* * * * *
68. THE HELEN CAP.
Materials—Scarlet floss silk, or five shades of scarlet Berlin wool; meshes Nos. 3 and 6; cornucopia gauge, and a flat mesh, an inch in width.
The cap is worked in honeycomb netting, and the borders and rosette in plain netting. With the darkest shade make a foundation of 56 stitches on mesh No. 3, net 2 rows with each shade, increasing a stitch at the end of each row; leave one-half of the cap plain, and net a border in the following manner on the remaining loops and at the ends:—With the darkest shade net 4 loops in every loop on the flat mesh, increasing by making 6 loops in each of the three corner stitches; then on mesh No. 3, net 1 loop in each, and finish by netting a row with the next shade on the smallest mesh: this must be repeated at each side of the cap. For the second border, net 100 loops on the flat mesh on a foundation of wool, and finish to correspond with the first border. Two pieces netted in this manner are required, and they are arranged in festoons at the sides of the cap. Pass a cord the size required through the foundation-stitches, join it, and sew on a rosette made in the following manner:—With the darkest shade net 100 loops on mesh No. 3; then with the next shade net 2 rows at each side and at the ends; make this into a rosette with long ends, as in illustration.
This elegant and becoming head-dress derives its name from the beautiful sister-in-law of the Emperor of Russia, the Grand Duchess Helen, who introduced this style of coiffure at St. Petersburg.
* * * * *
Beautiful cabinets, work-boxes, work-tables, fire-screens, &c., may be painted in imitation of ebony inlaid with ivory by the following means:—Let your screen be made of an elegant form, but merely of common white wood or deal, prepared as below.
Composition for the Surface of Wood.—Steep one ounce of glue in a pint of cold water all night; throw off the water in the morning. Take six ounces of finest white lead in powder, mix it by degrees in a mortar, with about half a pint of cold water, till it is perfectly smooth, then place it, along with the glue, in a clean pan. Add half a pint more water; set it on the fire, stirring constantly till it boils. Let it boil three minutes; take it off, and pour it into a stone jar, and continue to stir it occasionally till cold. When cold, but before it congeals, take a clean paint-brush, and paint your screen with the composition. When it is quite dry, rub it over with sand-paper, to make it quite smooth; then give it another coat of the white composition, repeating the rubbing with sand-paper as before. Repeat this same process five or six times, until you obtain a smooth, equal, white surface. When that is accomplished, dissolve the fourth of an ounce of isinglass in a quarter of a pint of water; when cold, but liquid, give the screen a coat of it with a clean brush, and do not use the sand-paper after it.