It’s been a very long time since I last posted on this blog but I was recently inspired to revisit Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (First Edition, 1843) again. Inspiration came from several angles and had me thinking about Miss Lambert and the materials she would have had on hand for knitting. If you are new to the blog, I thought I would share the details of this project before I get started again. If you are not new, here is a little reminder!
The MKB Project
The examples of knitting, contained in the following pages, have been selected with the greatest care, – many are original, – and the whole are so arranged to render them comprehensible even to a novice in the art.Miss Lambert, My Knitting Book, Preface (1843)
Miss Lambert’s My Knitting Book (First Edition) is one of the earliest published knitting manuals in English. You can view the book in it’s original format at Archive.org (click here). When I first started looking at historical knitting patterns I was struck by the fact that this book has no illustrations. This made knitting the patterns especially challenging for me given my low level of knowledge of Victorian knitting terminology and Victorian fashion. Case in point, muffatees and sontags!
This book is a puzzle that I couldn’t resist!
The copy I usually work with can be accessed through Project Gutenberg (click here). It’s a bit easier to read than the original version; however, I like to go back to the original now and then to appreciate the type set, and the layout of this book.
To date, I have worked through the first thirty-two of Miss Lambert’s patterns from this book. True to Miss Lambert’s claims, they are well written and fairly easy to follow once you have attuned your eye to the language of the day. I have only found one pattern to be incomprehensible. Information about the previous patterns that I have worked up can be found in earlier blog posts following the format MKB – ##. I am a volunteer editor for the book on Ravelry and set up pattern pages, add photographs, and blog posts links to each pattern as I progress through the book.
I hope to one day have a sample for each pattern in the book available along with a “translation” of the pattern into modern knitting terminology. There are 107 pages of patterns in the book, so I’m 45% of the way!
I am picking up where I left off, part way through Twelve Patterns for D’Oyleys, Tidies, etc. My next post will include some chatter about IX – Fish Bone Pattern (page 49), photographs of the pattern and a re-written pattern in modern knitting language complete with a chart.