MKB 32: Lace Pattern

This month, we are moving on to the thirty-second pattern in Miss Lambert’s 1843 knitting manual, My Knitting Book (first series).  The pattern is called VIII: Lace Pattern and it is the eighth in a series of stitch patterns suitable for doilies and tidies but could also be easily used in shawls, sweaters or anything you can imagine!   This pattern has already been translated into modern knitting language and charted by the inestimable Franklin Habit in Miss Lambert’s Lace Sampler.  Please use the lace pattern chart provided in his pattern write up to recreate Miss Lambert’s pattern exactly as written and take the time to read his introduction to the pattern as it is fantastic.  Franklin is definitely on my list of must meet knitters!

When I knit up my version of the stich pattern I changed for more symmetry and, I think, less likelihood of creating a bias fabric.  I hope Miss Lambert would approve!


The full pattern can be found here with written instructions and chart legend: MKB 32 Lace Pattern.

The unblocked sample was just lovely with a gorgeous texture on the right (public) side:

And the wrong (not public) side:

In a chunky weight yarn this would make a wonderfully squishy and cozy afghan, unblocked.   I almost didn’t want to block it but I did and here is the result:

Overall, this is a lovely little lace pattern and I am glad that I went for symmetry on the lozenge shapes.  I can see this in a shawl or wrap in my near future!  Not bad for 175 years old – I really do enjoy the long lasting appeal of knitting stitch patterns.

What do you think?  Would you adapt this pattern to a more modern context?  Let me know in the comments below!


MKB 31: Vandyke

The thirty-first pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book is for a Vandyke stitch pattern to be used in household items such as doilies and tidies but can be modified for use in shawls, wraps and pretty much anything else you can imagine!  The pattern is very straightforward and doesn’t really need too much interpretation if you remember that pearl knitting is the same as purl, plain knitting is the same as knit and thread forward is the same as a yarn-over:

Cast on any number of stitches that can be divided by ten.
First row—pearl knitting.
Second row—plain knitting.
Third row—pearl knitting.
Fourth row—bring the thread forward, knit two; knit two together; pearl one; knit two together; knit two; bring the thread forward, knit one.—Repeat.
Commence again, as at first row.  (My Knitting Book, First Series, p.47).

I charted it up as written, and then changed it so that the chart is mostly knit stitches (instead of purl).  It certainly makes the chart easier to read (and if I’ve done it correctly, does not change the end result).  Click here for full chart.


Then, I cast on 40 stitches and here was the result (assuming that this was the right side!):

I have seen many variations of Vandyke patterns in knitting, crochet and embroidery which made me wonder what the origin of the name might be.  I couldn’t find too much information but did find this in an article on the Interweave website:

The Vandyke stitch (which has no relationship to the Vandyke stitch used in smocking), a collar, and a distinctive beard shape, certainly were named after the great Flemish painter, Anthony Van Dyck (1599–1641), who immortalized the collar and beard in his portraits of England’s Charles I (1600–1649) and other notables of the period. The stitch, collar, and beard share a common characteristic—the chevron shape.

Van Dyck painted this image of Charles I in three poses and you can see that the beard and collar both show a chevron shape:


Charles I in Three Positions


So, it seems that Vandyke is simply another way to say chevron.  What do you think?  Do you know anything about the origins of the use of the term Vandyke in knitting, crochet and needlework?  Please share below!

MKB 30: Chevron

It has been a while since I’ve posted any interpretations of the patterns from Miss Lambert’s book.  It’s just one of those things, I suppose, sometimes life just gets in the way!

So, to refresh your memory, I am currently working (at a snail’s pace, I know, but I’m stubborn and will persevere) through the twelve stitch patterns that “are intended for d’oyleys, tidies, fish or basket napkins” and “may also be adapted, with a change or material, for shawls, counterpanes, bags and many other articles” (My Knitting Book, p. 37).   The spelling of doilies pleases me to no end!  I had wondered if perhaps the word originated from the French word for eye, “oeil” since doilies were often round, but that doesn’t seem to be the case according to this blog post by Dreamtress.

The Chevron Pattern is the seventh of the twelve stitch patterns for d’oyleys.

The original written pattern is as follows and although I think I know where she’s going with it, as written, it doesn’t really form much of a chevron shape.

Cast on any number of stitches that can be divided by eight.

First row—pearl knitting.

Second row—knit two together; knit three; bring the thread forward, knit three.—Repeat.

Repeat these two rows twice,—making in all six rows.

The pattern, as above worked, turns to the left; in the next six rows it should turn to the right,—this is to be done by bringing the thread forward before the open stitch of the preceding row.

Commence again as at first row, knitting alternately six rows with the pattern to the left, and six rows with the pattern to the right.

(My Knitting Book, p.46)

I’m really not sure that I’ve done the second set of six rows correctly but, I find this to be a very pretty stitch pattern anyway!  Note that I added a two stitch stockinette selvage on each side that was not included in the original pattern.


Using fingering weight yarn and needles to match, cast on a multiple (X) of 8 stitches plus nine.  Repeat the stitch pattern between the lines X times.

30 - Chevron - Stitch Fiddle.jpg

Row 1 [RS]: k2, k2tog, *k3, yo, k3, k2tog* rep between ** X times, k3, yo, k2
Row 2 [WS]: p to end
Rows 3 to 6:  Repeat Rows 1 and 2, two more times.
Row 7 [RS]: k2, k2tog, *k2, yo, *k3, k2tog, k1*, rep between ** X times, k1, yo, k3
Row 8 [WS]: p to end
Row 9 [RS]: k2, k2tog, *k1, yo, k3, k2tog, k2*, rep between ** X times, k1, yo, k4
Row 10 [WS]: p to end
Row 11 [RS]: k2, k2tog, *yo, k3, k2tog, k3*, rep between ** X times, yo, k5
Row 12 [WS]: p to end

What do you think? Have you ever tried this stitch pattern?