Today’s post is about the 26th pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (first series) published in 1843. The pattern is the second in a group of stitch patterns “suitable for doyleys” and is called Rose Leaf Pattern (pages 40-42). This is a two-sided lace pattern (i.e. you do yarn overs, purl two/three togethers on the return row) which gives it a nice and compact feel and crisp definition on the rose leaves, but it does make it a bit of a challenge to rip back when you make a mistake! Note to self: I really must make use of lifelines.
As with the Leaf and Trellis pattern, the written directions are clear enough but required (at least for me!) a lot of attention and concentration. I found I needed to read them very carefully each time to make sure I was adjusting everything properly when the pattern shifts. Here is an example from the first page of the pattern:
Finally, I decided to put the written pattern into chart form, there was an “ooooh” moment, and things were much easier after that. My lesson learned here is to try and chart the pattern out before struggling through the written pattern!
Note: Cast on in multiples of 10 plus 13. Purl the 1st row and then proceed to the stitch pattern above. Horizontal repeats between the red lines as many times as you like.
My interpretation of the stitch pattern including the chart, symbol legend and written instructions can be downloaded here: II Rose Leaf – Miss Lambert. Please note that this is not precisely as written by Miss Lambert, I changed some K2tog to SSK because I thought it made the pattern more symmetrical and I wondered if this might be what she meant anyway? With no illustrations, there is no way of knowing if this interpretation is correct, but I think it worked out well. If you have any issues with the chart/written instructions, please let me know and I will correct it.
I find it a very enjoyable and rewarding challenge to solve the pattern mysteries of Miss Lambert’s unillustrated book and discover these hidden gems. Some days, I feel a little like a knitting Sherlock Holmes! This stitch pattern is no exception, and I think it is one of my favourites so far from Miss Lambert’s book. It does look like rose leaves, but I also see bee hives, and a larger scale project would be a lovely way to pay homage to the plight of the honeybee. This stitch pattern has many possibilities for use in shawls, scarves, sweaters! The sample was knit using fingering weight yarn and 2mm needles; however, it could make a lovely wrap for sitting outside on a cool summer day listening to the buzz of bees in the garden.
Please feel free to forward this blog post to anyone you know who might have an interest in knitting Victorian patterns, resurrecting forgotten stitches or lace knitting in general.