Add Victorian elegance to your table with a hand-knit tablecloth. Traditionally made from cotton or linen yarn and delicate lace patterns, knit tablecloths were essential to many a young woman's wedding trousseau. Hand-knit tablecloths are rare at the contemporary table, so your knitted cloth is sure to become a cherished family heirloom. Follow these guidelines to create a tablecloth that will showcase your fine handwork at holiday gatherings and special occasions for generations to come.
Measure your table. In order to knit your tablecloth the correct size, you need to know the dimensions of the table it will cover. If you want a cloth that drapes over the table's edges, add 6 inches to every side of your table measurement.
Knit a gauge swatch. To knit a correctly sized tablecloth, you need to figure out how many pattern stitches fit into a 4-inch square. Knit a 6-inch square in your pattern stitch, wash and block to figure out your gauge.
Modify your pattern. Depending on the original pattern's measurements and your swatch gauge, you may have to make modifications. If your tablecloth needs to be larger, add enough pattern repeats to equal close to the number of stitches you need to create a large enough piece. Subtract pattern repeats to make a smaller tablecloth.
Cast on with double-pointed needles and distribute your stitches over three needles. Knit out from the tablecloth's center and increase stitches as you work your way toward the outer edges. Switch to circular needles once your stitches no longer comfortably fit on the double-pointed needles.
Bind off. To create a knitted bind-off, knit two stitches together, move the stitch on your right needle back to the left needle and repeat.
Block your finished tablecloth to the correct measurements. Soak in a bath of warm water and no-rinse wool wash, squeeze out excess water and stretch into shape on a flat surface. Pin into place.