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Beeton's Book Of Needlework

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An Excerpt: "The Way to Hold the Hands.
Take the shuttle in the right hand, between the thumb and second finger, and
allow the forefinger to remain at liberty, and rest the under part of the
shuttle between the second and third and on the middle finger. Place the thread
round the three middle fingers of the left hand, so as to form a loop, keeping
the second and third fingers a little apart, and bring the cotton again between
the thumb and forefinger, letting the end fall within the palm of the hand,
while the end of cotton which holds on to the shuttle passes over the
thumb-nail.


To Make a Stitch.
[iv]
Keep the hands in the position above described; pass the shuttle at the back,
through the loop--that is, between the second and third fingers. Take the end of
the shuttle which comes out from the loop between the forefinger and thumb of
the right hand, and strain the cotton very tightly towards the right. When the
cotton is drawn through the loop, this cotton must not be impeded by the fourth
finger; it should, on the contrary, slide over it, and be drawn tight. It should
divide the loop into two parts. After this withdraw the second left-hand finger,
which is above the cotton, and pass it again under that cotton, so as to draw up
the loop. A half-stitch is thus formed, and must be tightened by being drawn
closely to the forefinger and thumb of the left hand. For the remaining half of
the stitch keep the hands in the same position, but, instead of letting the
cotton fall over the thumb, pass this cotton over the back of the hand; then let
the shuttle fall between the second and third fingers of the left hand, in
front, and take it out again at the back, strain the cotton very tightly,"

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