Building on History: Ogee Lace Stockings

Katrina King’s elegant “Ogee Lace Stockings,” featured in the January/February 2018 issue of PieceWork, draw their inspiration from the past. The lace stockings feature a knitted-stitch pattern based on a centuries-old Persian design. Here’s Katrina to tell us more.

As knitters (or crafters of any sort), we learn from those who came before us. For some crafts, I can remember watching my great-grandmother, my grandmothers, and my mother work magic with string. At times, I wish I had paid more attention to those unofficial lessons and had written down or somehow recorded the information held in their hands. Thankfully, the Victorians did some recording through the Weldon’s newsletters published in London in the 1880s with patterns for all sorts of different crafts, including knitting.

Lace Stockings

The delicate lace stockings designed by Katrina King will be perfect to wear with your dancing shoes. Photos by George Boe.

Our generation does not have Weldon’s, but we are blessed to have Barbara G. Walker. Whenever someone asks me “What is your favorite stitch guide?” the answer is her series of guides—First Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns (all published by Schoolhouse Press; www.schoolhousepress.com). Each volume includes close-up photographs and tidbits of history about the stitch elements’ origins, and the volumes cover several types—from cables to textures and mosaics to my favorite, lace.

This particular pattern is called Ogee Lace. Ogee patterning originated in Persia, coming from the tomb of Cyrus the Great (circa 576–530 BCE), who founded the Persian Empire. It is composed of two arcs that flow in opposite directions similar to an S-shaped (sigmoid) curve. Ogee arch patterning began in the Middle East but is a major component of English Gothic architecture dating to the thirteenth century. In Walker’s book, the Ogee pattern is an overall lace pattern. For this project, I separated out the main portion of the pattern to create an hourglass effect that travels up the inside as well as the outside of the stocking legs.

—Katrina

In addition to fiber arts, KATRINA KING is passionate about cake decorating. When not tangled in laceweight yarn or covered in sugar, she can be found teaching at her local yarn shops and conveying her daughters to various activities in Fort Collins, Colorado. Visit www.threadeddreamstudio.com to see more of her creations.

To knit Katrina King’s “Ogee Lace Stockings,” download a copy of the January/February 2018 issue of PieceWork. For more vintage knitting patterns, try making one of Weldon’s Practical NeedleWork’s mysterious projects without an illustration, such as “Weldon’s Mystery Project: Double-Knitted Heels.”

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