A Treasured Knitted-Lace Sampler Book

Wearing white gloves is a requirement as one respectfully opens the time-worn browning pages of this fragile book. Within, handknitted lace patterns are carefully recorded stitch by stitch and have been preserved for over eighty years. The penmanship remains clear, conveying the step-by-step instructions to replicate the treasured samples attached with decaying adhesive.

knitted-lace sampler book

A few of the pages from Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie’s carefully crafted knitted-lace sampler book. She made the book in 1935. Collection of PieceWork. All photographs by Joe Coca.

Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie, born February 18, 1913, in Delta, Colorado, learned to knit in 1933, “a skill she enjoyed and loved the rest of her life,” says her daughter Patricia Dotson of Clifton, Colorado. In 1935, Mary Elizabeth handcrafted this sample book of knitted-lace edgings and patterns. Patricia remembers that her mother often “embellished linens and clothing with beautiful knitted lace.”

Although Mary Elizabeth Greenwall Edie died on June 25, 1997, her knitting prowess lives on. We are grateful to Patricia Dotson for the gift of this family heirloom. While we are in the process of developing ideas for conserving and using Mary Elizabeth’s book, we thought it fitting to share her knitted-lace legacy with PieceWork readers in our annual Lace issue.


PieceWork May/June2016, page 56

Be sure to see PieceWork’s 10th Annual Lace Issue which features re-created samples from Mary Elizabeth’s book.

Check out other forms of lace in our 9th Annual Lace Issue!

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