"It is amazing to me,'' said Bingley, "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are....They all paint tables, cover skreens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished.''
-Pride and Prejudice
In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley notes "netting"as one of the common accomplishments of young ladies. It is, as Isabella Beeton
, Victorian Household Maven, explains, "one of the prettiest and one of the easiest accomplishments of a lady. The materials are simple, while the effects produced by good netting are most elegant and of great durability. One great advantage of netting is that each stitch is finished and independent of the next, so that if an accident happens to one stitch it does not, as in crochet or knitting, spoil the whole work." The following instructions are from Beeton's Book of Needlwork,
published in 1870.
Netting, so easy to do, is most difficult to describe. The materials required are--a netting-needle and mesh (see illustration No. 302). These are made of bone, of wood, of ivory, and most commonly of steel. The wood, bone, and ivory are only used for netting wool, the steel for silk, cotton, &c. The needle is filled by passing the end of the thread through the little hole at the left-hand point, and tying it; then the thread is wound on the needle as on a tatting shuttle. The needles are numbered from 12 to 24; these last are extremely fine. The meshes correspond to the sizes of the needles, and are made of the same materials.
The larger the size of the stitch required the thicker the mesh must be selected; indeed, large hat meshes are often used for some patterns. A stirrup to slip over the foot to which the foundation
is attached is required by those who do  not use a netting cushion, placed before them on the table and heavily weighted; to this the foundation is fastened.
The stirrup is made of a loop of ribbon, to which the foundation is tied. Some ladies work a pretty stirrup of the exact shape of a horseman's stirrup; a loop of ribbon is passed through this , and the foundation fixed as before.
Place the mesh under the thread, between the thumb and finger of the left hand; it must rest on the middle of the finger and be held only by the thumb (see illustration No. 303). Take the needle in the right hand, pass the
thread over the middle and ring finger and over the mesh, pass the needle upwards and behind the mesh in the large loop which forms the thread round the fingers, and at the same time through the first stitch or loop of the
foundation. Draw the needle out, retaining the loops on the fingers and dropping them off, the little finger being the last to release the thread. As the thread tightens and the knot is firm, the loop on the little finger should be drawn up quickly and smartly. The next stitches are precisely similar, and row upon row is formed in the  same manner. Having learnt the stitch, the next task is to make a foundation.
Tie a large loop of strong thread on the stirrup ribbon, and net fifty stitches into this loop, then net four or five rows, and the foundation is ready. Simple netting as above explained forms diamonds or lozenges. When a piece of netting is finished it is cut off the foundation, and the little ends of thread that held the stitches are drawn out.
Is done precisely in the same manner as plain netting, only begin from one stitch, then net two stitches into this first, and increase by making two in the last loop of every row. As soon as the right number of stitches is complete diminish exactly in the same way by netting two stitches as one at the end of each row until one stitch alone remains. These squares are used for guipure d'art and for darning on.
Is nearly similar to plain netting. A little difference exists in the way of passing the needle through the stitch; this is shown in No. 305. After having passed the needle through the stitch it is drawn out and passed from above into the loop just made. This s titch is very effective for purses.
Is often called "pointed netting," and is made by netting from one stitch, increasing one stitch at the end of each row, and decreasing in the same way, as described at page 303.
To Net Rounds
To form a circle, as for a purse, the needle must pass through the first stitch, keeping the last three or four on the mesh and removing this when required by the work. 
"English" Netting is made as follows:--Net a row of plain netting, begin the second row by netting the second stitch, then net the
first; repeat, always passing by one stitch and taking it up.
--Begin by a plain stitch, then continue as in the 2nd row.
Begin by one stitch and net two in one at the end of each row until as many stitches are required for the narrowest part of the edge. * Increase one then in the two loops until the point of the edge or scallop is reached; at the next row leave the squares which form the point, and begin from *.
This kind of edging is made with two meshes of different sizes and extremely fine crochet cotton. Tie the thread to the foundation, net 3 rows with the small mesh of the required length.
--On the large mesh, one stitch in each stitch.
--On the small mesh take 3 stitches together to form 1 loop; repeat to end of row.
--On the large mesh make 5 loops in each stitch; repeat to end of row.
--On the small mesh, one loop in each of the 4 first stitches, pass over the 5th, repeat to end.
--On the small mesh make a loop in each of the two first stitches, pass over the 4th; repeat.
--On the small mesh make a loop in each of the two first stitches, pass over the 3rd; repeat.
This lace is often used in fine wool of two colours to trim opera-caps, children's hoods, &c.
This border is intended as an edging for square netting for couvrettes, d'oyleys, &c. The mesh must be three
times as long as that employed for the square netting.
Make 12 stitches in the first stitch of the edge, pass over 8, make 12 in the ninth, and repeat. Then take the mesh used for the square netting, and net one stitch in each
stitch, take a still smaller mesh, and complete by adding another row of one stitch in each stitch.
This border forms a very appropriate edging for all articles in square netting, as couvrettes, mats, also for trimming guipure d'art work, and should be netted in the row of holes edging the work; two sets of shells must be worked at the corners when a little fulness is required.