Last weekend I taught a day of lace (History, Methods and Styles of Lace followed by Lace Edgings: Before, During, and After) to a gung-ho group of students. One of them brought a surprise: a box of nineteenth-century knitted lace stockings.
I thought you might like to see them, and though I'm still learning to love the camera that lives in my new telephone I was able to take some tolerable photographs during our intermezzo.
They are family pieces. The knitter (who prefers to remain anonymous) says they were made by her great-grandmother (who was married in 1819) for her grandmother–a sweet and all-too-rare example of a knitter's handiwork being lovingly preserved and properly documented.
All are white cotton. There are knee-highs and thigh-highs. The knee-highs have ribbed tops.
The thigh-highs were obviously extra-special: turned-over picot hems, lacy tops, and then a row of eyelets just below for threading a ribbon tie.
The leg patterns were beautifully varied and the workmanship was impeccable.
And how to do you make a gorgeous gift like this even more special? You knit the recipient's initials and the date into it.
Notice that the initials are upside-down, just under the fancy leaf-lace top. I wonder if this was intentional (so that the wearer would see them when she pulled them on) or whether the knitter was halfway through when she realized what she'd done; and then decided she was absolutely not going to start over again. Hey, it happens.
Nineteenth-century knitters...knitters just like you and me.
Less Impressive Socks
The new Knitty is out, and as ever my column is in it. This time, by coincidence I wrote about a Victorian sock. A kid's sock. A flat kid's sock. A flat kid's sock knit from an 1870 pattern I just absolutely hated.
Blow Me, Thou Winter Wind
And the crabbiness continues over at the Lion Brand Yarn blog, where I wrote about spring, or the lack thereof; and drew a spring chicken.
Is this any way for a grown man to make a living?