My first experience of knitting lace was many years ago as a new bride making a lace scarf for my mother-in-law. I knitted it with some laceweight yarn I had spun myself using wool from my in-laws flock of Swaledale sheep. Such wool should really have been a little harsh for a scarf, but I seemed to get away with it. I had carefully selected the softest parts of the fleeces they had given me. They also farmed Herdwicks, but that really was much too harsh for such a project.

My pattern was ‘A Cosy Scarf’ from the Weldon’s Encyclopaedia of Needlework that I had found in a secondhand bookshop. In the pattern the yarn over increases were bizarrely referred to by a ‘make 1’ instruction, which today is used for invisible increases. I had no knowledge of lifelines, which I think are a relatively recent invention, nor stitchmarkers, and like most Weldon’s patterns, there was no chart. I had to blindly follow the instructions until I memorised the repeat. Nevertheless, I managed it, and was pleased with the result.

Alas, this was in the days when photos were expensive and time-consuming luxiries, so I bave no picture of my finished scarf. However, here’s a photo of the first page of the pattern, which also includes the end of the pattern from the previous page. The picture shows one of the scarf ends, and the centre length pattern:

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