Lace edgings

Lace: knitted (top); tatted (bottom)

Family commitments and snatches of unpacking have taken their toll on embroidery and knitting. I did reach the point of completing all the component parts of a baby coat but then I decided I didn’t like it at all and undid the whole thing! Its replacement, a simple lace edged cardigan, is nearly finished, but finding the time to make it up is something else again. The lace edging was, however, a joy and just the right sort of knitting to take on recent train journeys – the pulsating forward movement of the train helped sustain the simple pattern repeat increasing from 5 stitches to 10 and back again over 10 rows. A journey to London and then on to Kent and back was just the right amount of time to produce an edging for the whole jacket – extraordinarily for a garment for such a small child, this amounted to a bit more than 4 feet!

Knitted lace (from a Debbie Bliss pattern for a lace edged cardigan)

I did once take up a different sort of lacemaking and strangely enough this made an appearance recently, tumbling out of a box  where I’d never have thought to have looked should I actually have wanted to find it. When I made my Elizabethan jacket (blogged about here) I originally thought it should be edged with hand made lace as seen in some, though by no means all, of the original jackets. Tatting seemed the easiest way of making lace for the sort of look I wanted and once I got going and mastered that knack of the thing I just kept going until this lace was the length I wanted. With great excitement I tacked the lace to the jacket and stood back to take stock. It was quite wrong – the lace was too fussy for the jacket and the jacket told its own story much better without the lace. I put the lace to one side and for all the work involved it packed up into a very small bundle. Tucked away, I forgot about it.  Now many years later I would love to find a use for it. It would work well on a christening dress like the one I made here (for my niece 40 years ago and yet to get another outing) and I’m tempted to add it to this (except now I see it already has a lace edging!!). Perhaps I’ll just wait to see if something else suggests itself?

Tatted lace (from ‘Tatting ‘ published by Coates Sewing Group, 1970)

‘Tatting’ a Coates Sewing Group Book,1970

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  1. Posted July 29, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    The tatted lace is lovely – I’m sure you will find something it wants to live with. did you know the other name for tatting was “frivolité”?

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know about the other name – frivolité seems rather too exotic for such a simple lace when you compare it to so many others. Wonder how it got the name?

  2. Sue
    Posted August 1, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I know that train journey to London so well and have knitted many socks to the rhythm of the track.
    If you like the decreasing and increasing of the pretty lace edging, you might like to make a ‘Hitch Hiker’ scarf for yourself or a loved one. It’s worth searching for on Ravelry. An easy knit with an effective result, very attractive.
    Hope you are settling in! Sue.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      Must get shorter needles for train journeys though when visits to London become more regular – such a shame to waste all that time, especially on the through train.
      Lovely scarf – um perhaps a present for someone. Thank you for suggesting it.
      We are settling in well and have enjoyed introducing Cheltenham to Scottish relatives who just love walking into the centre of town and back.

  3. Sally Coles
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh my word! I recall that the dreaded Mrs Lee – do you remember her? – was a tatting enthusiast! (One of her favourite sayings: “your work should be so neat, you could wear the garment inside out!” – which didn’t appeal to me at all….)

    I was so bad in sewing lessons – and therefore she didn’t like me much – so I think that may have put me off for life! Perhaps I should revisit it when there are enough hours in the day.

    Your work looks beautiful, Mary, right side or inside out….

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      I try not to remember the overpowering Mrs Lee but find her maxim haunts me (without remembering it had come from her). I feel some moral compulsion for the inside of a garment to be as good as the outside and waste time never to be had again trimming seams and sewing in ends, etc. Actually, I remember you as being particularly neat and competent in sewing as in all things. I also remember one girl tacking the length of the hem of a gathered skirt and being made to undo all the stitches and do the whole thing again as the original stitches (neat and even sized) were too small for tacking! Ugh. Miraculously Mrs Lee managed not to put me off sewing!

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