Just before Christmas my beloved sister gave me another book for our Victorian knitting book collection: ‘Treasures in Needlework’ by Mrs Warren and Mrs Pullan, published in 1855. It contains instructions for many homewares and little clothing accessories in various types of needlework, including knitting. Wonderfully, it contains illustrations for most of the projects, so it is a delight to peruse it. Of course, I itched to have a go at making many of the things it contains. All crafters know this itch. In this instance I wasn’t able to resist, and had soon cast on to try out the stitch pattern for a ‘Bed Quilt In Stripes’. The illustration showed a complex leaf motif that I haven’t seen in any other patterns, and I was intrigued to see if it looked as good in actual knitting as it does in the illustration:


It didn’t! There are yarn overs and decreases in every single row, and whereas in many patterns this works, in this pattern it made the leaf motif too squat, and the lace holes around it too small. I wondered if adding in resting rows, thereby doubling the length of the stitch pattern might improve it. It did!

Then I decided to replace the solid areas between the leaves. While they might work in a bed cover, I am thinking of using this pattern to form a lace curtain for the main bathroom in my Victorian home. So I’ve replaced the solid areas with lines of lace holes.

I like the resulting stitch pattern, and might actually use it to knit the envisaged curtain. However, I’m using Size 60 cotton on 1.5mm needles, so that could turn into a never-ending project. Have I got the necessary time, patience and will to do it?

3 thoughts on “A Victorian Lace Adventure

    1. Thank you Christine! As long as I take regular rests, I’m now finding that I can manage knitting with relative ease once I’ve cast on. :o)

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