Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Victorian Lace Today

More historical knitting! About 3 weeks ago I checked Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today out of the Library. I love this book beyond all reason. Jane Sowerby draws on several historical sources of knitting patterns, offering as much biographical information as is available on the early knit wear designers. I like to think these ladies are as saucy as today's Harlot and co. The book shares a source with Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks-- Weldon's. It is so interesting to read about the trends in clothing and knitwear as the Industrial Revolution spread across Europe.

This book is ideal for your average lace loving history nerd. Plenty of informative text (which I have now read twice!) as well as tons of gorgeous patterns. Of the dozens of patterns in the book, there is only one I would not knit, and that is based solely on my prejudice against bobbles.

The patterns are marked easy, intermediate, and experienced. I decided to cast on for one of the easy shawls. I do have Shetland Triangle on the needles as well, but I really wanted a confidence building exercise in lace knitting. I know the Shetland triangle is supposed to be pretty easy, but the Shoulder Shawl in Syrian Pattern from VLT is downright simple.
Plus, I have an amazing new yarn to play with, which is always fun. Thanks to Saviche's birthday present to me, I have 925 yards of Fiesta Yarns Ballerina lace, an Aplaca-Tencel blend. I love it! So soft, so pretty and colorful. Because the pattern is so simple, I chose a more colorful yarn to add some visual interest.
This is my plane/vacation knitting as I head off to the Pacific Northwest tonight.

This weekend we did a bit of historical tourism here in SF, visiting the mission for which the city is named. It just so happens to be 5 blocks from a fabulous yarn store and 3 blocks from an amazing ice cream shop! I bought this lace yarn with my gift certificate, enjoyed a cone of salted caramel ice cream, and took in the history!

The Mission Saint Francis de Assis (aka the Dolores Mission), San Francisco


Stacy said...

Thanks for the wee bit of a history lesson friend.... wonderful!

Sarah said...

That yarn is beautiful, perfect for lace. I can't wait to see the scarf when you get back. I have a lace project too that you have not seen yet. I am not ready to show it to anybody.