Wednesday, December 31, 2008

1. Knitted Edging

Happy New Year to all!

Christmas knitting is done, holiday dishes washed and put away (well, almost), and I turn now to the sample book patterns.

Our first design is titled simply "Knitted Edging," a saw-tooth, garter stitch edge. The pattern is worked in a 10-row repeat, and the stitch count steadily increases from 12 to 16 before returning to the original number in the final row.

You can download the full-size chart, verbal instructions and notes here.

With this pattern I encountered my first anomaly of 19th Century knitting instructions. Row 1 of the pattern as written begins k2, yo2, p2tog. (This is the modern equivalent. I will cover Victorian knitting terms and notation in a future post.) When working my sample, I found I had one too many stitches for the second row. I kept going over the numbers-- how many stitches you end with on row 1, how many you need for row 2-- and the discrepancy always remained. Then it occurred to me: there wasn't a double yarn over at all, just a single followed by bringing the yarn forward again to purl. I looked at some of the other patterns I have transcribed, and found the same phenomenon. Although there never is any mention of yarn forward for k1, p1, add a yarn over between them and it invariably becomes "yarn over twice."

A note about my samples: I originally thought I would be using thread for the samples illustrating this project. I usually work knitted lace patterns in size 40 or 50 cotton cordonnet. It has a hard finish that gives a good definition, doesn't fuzz up with handling, and is sufficiently fine to produce "lacy" lace. However, the majority of patterns in the book are in garter stitch-- a good choice for edgings in particular, since it prevents curling, but one I find unattractive in fine thread. So although from time to time I may show samples in thread, most will be worked in fingering weight cotton.

Oops. The photo originally illustrating this design showed the wrong side of the edging. Sheesh. With all these garter stitch patterns, I am really going to have to watch that. The download page has been updated to include both views.
Next up: Fence Row Insertion


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for shaing this with us. I've been anxiously awaiting the start of the year so that I could learn more from you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, I am eager to try this. ERRRRRRRRRRR, should I tell you that I plan on doing my samples with 4ply acrylic???

vintagekathleen said...

That will be our little secret, Gerrie. ;>)

Anonymous said...

Hello Kathleen,

I was looking so forward to your/our project.
The edging looks nice so far. I would love to know, what the original book say about the using. I would knit this for a black skirt I own.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Gesche Johanna
from Germany

vintagekathleen said...

Unfortunately, 19th Century knitting instructions have little or no additional information apart from the patterns themselves. Gauge, for example, is never, ever given. No mention is made of the dimensions of the finished piece. A few suggest thread and/or needle size, but the latter isn't much use to us today-- lace knitting needles sizes were different from systems we use now. Occasionally there is a suggestion for how the pattern might be used, but only in the most general terms, i.e., "This makes a pretty edge for a _______." All in all, being a knitter in this era must have entailed even more experimentation, improvisation and creativity than today.

vicvic said...

Thanks so much! I was thrilled when I saw in my bloglines that you had a new post!

Anonymous said...

LOL, it is 12:30 AM, I am laying in bed, on my belly, reading the directions off my laptop,knitting by a very blocked and shaded lamp [to not wake hubby]. Yes, using 4ply, and what ever this round needle is [feels like a 6]. I can/do knit by carrying the yarn in either hand, and for this I am finding that it goes much nicer by carrying in my left. AND I like the wrong side so much better, it will be MY right side, shhhhhhh, anyone who is not reading this blog will never know, right?

vintagekathleen said...

I like the wrong side better, too. I suspect that is why I initially photographed it without thinking. The sculptural feel of the recessed eyelets adds interest, I think.

Cindy G said...

I'm late to the game, now going back to read your whole terrific blag from the beginning.

I ran into that same "yo twice" thing in some old instructions, and am glad to have you confirm that I worked it out correctly.

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