Monday, July 28, 2008

Victorian Knitted Lace, Revisited

I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd been browsing through Google Books and Project Gutenberg looking for early lace and embroidery texts. Of course, when I went to look for the chemise border I had in mind, I had trouble finding it again. I think I was looking through The Young Ladies' Journal, Complete Guide to the Work-table (1885).

In the knitting section, there was a chemise edging set, that I think I skipped over the first time:

I may give the edging a try. Or perhaps just the cuffs to start with; I can probably manage to finish a set of cuffs. I think what I was looking at before, however, were these petticoat borders (the rightmost is actually just a swatch):
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Looking at the images again, what I actually want however, is a series of different edging patterns. Probably three layers, sort of like this:
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I'm thinking a lacy stitch pattern, followed by a row of motifs, and then the wave pattern (the rightmost swatch of the previous set). I'm a lot more comfortable making things up in crochet than in knitting, but I think that I can probably manage something like this. I also have this desire to make a full knitted lacy skirt, and overlay it on some plain fabric (like black lace over a purple underskirt), and perhaps this idea could be the edging for that.

I'm still trying to figure out basic things like what size thread and needles to use for something like this. And where to find the appropriate thread (and needles). I'm guessing a size 0 or smaller needle (heh, let's see if I have the patience for that), but I'm not sure of the thread. I have a preference for cotton (static and I don't get along), but the lace knitting threads seem to come in wool and silk, and in that case I'd lean toward silk. Wool cobweb lace looks amazing, though, and if its an overlay anyway the itch factor won't be a problem.

Looking at that book also creates a desire to try making netting; some of the fancy netting. So far, I have no idea what to make out of it, or what to use it for, but I'm sure I'll think of something just so I can give it a try.

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