The 29th pattern in Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (published 1843, first series) is a stitch pattern called Scotch Pattern. The pattern has been translated into modern terminology already by the eminent Franklin Habit in his pattern Miss Lambert’s Lace Sampler. I feel that Franklin’s words on the pattern page really say it all:
For almost as long as I’ve been a knitter, I’ve been fascinated by the history of knitting. I’ve especially enjoyed the mind-twisting process of working with the often obtuse and obfuscatory language of antique patterns. There’s a thrill, I find, in watching a project emerge row by row and knowing that other knitters, long gone, followed the same path. ~ Franklin Habit
My thoughts exactly, except without the word obfuscatory, which I don’t think I have ever used in any context!
Sample #1: My first sample of the Scotch Pattern was knit using fingering weight yarn (leftovers of Stardust to Stardust by Indigodragonfly) and 2mm needles.
Sample #2: I thought that using larger needles would help the stitch pattern stand out more, so I tried again using some leftover Knitpicks Gloss Fingering (colour name is long forgotten, perhaps Kenai?) and 3.5mm needles.
My chart interpretation of the stitch pattern is a little different than Franklin’s. His chart is exactly as it was written by Miss Lambert, whereas, I chose to change the direction that the decreases lean for a more pleasing (to my eye anyway) symmetrical shape.
The original pattern can be found here: My Knitting Book
My interpretation of the stitch pattern with both chart and written instructions can be found here: V Scotch Pattern.
The stitch pattern is a multiple of seven stitches plus one. Give it a try!
Modification: The first time I used this pattern, I misread it and purled all of the even “return” rows instead of knitting them, and this was the result:
One friend thought it looked like the DNA molecule so I have nicknamed this modification the DNA stitch. It was knit on large needles using worsted weight wool. I think the stockinette allows the shape of the lace pattern to shine through. Although it is not as Miss Lambert originally intended, I like to think she would have been pleased that the stitch pattern was used as a starting point for something different.
Please share this blog post with anyone you think would be interested in learning more about knitting from historical patterns or would like to follow along as I work my way (slowly) through Miss Lambert’s book.