Norma's Needleworkz

Monday, February 12, 2007

Knitted Lace

Today I wanted to share some of my knitted laces. This pinwheel doily, which measures 9 inches in diameter, is knitted with #20 DMC Cebelia cotton and is the piece I teach beginner lace knitters although sometimes I start with one of the cotton lace "dish cloths" which are square. It really all depends on the expertise level of my students. We begin with a crochet hook and a special technique that eliminates a large center hole, then move on to using double pointed needles and finally a circular needle. The edging is crocheted into the knitting stitches for a bind off technique.

This doily measures 14 inches in diameter and is knitted with 18th Century Crochet cotton in ecru. The pattern calls for a double pointed needle beginning but I prefer to use the special crochet technique which eliminates a large beginning hole. Then I move on to the double pointed needles and finally to a circular needle. I do use markers (either the thin plastic rings or contrasting yarn) to seperate my patterns so that when I make a mistake I don't have to take it all out LOL

This is my first lace knitted piece and is a sampler. And you thought samplers were only done with needle and thread! Back before there were printed knitting patterns little girls learned their laces (used for petticoats, hankies, pillowcases, etc.) by copying from their family knitters, be it a grandmother, mother, or aunt. This sampler that I copied was made by a 10 year-old girl in 1870 and is preserved in a muesum. There are twelve patterns in the sampler and she cross-stitched her name across the top. To follow suit, I cross-stitched my name and date across the top. This young girl, named Bernadin, was a German immigrant and she would have used steel knitting pins (douple pointed) to work with.......... so I used the steel knitting pins that belonged to my great grandmother. I have the knitted bedspread my great grandmother made and put together in panels. We are so lucky to have such a wide range of knitting needles. The double pointed steel knitting pins were also used to knit her children's socks and the first pair of socks I knitted (argyle) were done with those same knitting pins. Bernadin edged her sampler with a knitted lace pattern, I chose to leave mine plain and backed it with a burgandy tone on tone cotton paisley and added bell pull hardware to hang mine. Bernadin's sampler would have been stored rolled up in a drawer to be pulled out whenever she needed a lace pattern. I like to look at mine as it hangs in my sewing room over my quilting frame.

This is a 100% cotton worsted weight summer afghan that I made several years ago and is usually found draped across my wooden rocker in the living room. Taking a picture with this on the rocker really didn't do it justice so I decided to try 'showing' it this way. This is a pattern that would make a lovely narrow spring shawl.

My most favorite piece of lace knitting and the one I get the most compliments on is this lace shawl. It is knitted of lace weight mohair, acrylic and nylon yarn, on double pointed and circular needles size 8. It measures 72" in diameter, is very light weight and very, very warm. I wear it to church. Again, I started with a crochet hook to eliminate a center hole. It is not bound off but the wide border is knitted sideways making a bind off as I went and the beginning and ending edges were grafted together. Grafting is the technique used in weaving sock toes together for an invisible seam. The most recent lace knitting I've done is a Christmas tree snowflake ornament shown in a previous post.


At 2/13/2007 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Rose Anne B said...

WOW that is something else I say! Now I just might make myself something like that knitted sampler - about all I can take on probably. I've started a table cloth on circular needles and have about 12" stitched and the pattern is off kilter - stopped right there! I just love your work too!

At 2/14/2007 08:44:00 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Those are all just wonderful. I can see why you get lots of compliments on the shawl, but truly, they are all beautiful pieces. I don't knit, so I can just enjoy it when I see it. =)

What is 17th Century Crochet thread?

At 2/15/2007 09:26:00 AM, Blogger Debbie said...

Beautiful, I have always wished that I could do lace knitting. I can only do very basic knitting.
Those are just wonderful!

At 2/18/2007 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Fairy Crafts said...

I found you by accident - cruising Allison's blog to see if she had posted yet today. Love your lace knitting. I started knitting with bedspread cotton in about 1973, and, as I couldn't find "knitting pins" I used very small dp needles with a point protector on one end. Made a long sampler with squares of my favorite patterns, and edged with a narrow lace that had to be sewn on - please show more of your work. Fascinating.

At 2/28/2007 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Margreet said...

Norma, your knitting is wonderfull such a lot of work, well done!!!!
Is it you behind the spread?
Enjoyed also all your stitches.
Margreet from Holland.


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