September 21st, 2011
My latest petticoat trim continues to progress in an orderly fashion. This one isn’t nearly so quick to work up as the last, and by rights it should be taking even longer — I just realized that the pattern asks for size 16 thread, not size 10 like the first (crochet thread gets thinner as the numbers go higher).
Tonight, while watching reruns of Bonanza on DVD — come on, who doesn’t love Little Joe? — I finished the last four motifs and started on the first of three or four more rows that will join it all together.
If you will recall, this is the pattern from Peterson’s, 1855, that’s meant to imitate guipure — a type of embroidered thread and cut fabric lace also popular at the time, and somewhat interchangeable with crochet. I’m not sure how I feel about it, after reading the following in Miss Lambert’s 1848 treatise, My Crochet Sampler:
“The following six collars, though simple and unpretending, are in better taste and style than most productions of a similar kind, in crochet: they show themselves to be what they really are — a clever and ingenious method of producing an elegant and useful article of dress, without attempting to imitate, (which indeed would be but waste of time), lace, guipure, or any other manufacture. This description of work, if well executed, may rest on its own merits.”
Of course I plan to make all of the “following six collars” in the very near future. Though I think I will need to order some finer cotton and dig out my REALLY tiny hooks (or tambours as they were properly called in English, before the french term crochet, meaning hook, took over in the 1840s — I’ve also seen them referred to as crochet needles). I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the development of crochet in the first half of the 19th century, including other works by needlework greats Miss Lambert, Cornelia Mee, and Eléonore Riego de la Branchardière, to name a few. I’ve also found at least four new petticoat trims in crochet from the 1840s and 50s, including one worked the short way!
For now, back to my faux guipure.