Trimmings: A Sample from Piecework

May 11, 2008
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Designer: Various
Published: May 12, 2008
Technique: Borders, Edgings, Lace
Skill Level: Intermediate

An ongoing element of PieceWork is a column named “Trimmings.” The column, which runs periodically, offers a collection of patterns, charts, and instructions that have been gleaned from old magazines and books that are no longer generally available. The introduction to the column explains, “Many of the patterns and instructions for these small needlework articles are worded exactly as they appeared in the original publication. Use them as they are or adapt them to other techniques—but do have fun with them!”

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EricaP wrote
on Jan 23, 2009 2:00 PM
I found my error - in row two. I was focusing so much on my P2togb that I was completely missing the yarnover! Please ignore my previous comment.
EricaP wrote
on Jan 23, 2009 12:51 PM
I'm trying to knit the Lace (Mod. 8) pattern from the Trimmings pdf, but every time I get to the third row I'm two stitches short. Am I doing something wrong? I've started 4 or 5 times over, and just can't come up with enough stitches for my 3rd row. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
sissy wrote
on Oct 17, 2008 11:12 PM

Yarnsnob, which of EZ's books has the pattern for "EZ's garter baby blanket that grows into a shawl for MOM by reblocking" that you mentioned?

SusanB@5 wrote
on Sep 26, 2008 9:59 AM

I am with those from downunder... being a kiwi in the US charts except for fairisle or intarsia are confusing! I get too lost... I end up having them written out for me so I can understand and then everything seems a lot easier :)

MarcelaL wrote
on Sep 23, 2008 12:43 PM

Please!!!! I need patterns in español, I don´t understand english

I love yours patterns, but I don´t understand how knitt their.

Barbara@2 wrote
on Sep 16, 2008 11:37 AM

I am so happy to find no charts!  I learned to knit using these type of instructions.  The charts, too, are confusing for me.

Thank you.


Mrs. Lambe wrote
on Sep 13, 2008 6:38 PM

I saw these trimmings and was reminded of my grandmother and the fine knitting and crocheting she did with very small needles.  I have one of her ivory crochet hooks but no knitting needles.  Some of these look like they would make into wonderful Christmas ornaments.  What fun!!

Yarnsnob wrote
on Aug 13, 2008 8:24 AM

Being the scientific type, I'll be charting the written instructions.  I love being able to glance at a chart and see the logic of a stitch pattern.  It's especially useful when the stitch count changes, and makes for fewer errors.  When there is one, it's certainly easier to spot.  Normally, I find that the errors in a pattern show up in the written instructions.  Call me crazy, but it is certainly a lovely pattern and I intend to use it as an edging for EZ's garter baby blanket that grows into a shawl for MOM by reblocking.

LadyKRose wrote
on Aug 9, 2008 9:22 AM

Learning to knit lace from charts took me a while.  After 3.5 years, I had an "aha!" moment and all the difficulty vanished.  I still have to work carefully, but it is now so much easier with the charts.  

I have an old [1947 published] crochet book with many edgings like these.   I had to make my Aunt a set of edgings for her towels as the price of getting the book.   Seemed like a high price for a 12 year old.   But, I still have the book.  Working from it is like going back to the stone age, at times.   I like charts and the crochet ones really simplify the directions.

JeanR@2 wrote
on Aug 8, 2008 1:59 PM

knittipina  .. I agree with you.. charts, for those who are vision impaired are not easy.  I avoid patterns with charts. They say some patterns are too complicated not to use charts. But I have many MANY complicated patterns that are written out.  I also find more errors are made with charts.  But, that's my opinion.. Down with Charts! *chuckle*

We should start a non-chart group!

jlowe74269 wrote
on Aug 6, 2008 9:03 PM

Peg...If you love lace edgings and lace insertions, you've got to get this book....Barbara Abbey's Knitting Lace available from Schoolhouse Press.  All trims in varying stitch widths!  The designs are "written" but in symbols...makes for easy reading and a compromise between written and chart lovers.  

DarkLordsPet wrote
on Aug 4, 2008 8:53 PM

I prefer having a graphical representation of what I'm doing rather than have to slog through and decrypt a string of letters and numbers. In a flash, I can see the correlation between the holes in my lace and the Os of the chart, or the /s telling me to blend two stitches such that they point to the right, but a block of text makes no picture that correlates with the fabric in my hands. Yeah, I can do written directions, but why bother?

Marion wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 4:19 PM

I, too, would rather have written directions at any time with any needlecraft than diagrams.  I have to follow the diagram and write it out first before I even start with the needles or hook, so it might as well be in writing to begin with.   Marien Martin,  Minnesota

Marion wrote
on Aug 1, 2008 4:19 PM

I, too, would rather have written directions at any time with any needlecraft than diagrams.  I have to follow the diagram and write it out first before I even start with the needles or hook, so it might as well be in writing to begin with.   marien marting,  Minnesota

KathyH@2 wrote
on Jul 26, 2008 1:17 PM

I am crochetting a collar with a3.25 hook and this metallic thread. The crochetted piece keeps twisting while I'm working on it. Is this supposed to happened. I've never used thread before or a small hook.

on Jul 18, 2008 3:39 PM

I have similar to these in my mother and grandmother's old patterns.I love them,because they add to sweaters,shorts,and skirts.Giving them new life and purpose.

Celia wrote
on Jul 15, 2008 8:31 AM

I loved it. Just what I needed to renew a twin set

peg wrote
on Jul 8, 2008 1:31 PM

One more thing about these trimmings:  I've been a Piecework subscriber for forever, and actually have the article on the trimmings in my file, cut out of the magazine.  Made 2 silk scarves w/ the widest one.  But also if you like this stuff, you'll love the book Lace from the Attic by Nancie Wiseman, because it's all Victorian knitted lace patterns for edgings which she put into modern notation + charts for each one.  Incredible stuff, if that's what you're into (as I am).  I'd love to know where to find more edgings at about 25-35 stitches wide, because that's about right for my scarves.  I always check my Piecework, hoping for more!

CeliaC wrote
on Jul 8, 2008 12:19 PM

And yes, thanks for the free pattern that is versatile for many uses. I remember my great grandma making her own lace to stitch to her pillowcases... it was quite a luxury then... as slow as I work, it still will be!!

CeliaC wrote
on Jul 8, 2008 12:14 PM

I'm with the Aussies! I'd rather read the pattern than try to keep track with a chart... the pattern is just more straightforward.

peg wrote
on Jul 7, 2008 10:13 PM

RhondaR asked what kind of thread to use for these edgings.  I've been making lace scarves with them.  I use worsted silk, or Halcyon Yarn's 2/5 Gem silk twist, with size 6 and up needles.  I put picots on the straight edge so it won't be plain.  But they are like edgings on steroids!  I either put another lace on each end when I'm done, or cast on and bind off with picots.  People have been loving them, as they seem to be completely unique.  There are lots of lace scarves, but they are all symmetrical.  These are the only asymmetrical ones I have ever seen, and at 6' long they are perfect for our Southern California weather.  I'm making one in worsted silk+alpaca for an English friend, who'll be able to wear it as a spring & fall scarf in the UK.

knittipina wrote
on Jul 6, 2008 11:16 AM

I'm one of those chart-challenged people.  I love that the patterns are fully written out.  Never mind it takes a while to decipher, but at least I make very few mistakes this way :)  Lace knitting can be frustrating but it challenges as well.  

Squiggywigg wrote
on Jul 2, 2008 5:59 AM

I agree with TreacyL and Anny: tho I CAN read charts for fairisle, I find it rather confusing 4 lace.  I'm gonna have a go when i've completed three UFO lace scarves ...

anny wrote
on Jun 18, 2008 2:13 AM

Oh these are beautiful, and I agree with the other Aussie, it looks right, seeing no charts. I'm sure the charts are useful but they confuse the heck out of me. I'm much happier with the whole k2tog,psso blah blah stuff. Makes me feel clever that I can read this bizarre language and understand it. It makes up for failing Japanese at uni! I can't read that language but at least I can read this!

JaneanE wrote
on Jun 14, 2008 4:28 PM

I am thankful to have a free pattern that is versital enough to be used with whatever project I am doing, and not confined by someone else's vision.  I remember when you paid for every pattern you got and there was less instruction then.  

Thanks for keeping the craft alive in the new age.

CherylK@2 wrote
on Jun 3, 2008 6:01 PM

Response to RhondaR: I really like knitting this type of lace with Shetland weight (like Jamieson & Smith). It's fun to attach to a baby blanket, like Elizabeth Zimmerman's in Knitting Workshop, and most of these edgings can be created and attached to a blanket or sock top  at the same time by knitting the last stitch of the lace pattern with a stitch you have picked up from the blanket or sock. If you knit the ribbing of the sock long enough, then attach a lace edging to it, the lace will frill around the ankle when the top is cuffed. Girlie.

TreacyL wrote
on Jun 2, 2008 5:50 AM

lovely edging thank you...this is my kind of pattern as in OZ this is how our patterns are happy NO CHART  

: > : >

tartttstuff from down down under heheh!

elizaduckie wrote
on Jun 1, 2008 10:03 PM

Check out  Cindy is translating and making available online a group of out of copyrite lace patterns -- also available as a purchased card package and also as downloadable printed cards -- and she has a handy key that might help anyone trying to knit these.

MidoriW wrote
on May 31, 2008 9:41 PM

Responding to RhondaR :  Knitted lace can be made with a variety of yarn - from thick to thin.  Try a yarn you find easy to work with, and choose some needles that seem appropriate for its "size".  I find working any lace pattern much easier if I have very sharp needles.  Though I enjoy knitting with my older wooden needles, most of those are not the best tool for knitting lace.  Addi turbo lace needles are very good, and I really like Knitpicks interchangables. Bryspun is one of my favorite needle tips for lacework because of its nice little "scoop" at the tip, which makes it easier to complete some of the less usual maneuvers.  If when you get started, it seems too hard to get the needle tips into your loops and execute the directions, try a larger and sharper needle, or a looser hand.  I happen to knit very loosely as a kindness to carpal tunnel prone hands, but the sharp point is essential.  Good luck.   And have a blast. Midori

ShariJ wrote
on May 31, 2008 3:22 PM

Notes are at the top left corner of page 2 of the PDF download.

Camilla WV wrote
on May 31, 2008 10:05 AM

Refers to abbreviations as being in the notes.  aren't any notes.....   There are some which are so old they are new to me.  n??  o??

ElizabethS wrote
on May 31, 2008 12:10 AM

much easier with charts i agree but then it dosent take too long to  work them out if only i ciukd find the correct chart page i had previousely on the web

Hummer15 wrote
on May 30, 2008 9:15 PM

I've never tried these before. So is it done with thread? Or a fine yarn? Could  we please get a thread or yarn size?


Lorene wrote
on May 28, 2008 7:21 PM

What, no charts?  I have to chart it myself?