Monday, November 11, 2013

First Book of Modern Lace Knitting

First Book of Modern Lace Knitting by Marianne Kinzel is a booklet of lace patterns that is "modern" in the sense that it was written in the 1950's.  The designs are all very pretty, and while there aren't motifs that you can easily move to another design itself, with  yarn selection  you can adapt what the patterns were meant for (tablecloth - shawl etc.)  

An incredible feature of this book is that it contains charts!  I have found chart inclusion to be rare in older lace books.  There are also instructions on how to read charts in three different languages, English, French and German.  

"Knitted lace is, of course,, not by any means as valuable as a fine pillow lace, a needlerun or needlepoint lace, the latter being considered the most exquisite of all time.  But in these crowded days of our modern age, very few women have the long leisure hours required to learn and practice the noble art of true lace-making."  

The patterns in the book are separated into three sections based on their construction.  For Designs knitted on two pins (needles), in the round, and square.  Some of my favorite designs include:
  • "Celandine" Design - a series of chair backs, tray cloths and luncheon mats.  The lace is a simple diamond design with a circle in the center of each panel.  There are even instructions to modify the pattern to suit your personal needs!  
  • "Coronet" Design - a doily that reminds me slightly of the one I knit to test out whether I liked lace knitting.  This has a flower at the center surrounded by eyelets with a gathered crochet bindoff at the edge.  
  • "Valentine Design" This set is sweet because it contains hearts!  There is a Cheval Set (which I'm not sure what that is...)  
  • "Azalea" Design - Luncheon Set.  I love this because it looks like a pattern of a multipettled flower or a a pile of overlapping leaves. 
On closer inspection, most of the flat patterns come with modification instructions.  If only this were something we saw more in contemporary, downloadable patterns!