Knitted Lace Edging from the Encyclopedia of Needlework

October 6, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Knitting | 3 Comments
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I’ve been on the lookout for a nice lace edging knit sideways to use for a shawl. My first approach was to look through historical needlework books, and I found something nice in my old standby, the Encyclopedia of Needlework:

The instructions, as common in those old books, are pretty wordy, though:

Cast on 11 stitches.

1st needle—1 chain, knit 1 from behind, over, knit 1, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, knit 1, 1 chain.

The 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, and 16th needle, purled.

3rd needle—1 chain, knit 1 from behind, over, knit 3, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, 1 chain.

5th needle—1 chain, knit 1 from behind, over, knit 5, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, knit 1, 1 chain.

7th needle—1 chain, knit 1 from behind, over, knit 7, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, 1 chain.

9th needle—1 chain, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, knit 3, knit 2 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 2, 1 chain.

11th needle—1 chain, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, knit 1, knit 2 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 1, 1 chain.

13th needle—1 chain, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, over, knit 3 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 2, 1 chain.

15th needle—1 chain, slip 1, knit 1, pull slipped stitch over, knit 1, knit 2 together, over, knit 2 together, over, knit 1, 1 chain.

Repeat from the first needle.

So, first order of the day: draw a proper chart.

Looks easy enough, and so I made a sample using this chart:

Yup, fits pretty well with what’s on the picture above. There was one thing that in my opinion made things less than optimal, which was the ssk starting rows 9 to 15. So I moved that one in one stitch, and started those rows with a slip stitch as well. Here’s the adjusted chart:

I’m currently using this chart and a mirrored version to create a lacy shawl, but that’s for another day to write about, when there’s actually something to see.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Very pretty! This would be a fitting post to note on the thread on the Antique Pattern Library group at Yahoo about how people are using Antique Patterns. I wouldn’t have seen edging and jumped to shawl myself, at least not right away!

  2. Nicely done! Your observation on the ssk is spot on. The old way of working S1, K1, PSSO is a little bit easier to work on an edge than SSK, but the look of SSK is better, and moving it one in like you did improves visual balance, too.

    I’ve found lots of these old patterns are improved with a bit of tweaking – substituting appropriately leaning decreases for universally used K2tog units, or removing or moving some stitches to clarify line. Even early graphed patterns (as opposed to wordy prose ones) often need a bit of tightening up.

    Your shawl is sure to be killer! Please post pix as you go. -K.

    • For me the only deciding difference between S1, K1, PSSO and SSK is in which language I’m writing, since the first is still the standard left leaning decrease in German knitting patterns. So I mentally translate both versions to SSK when knitting, since I find that faster to work, and will usually use the standard version for the language in question when writing up a pattern.
      Knitting a decrease right at the beginning or end of the row just feels just wrong to me, so I try to avoid that in general.


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