My self-awarded belated birthday present has arrived! I ordered three specialty books on lace knitting, only one of which is in English. They’re not out of print, but I don’t have a separate blog category for current works, so they’ve ended up under that classification:
My first present to me is The Knitted Lace Patterns of Christine Duchrow, Vol. III, edited by Jules and Kaethe Kliot. It’s 144 pages in German, with an English foreword and symbol glossary. The patterns are presented in the same graphed format as the Volume I book I am knitting from now. This collection is a bit larger, and is mostly home-decorative items (doilies, tablecloths, tea cloths, and a smattering of counterpanes), although a few caps, stoles, collars, jabots, and a blouse are presented, too. These 100+ patterns are also quite a bit more complex than the ones in Vol. I. I’m especially interested in the large oval shaped doilies, and in a a curious appendix of hand-drawn charts, in another somewhat related notation set, but unaccompanied by as-knit photos. Plus there’s one unusual geometric insertion strip (p 86) and a photo of a lace edging (p.2 but no graph or English pattern provided), both of which may end up on my current very geometric stole. I’m very pleased with this one. The hand-drawn appendix is an appreciated lagniappe, but it is haunting me. I’m too much of a Pandora not to want to discover how those charts knit up.
Old World Treasures is 35-page leaflet in English, presenting patterns entirely in prose notation in a relatively large 12-point font (fellow bifocal victims, take heed!). The 21 patterns mostly for small motifs knit in the round (in the 40-75 row range), useful for doilies, insertions, cap backs, and the like. Three of the patterns are much larger, with one going up to just over 200 rows, and another appearing to be composed of eight smaller doilies stitched onto a larger separately made complementary center. There are motifs with 4, 6, and 8 sided symmetry. Stitch counts at the end of significant rows are given, which is a help. I’m not a big fan of prose directions, so my first step in working from this book would be to graph up anything I knit from this leaflet. Still, I am sorely tempted to attempt a “flower garden” sampler throw based on the centers of the various motifs presented. To do that I’d select either the 6-side or 8-side symmetry patterns and work them all up to the same row, then stitch them together with some plain (or simple leaf-bearing) motifs to complement their mixed complexity. There’s ample food for thought here.
The last book is Knitted Lace (Kunst-Stricken), also edited by Jules and Kaethe Kliot – a 71-page collection of patterns by Marie Niedner. This is another collection of lacy knitting patterns of German origin, and using another early charting system unique to this particular original author. The designs presented are considerably less complex than the Duchrow ones, and includes a fair number of less-lacy textures. The charts are relatively small, and are not always near the text and illustrations they accompany. The collection includes edgings and insertions (many of which are closely related to patterns in the Walker treasuries), plus a strip sampler collection, several long-armed lace fingerless mittens, a couple of counterpanes, the expected flock of doilies and table spreads, plus bonnets, a couple of lace stoles and lace/beaded drawstring purses, and a couple of blouses/jackets – one of which may be intended for a baby or toddler. One quick idea gleaned from this book is an interesting way to finish out scallop shell motif counterpanes using half-motifs to eke out the left and right edges. While there are some interesting pieces here, this book is of as immediate inspiration as are the other two. Had I been able to browse the contents prior to purchase, I might have opted for the second Duchrow volume, or two more of the Penning-edited leaflets in its place. Still, I am not disappointed, and will be working something from this book. Someday.
On an entirely different front – I’ve mailed off my No Sheep Swap package. I included a ball of one of my favorite non-wool blends, a couple of beaded stitch markers of personal significance, and a vintage pattern magazine from my collection. I hope the package gets where it is going because my downstream swap partner never wrote back to confirm her address or preferences.