your sovereigns and guineas!
Right now it  has some pennies in it too  - although not from the Victorian era. The Senior Cat had some pennies - left over from something else. They make the little jug sit rather nicely.
Pence jugs were sometimes beaded - but that was beyond me. Even if I could have sourced the right sort of beads (steel) I doubt my paws would have managed to work with them. No, mine is plain pale grey. 
There are any number of instructions for pence jugs in Victorian era knitting books.  Mine comes from the "recipe" in "Miss Lambert's Knitting Book" (1844) As with most patterns of the era it was not a simple matter of following the instructions.  The writers of the day assumed that the knitter knew things and would do it in their own way.
I knew some things. I have worked out other things. It is done. I have something ready for the display in September. 
Now all I need to do is write a description because the Senior Cat asked, "What on earth is that thing?"

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