Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Victorian Knitted Lace

I happened to be in a Barnes and Noble over the weekend, and I checked out the sewing/knitting/etc. section. I don't always bother browsing this section, because in the past I have rarely liked the knitting and crochet books I've seen. I also don't really have the dedication needed for large projects, and I'm still in the midst of one largish knitting project (a sweater) and one largish crochet project (a vest or table center piece, I haven't decided).

While browsing through the books, I found a couple books that I almost got. They had items that I would conceivably wear, and more than one in each book, but I didn't really like them as is. Since I'd probably end up changing them anyway, I didn't see the point in purchasing the books. So, I decided to look for a book, for either knitting or crochet, that covers edgings, insertions, and motifs. Or a book with lacy pattern stitches. I found one book of stitches and motifs, kind of, but in boring stitches, and I wanted something more lacy.

So I opened a knitting book that mentioned Victorian lace in the title. I almost got it. I may still get it. The book was entirely shawls and wraps and a couple fichus, but the lacy stitching was amazing. I don't see stitching like that in any of the modern books. My best guess for the actual title of the book is Victorian Lace Today, when I did an Amazon search for 'victorian lace knitting'.

Of course while browsing Amazon I had to check out all the related books. I came across 'Knitting Lingerie Style' by Joan McGowan-Michael, and this was one of the alternate images. It looks like the top in an earlier post I made, without buttons down the front. So, now I'm tempted to get the book.

So, somehow in the course of all this, I decided to look up knitted lace in Project Gutenberg and Google Book Search, because it still offends me to pay $20-$30 for a book that I'll only use part of (if I use it at all). One of those had a book, or books, from the mid 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, and in one of the books was a knitted chemise. While I don't have the patience to knit a full chemise, I'm pretty sure I can mange a wide lacy edging to go on the bottom. So I've decided that's going to be my next knitting project (I've still got a sleeve and a half to finish on the current project).

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