Trimmings: Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie’s Knitted-Lace Samples

We included the story of Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie’s handmade knitted-lace sampler book in the May/June 2016 issue of PieceWork. We asked Frances H. Rautenbach to re-create some of Mary Elizabeth’s samples.

Frances H. Rautenbach Jan 6, 2020 - 9 min read

Trimmings: Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie’s Knitted-Lace Samples Primary Image

Top Row: Lace No. 6 (left), Lace No. 7 (right). Middle Row: Lace No. 8. Bottom: Knitted Bedspread. Photograph by George Boe.

We included the story of Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie’s handmade knitted-lace sampler book in the May/June 2016 issue of PieceWork. We asked Frances H. Rautenbach to re-create some of Mary Elizabeth’s samples, using modern terminology and abbreviations to knit the patterns as flat pieces worked back and forth on two needles. Mary Elizabeth made her sampler book in 1935, and her patterns reflect that time. The sidebar on page 9 includes a chart showing Mary Elizabeth’s notations followed by modern translations. A total of ten samples are included in the May/June 2017 and May/June 2018 issues. The final four are given here. Each sample retains the number or name that Mary Elizabeth assigned to it. —Editor

Materials

  • Garden Cotton Thread by Nazli Gelin, 100% cotton crochet thread, size 10, 306 yard (279.8 m)/50 gram (1.8 oz) ball, 1 ball of #700-02 Cream
  • Needles, size 1 (2.25 mm)

Instructions

Notes: See each pattern for gauge and sample size. Samples worked back and forth in rows. If a design is to be knitted in the round, adjustments to the stitch pattern may need to be made. On Lace No. 8 Row 8, the repeat ends with a yarnover. To accomplish this at the end of a row, I started the next row with a backward-loop cast-on.

notations-for-trimmings

The Patterns

Lace No. 6

The stockinette chevron pattern of eyelets in No. 6 forms an even body of lace rather than a lacy edging. The first row of the eight-row repeat staggers the diagonal of eyelets formed; the pattern is worked in multiples of five stitches and an eight-row repeat.

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The stitch count remains the same—five stitches per repeat—for each repeat of the pattern throughout.

Gauge: one 5-st repeat and 8 rows = ¾ inch (1.9 cm) wide and ½ inch (1.3 cm) tall.
Sample measures: 3¾ inches × 1½ inches (9.5 cm × 3.8 cm).

CO a multiple of 5 sts.
Row 1 (RS): *Yo, k3, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 2 (WS): P.
Row 3: *K1, yo, k2, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 4: P.
Row 5: *K2, yo, k1, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 6: P.
Row 7: *K3, yo, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 8: P.
Rep Rows 1–8.

Lace No. 7

The cast-on edge of this stockinette chevron pattern of eyelets forms a zigzag, which can be a lacy hem for items knitted from the bottom hem or cuff edge. Knitted in the round, this pattern will form a lacy cuff for socks, mittens, a bag, and more. The pattern is worked in multiples of thirteen stitches and a ten-row repeat.

The stitch count remains the same—thirteen stitches per repeat—for each repeat of the pattern throughout.

Gauge: one 13-st repeat and 10 rows = 1½ inches (3.8 cm) wide and 1 inch (2.5 cm) tall.
Sample measures: 3 inches × 3 inches (7.6 cm × 7.6 cm).

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CO a multiple of 13 sts.
Row 1 (RS): *Sl 1, k1, psso, k4, yo, k1, yo, k4, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 2 (WS): P.
Row 3: *Sl 1, k1, psso, [k3, yo] twice, k3, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 4: P.
Row 5: *Sl 1, k1, psso, k2, yo, k5, yo, k2, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 6: P.
Row 7: *Sl 1, k1, psso, k1, yo, k7, yo, k1, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 8: P.
Row 9: *Sl 1, k1, psso, yo, k9, yo, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 10: P.
Rep Rows 1–10.

Lace No. 8

No. 8 forms a body of lace on the bias, with a slightly wavy edging at the cast-on edge. The pattern is worked in multiples of eight stitches and a 14-row repeat.

The stitch count remains the same—eight stitches per repeat—for each repeat of the pattern throughout.

Gauge: one 8-st repeat and 7 rows = 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and ½ inch (1.3 cm) tall.
Sample measures: 4 inches × 2 inches (10.2 cm × 5.1 cm).

CO a multiple of 8 sts.
Row 1 (RS): *Yo, k6, k2tog; rep from * to end. (Each decrease [k2tog on RS rows, p2tog on WS rows] should continue in line with the decrease of the row below.)
Row 2 (WS): *P2tog, p5, yo, p1; rep from * to end.
Row 3: *K2, yo, k4, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 4: *P2tog, p3, yo, p3; rep from * to end.
Row 5: *K4, yo, k2, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 6: *P2tog, p1, yo, p5; rep from * to end.
Row 7: *K6, yo, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 8: *P2tog, p6, yo; rep from * to end (see Notes above).
Row 9: *K1, yo, k5, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 10: *P2tog, p4, yo, p2; rep from * to end.
Row 11: *K3, yo, k3, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 12: *P2tog, p2, yo, p4; rep from * to end.
Row 13: *K5, yo, k1, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Row 14: *P2tog, yo, p6; rep from * to end.
Rep Rows 1–14.

Knitted Bedspread

This is a remarkable version of the Feather and Fan pattern, creating symmetrical eyelet increases on either side of a central eyelet worked in stockinette stitch, keeping the stitch count even every row between stockinette stitch decreases, with every fourth row featuring a crisp, well-defined wave of purled decreases.

Mary Elizabeth notes: “For fine patterns which makes a desired width for a strip.” A strip being anything from a narrow fine lace edging to a bedspread (knit in a series of strips to be sewn together). The pattern is worked in multiples of twenty-three stitches and a four-row repeat.

The stitch count remains the same—twenty-three stitches per repeat for each repeat of the pattern throughout.

Gauge: one 23-stitch repeat and 8 rows = 2 inches (5.1 cm) wide and ¾ inch (1.9 cm) tall.
Sample measures: 6 inches × 2½ inches (15.2 cm × 6.4 cm).

CO a multiple of 23 sts.
K 1 row.
Row 1 (RS): [P2tog] 4 times, *[yo, k1] 7 times, yo, [p2tog] 8 times; rep from * to last 15 sts, [yo, k1] 7 times, yo, [p2tog] 4 times.
Row 2 (WS): P.
Row 3: K.
Row 4: P.
Rep Rows 1–4.

Frances H. Rautenbach lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada. She learned to knit at age four from her granny, who taught her that her job, as the first-born, was to knit socks for the family and darn them when they wore out, so she had better knit them well in the first place. Deciphering old knitting instructions has become a recent interest, and passing on what she learns remains a lifelong passion.

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