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Girl's Own Book 1858 Edging


Another Curious Edging from "The Girl's Own Book"

Recent study of "The Girl's Own Book" brought to my attention this illustration of 4 variations of a line of half-closed rings. Half-closed rings were often used in vintage patterns but seen less seldom today. The top two rows show the half-closed rings joined at the sides. Row three does not. However, this lack is an error by the illustrator as the directions definitely indicate a join.

It is row four that is the most interesting. There is a set of four rings. The first three increase in size from one to the next. The fourth ring repeats the size of the second ring. Then the pattern repeats. All joins are made to the last picot in each preceding ring. And it is the instructions for the join that were described oddly.


Girl's Own Book pg 336 4 patterns




The direction is "Work 2 double stitches, 1 joining stitch to the last pearl of the preceding loop, 4 pearl stitches, 2 doubles stitches. Draw up." Joining stitch? Usually the join is indicated just as "join." Here it is considered its own stitch. But, a join is just a join. The join is made to the "last pearl of the preceding loop." Ok, loop means ring; pearl means picot. So, the join is made to the last picot of the preceding ring. So far, so good. Next, "4 pearl stitches." This instruction also harkens back to the vintage directions a la Mlle Riego. A pearl stitch is 1 double stitch picot 1 double stitch and this occurs between any other stitch count given.


Girl's Own Book pg 339 pattern


Pattern for edging 4:
Row 4
*R 3 - 2 - 2 - 3 clr leave 1/8" bare thread space.
R 3 + (join to last picot previous ring) 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 clr leave 1/8" bare thread space.
R 3 + (join to last picot previous ring) 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 clr leave 1/8" bare thread space.
R 3 + (join to last picot previous ring) 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 clr leave 1/8" bare thread space.
Repeat from * for length desired.

One last point. The directions state that the rings are closed. However, the illustrations indicate that the ring is only partially closed, i.e., half closed ring. Leaving the bare thread open in the ring does give a straight line to one side of the edging while the increase and decrease in the size of the rings creates a wavy sinuous curve to the other side.


(Lydia) Maria Child, was a well-educated progressive thinking woman who advocated women's rights and Indian rights activist, abolitionist, journalist and novelist (February 11, 1802, Medford, MA; Died: October 20, 1880, Wayland, MA) published in 1833 "An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans" This book was the first anti-slavery one to be printed in America. But her fame was an 1828 manual for homemakers. She also wrote the poem so often heard at Thanksgiving "Over the River and Through the Woods." And, of interest to tatters today, "The Girl's Own Book" in 1833. However, the first edition of "The Girl's Own Book" had no tatting. But by the time that the 1858 edition was issued, tatting had its own section.

The 1858 edition (the 18th ed.) was revised by Clara de Chatelain, 1807-1876 and published by W. Tegg & Co. UK. Curiously, the book is categorized as amusements for girls. It has a wealth of general information. The tatting section is on pages 330 through 348. The instructions are quite general but accurate as are the illustrations. Among the patterns is this curious piece of lace.

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