Saturday, September 14, 2013

Natura Exenterata or Nature Unbowelled

This is the earliest book I know of that gives patterns for netting.  Natura Exenterata was published in 1655.  Some say it was written by "Lady Alethea Talbot & Countesse of Arundel & Surry & the first Countesse of England."  The portion of the book that was digitized was unclear as to the author.  I was excited to find netting patterns this early, over 350 years ago.  The type setting makes it a bit tricky to read since most of the time the lower case letter "s" looks like the letter "f."  I had to keep reminding myself that the word that looked like "firft" was really "first" and that the word "ftitches" was really "stitches."

  1. To make Network called the Broad Arrow and the Diamond (page 407)
  2. To make Net-work of the Skallop-shell (page 408)
  3. The Knotwork like Dice (page 409)
  4. To make Network like seven Eyes (page 409)
  5. The Net-worke of the small Diamonds (page 410)
  6. To make the great Loosings (page 410)
  7. Loosings of eight stitches (page 412)
  8. To knit Net-work like Glass-windows (page 414)
  9. How to knit Net-work of the Harts (page 415)
  10. The Knotted work of the Flese (page 415)
  11. A Knot-work like Honey-combs (page 415)
  12. The Knot-work of Lossinges (page 416)

I'm still not sure I got them all correct.  If you find something I transcribed incorrectly, please let me know, and I will fix my mistakes.

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On November 3, 2012 I discussed the single netting pattern contained in the Manual of Knitting by Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin - a jupon.  Tony and I commented about the use of netting as underwear and vests.  I was intrigued by the concept but have not yet made the time to create such a garment.

I got an email from Tony this week. He said:
I do a lot of walking in our neighborhood and thought that this reflective vest was a good idea but way too expensive.  I made this vest . . . using one 85' continuous strand of day-glo paracord.  No ends showing as in the ad.  Now they can see me coming.  

Thank you, Tony, for the photos and the idea.

Today I spent 4 hours demonstrating how to net lace at The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts.  This is supposed to be the largest fair in the Northeast, and it is big. I joined with some friends from the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), and we all dressed in pre-1600-style clothing.  It was fun to see the weaving, embroidery, and drop spinning that was going on.  Of all the people that passed by, only one person asked if I was netting.  I really should have some kind of prize to give to people like that.

I'll be demonstrating with the New England Lace Group on September 16, 18, 23, 25, and 28 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the New England Center, and on the September 21 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  If you're in the area, I'd love to have you stop by and ask me what I'm netting.  

1 comment:

Tony said...

To make the safety vest I used a 3" wide gauge.
I divided 100" of paracord onto 2 needles. One needle serves as the tail of cord that is necessary in circular/tubular netting.
I netted a tube 11 meshes (10 meshes plus the drop knot) wide and 7 meshes deep.
I next tied into six meshes (leaving 4 untied) and tied a second row into these six. For the third row I tied into the first 2 meshes using the 3" wide gauge. Tied 2 meshes using a 1 1/2" wide gauge and the last 2 meshes using the 3" gauge.
There is now a flat panel of netting with the needle that served as the tail on the left side and the working needle on the right.
Using the 3" gauge I made 5 rows (2 meshes wide) on either side, and then tied into the corresponding meshes that were left untied when you started the flat netting. Going back and forth between the body of netting and the strap.
Any of these measurements can be changed to fit your needs. This one will fit me (size large) and a light winter jacket.