Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Lady's Assistant in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work

In hunting for netting books online, I found several by Mrs. Gaugain.  The Lady's Assistant in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work, second volume, is a sequel to the one I mentioned last week.  It was originally published in 1842.  Apparently in 1842 she published both books.

Besides knitting and crochet patterns, it contains the following netting patterns:

  • Long Net Purse, called Double Netting (item 121, page 252)
  • Small Net Neckkerchief (item 122, page 253)
  • Very Beautiful Long Net Purse, with Gold Beads (item 136, page 290)
  • Another Very Beautiful Long Net Purse (item 137, page 292)
  • Diced Net Purse, in Twist and Beads (item 142, page 295)
  • Net Cuffs, in Berlin Wool and Silk (item 194, page 307)
  • Very Light and Elegant Square Net Dress Shawl (item 166, page 365)
  • Simple and Pretty Black Net Scarf (item 170, page 371)

This book also contains:

  • Directions for guiding the proper sizes of Silks and Meshes used for Purses in Net Work (page 415)
  • Remarks on Netting (page 416) 
    • [comments on the direction (lengthwise or widthwise) to make curtains for the best result when they are hung and how to block finished netting]
    • Make a Stitch in Netting
    • To Take-in or Diminish
    • Bead Stitch [how to add beads to netting]
    • Netting with Shade Silk

In the process of creating the videos for my Circular Netting Class, I needed to make more hot pads.  This one was a revision of a pattern I had already made for this class.

Flower - Hot Pad

This was a new one.  I realized that I had not made any simple hot pads that demonstrated how to decrease.  So this one fills that need. 

Tops - Hot Pad

I finished the taping done for several of the videos.  Now I just need to pull the pieces together to make coherent videos that teach the skills needed in circular netting.  At least progress is finally being made on the videos.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Old Netting Patterns and Books Now Online

I've looked for books containing netting patterns ever since my mother gave me a copy of Nelson Netting Patterns, Beautiful New Advanced Doilies (supplement #3) for Christmas in the 1960s.   I was sorely disappointed when I found no books and very few patterns dealing with netting in the library of the college I attended.

I was elated when I discovered old netting books on-line in a digitized format.  I downloaded all I could find but never had took the time to look through the files very thoroughly.  It was one of those projects I was always going to do.  A few months ago, I don't remember why, I started looking through one such file.  The book was published in 1847.  I discovered, to my amazement, that there were drawings of nine netting stitches.  Stitches I knew!  Some of these stitches like Plain Net, Grecian Net, Leaf Netting, Dotted Net, and Honeycomb Net I had learned from my grandmother.  Others like Round Net, Open Plain Net, Single Diamond Net, Diamond of Five Stitches, and French Ground Net I had learned from more modern books.

As I continued browsing through the file, I saw patterns for items I had wanted to make but had not had the time to design. Looking through other files I had downloaded to my computer, I realized that I needed to create a listing of which patterns were found in which books.

I decided to enter them in this blog so others could also find the netting patterns they wanted.  Besides a list of netting patterns found in each book, I will include the title, author, publication date, and link where I found the book.

Here's the first book.  It had to be first.  It was the one that captured my attention and made me decide to make this list.

The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy Designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work by Mrs Gaugain, 1847.  It was also published in 1840, 1842, and 1845.  The patterns for netting were the same, regardless of when the book was published.

Netting patterns and stitches found in this book:

Long Net Purse for a Lady
Long Net Purse for a Lady (different pattern)
Round Netting for a Gentleman's Long Purse
Honeycomb Netting for Veil
Honeycomb Netting for a Veil, Purse, &c
Grecian Net for a Veil
Very Pretty Long Grecian Net Purse for a Lady
Single Diamond Netting
Diamond of Five Stitches for a Long Purse
Leaf Netting
Raised Net
Dotted Net
French Ground Net
Scollop for Borders of Veils, Collars, &c
Another Scollop for Border
A Netted Garter
Netted Mitten of Purse Silk
A Pretty Fringe for the above Mitten
Cravat of White and Blue Wool
Net Scarf
Flat Net Scarf
A Long Net Purse of Two Colours, united in Points
Very Handsome Long Net Purse

In case you think I have forgotten about my Circular Netting class, I have not.  I finally made the first two videos and checked to see if all the pattern instructions were ready.  They were.  If you want to see what videos and patterns will be included in the class, you can look at the class syllabus.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I'm still learning about netting from my grandmother

My grandmother, the one who taught me to net, died over 30 years ago.  However, she is still teaching me new ideas in netting.

Several years after her death, I asked one of my aunts, who still had many of her doilies, if she would be willing to take the doilies and photocopy them on a black background.  She did.  I filed those photocopies, since I did not have the time then to read all the patterns off the photocopies, write them down, and make them.  Over the years I have pulled them out and created the doilies when I've needed to make a doily for one of my many nieces and nephews as they got married.

A couple of weeks ago I realized that I did not have any doilies already made that used one of my grandmother's patterns and that there was a nephew getting married shortly.  So I pulled out the rough draft approximation of the instructions of one of Grandmother's doilies.  The photo included with the instructions looked like this.

I started making the doily, correcting the instructions as I went.  It was not until I reached the end of the split stitches that I realized they were supposed to be centered under the break between the increase stitches, not under the increase stitches, where I had placed them.

If it had been one of my patterns, I would have just continued and given the new pattern a different name.  However, since this present to my nephew and his wife was to be a copy of one of my grandmother's doilies, I could not do that.

I had two choices.  I could begin again and do it correctly, or I could cut off all the split stitches I had done and start again two rows after the increase stitch.

I cut off the mistake.

Now I need to decide what to do with 2 yards of cast-off netting; throw it away or attach it to something.

It took me an extra day to finish the doily, but it followed her pattern.

And what did she teach me?  Well, the stitch between the center and the split stitch is either a new stitch that I have to name,

or a combination of a decrease stitch and an increase stitch that I had never seen her put together before.

I also had to figure out a way to end the split stitches so that the proper stitch would be skipped in the next round.

I'm not sure how Grandmother did it, but I figured out one way to do it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Netting Bag updated

Prototypes are made to be revised.  Netting projects are no different from any other creative endeavor.  A few week ago I showed a version of a net belt and a bag attached to it to hold medical equipment.

Since the beginning of August there have been a few changes made.  Here are some photos of the latest version.

As you can see, the net belt is gone.  It stretched too much when the weight of the medical device was in place, sending the bag down past my friend's knees.

Changed are some of the mesh stick sizes.  The actual bag is still made with a 1" mesh, but the upper loops that the belt goes through are now made with a 2" mesh.   The number of rounds in the height of the bag has also changed.  The place where the rounds change to rows is shorter than the device.

The material used to make the bag has also changed.  The cotton cord first used was not durable enough for the amount of use the bag experienced.  The cord broke within days after it was made.  I had some black parachute cord on hand and decided to try using that.  It worked very well.

At last report, my friend stated, "I want you to know that ... what I am doing ...[determines] where I place the bag along the belt. While making my bed, for example, I slide the bag behind my back. While just sitting, I have it by my side."

It seems the bag is working and meets her needs.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Change the netting, just a little bit

I can do the same instructions over and over, but that doesn't mean that I will.  Sometimes it is more fun to start off with a set of instructions and change just a little of the instructions and suddenly you have something new.  Sometimes the changes happen on purpose and sometimes changes just happen.

I've been making small, circular pieces of netting for my next netting class - Circular Netting.  One of the first things I created with one of the small, circular pieces of netting was a bookmark.

When I decided to make it in color instead of white thread, I started with the same instructions.  After all, I was going to check to make sure I had written it correctly.  I made the circular part and started on the rectangular length of the bookmark.  I was sitting in the library, visiting with members of our knitting group.  I realized I had been netting for a while and wondered how close I was to changing stitches.  I thought I knew how many rows of plain netting I needed to do before I changed to a different stitch, but, when I looked at the instructions and counted the rows, I had done more plain netting than I was supposed to do.

Now I had a choice to make.  Did I want to follow the pattern exactly (which would mean untying each knot, one at at time, for several rows), or did I want to end up with a different bookmark pattern than the one I had started to make.

I decided I did not want to untie that many knots.

I ended up with a new pattern and a slightly different look.  Which do you like better?