Friday, June 5, 2009

Knitting lace

Do you guys know about the 1884 Knitted Lace Sample Book? I love this blog. Vintagekathleen, its author, found a scrapbook of lace patterns and samples in a used bookstore and she's posting entries from it with photographs and instructions. And her knitting is perfection, so all the samples look really pretty.

Every time I see a new entry I think not only about all the work she's putting into this for the benefit of other knitters, but about what knitting was like in 1884. I also think a lot about the woman who collected all the news clippings and patterns from friends to make up the book in the first place.

Back then, she'd have been knitting decorative things for her home as well as trimming for her clothes, and her children's clothes, don't you think? There would have been a lot of things to make and mend or replace, and perhaps even gifts to create, and over time a longing to keep it all fresh. She was probably excited by all the new possibilities presented by each pattern she found, the way knitters are now, even though today we knit so much less from necessity.

Unless, you know, you count satisfying an obsession a necessity. And I do!

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