Make a Victorian Toy
Playing at horses is such favorite amusement with most of our little friends, that I fancy a clever girl who is able to knit would like to try whether she could make some ornamental reins, like those in the picture. The knitting forms a sort of covering, or tube, through which a strong cord is passed, with metal rings slipped over it to make loops for the pony's arms. (That sounds rather funny, does it not ?)
As the knitting is done with a thick soft yarn, the reins do not chafe the driver's hands in the way some of the braid or ribbon reins are apt to do. The ornamental rings may be finished with a little bell when they are sewn on to the reins. They are made by means of a doubled piece of wire joined into a round, the wool tied, firmly on, and then wound round a piece of cardboard or wool, about an inch wide, to make the loops, one at a time of course; the wool is slipped up between the wires, and twisted round the top one to fix the loop firmly.
The reins are made in double knitting, and as can be seen in the detail, the work can be pulled apart for the cord to be run through it. It is begun by crocheting eight chain-stitches very loosely, and joining them in a ring. Then the chain stitches have to be picked up on to a knitting needle, alternately one from the front and one from the back half of the ring, and care must be taken to slip the needle into the back thread of the chain-stitch. Then knit backwards and forwards until you have made a sufficient length; slip the first stitch, knit the next *, put the wool before the stitch as though you were going to purl, but merely slip it off; repeat twice from *, and knit the last stitch. ... from 1892