The seventeenth pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (First Series, 1843) is for Knitted Lace. As with the other patterns in the book, there is no illustration available to see what the lace should look like. Although Miss Lambert does not specify in the pattern, it appears to be a narrow knitted lace that could then be sewn on as an edging to a garment or linen.
To begin, I took a look at the pattern requirements: Very fine cotton or thread and No. 25 needles. These are equivalent to lace weight (or fine crochet cotton) and 1.25mm (0000) needles in modern day knitting terminology. I decided that I would try out this lace pattern using larger needles and heavier weight yarn, at least until I know that I have the pattern figured out. I chose fingering-weight yarn and 2.5mm needles and gave the pattern a try and had a significant lack of success! The pattern involves yarn overs and lace work on the return row, which makes things a bit tricky. And, it seems that there may be a typo somewhere that is leading to either not enough stitches or too many instructions for the number of stitches on the needle. Hm.
The pattern involves yarn overs and lace work on the return row, which makes it a bit tricky for me to read the lace pattern as I work it. I may have made a mistake but it does seem as if there may be a typo somewhere that is leading to either not enough stitches on the sixth row or too many instructions for the number of stitches on the needle!
Things were then further complicated when I finally went to see a physiotherapist about a problem with my shoulder and she told me I needed to stop knitting until my shoulder is better. Oh no! So, I’ve had to stop knitting for what is hopefully just a little while and I am highly motivated to do my exercises and get back to normal as soon as I can. But, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? While I am out of commission, I plan to chart up this lace pattern and write some blog posts about knitting history, Victorian Lace or anything else that catches my eye. I also hope to work on developing a few new design ideas to share with you over the next few months.