There are lots of places online where you can find information about historical knitting (this site
, for example, provides patterns that were used during different historical periods - including the late 19th and early 20th centuries).
Keep in mind that the terminology used historically is not the same as we use today .... for example, needles are often referred to as "knitting pins", and the number scale that they used to identify different needles sizes is not the same as what is currently used. Descriptions of the weight of yarn to be used also seem very vague (at least to me) by our standards, but people at the time knew what was meant because that was what was available and commonly used.
Also, I could be mistaken, but I do believe that they did have a version of DPNs at the time .... but this is just based on my interpretation of descriptions I've read of what knitting needles during this period looked like.