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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Royal baby shawl

It turned out the media went a bit baby crazy last couple of days or better to say many days before that.
So, today the news brought some pictures of a royal baby shawl.

the lace looks familiar. English knitting frame lace. It turns out there is a bit of history to it. At the turn of the 19-20-th century the demand for Orenburg lace in Zar's Russia was so high that some importing of the shawl from what is modern UK now has happen. Those shawl were made of wool on knitting frames. Russian folk found this automation quite interesting and has invited the English businessman to Russia. WWI has happen and there was far many a things quite far from lace at that time. Long story short frame lace from wool never made it to Russia. But the lace production existed in UK and from what I know it still does. he shawl on the picture look like a commercial shawl. and thanks to many of photographers at the event there was quite a bit of photos of the baby.
Remembering my old habits and ability to reproduce practically any Russian lace by the picture (not that rare of the skill set among Orenburg pro's when it comes to it, yep, signature lace patterns are not shown to neighbors just the same way as it was for laces made in UK).
The lace turned out to be quite simple and counts to even number of the spacing, at least if Russian lace shawl would be made that is the chart of it (reduced in size of course very much).
I looked closely at the frame shawl construction and it does look quite similar to how Orenshal makes factory made warm shawl. Of course the body is stockinette in there and the wide borders are garter stitch based. Classic Russian warm shawl is constructed differently, and the pattern does count like the classic Orenburg warm shawl lace. Made me wonder about it for quite some time and think about the lace of different regions many miles and seas apart where lace makers did not know about each others existence and yet the lace counts same and shares the same math in it's core. Shetland and Orenburg, they come from the places many miles apart. It's quite fascinating.
Yeah, baby blankets are such a nice things...

Dear Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, thank you for choosing such a nice and thoughtful (remembering 31 years ago event) baby blanket. And gifting me a nice fun evening charting. Best of luck to new parents and many wonderful days.
I did see one of my favorite pattern 'лада - леля' (the diamond with a < closer to the inner part of the shawl, 3-rd прутик) on the shawl. It does bring some memories, personal family memories, of old times of people who are no longer with us. Thank you.

PS: the shawl does have the stockinette center it s clearly visible on this photo for example
and so many others, there are plenty of the close ups taken of the little one

PS: so after someone commented that the shawl is indeed from UK and machine made. Ok, where it was made really has picked my interest. Why so? Because not I really wonder if these folk are the same or related to the English businessman that were reproducing Orenburg lace shawl from wool at the turn of the century as I've posted in this very article earlier and if these folk have anything to do with
why so? There are many notes in English about frame knitting and Russian imports specifically of ala Orenburg shawls. for example this and I fonder now if Mr. Hurt or their relatives have anything to do with Henry Rhodes imports or the technology. The name of the city where Mr Hurt's business is is mentioned in that article. Their university has the department of Slavic studies, and I already found in one of the UK museums archives an old photo made by the brother of one of the famous Shetland knitter, and that's Orenburg medallion shawl. what do you know... how interesting the lace talk turns out. I did not quite expect to find 19-th century trace in the baby blanket. I wonder if that's where the patterns come from. And that's how old these are.


  1. Baby shawl is from

  2. How did a Russian warm shawl pattern pattern ended up to be on the English item? I was wondering why did they cut diamonds and made our Russian kosoryadki look the way they are on it. Mine sure is constructed and worked differently, in my native tradition.

    First pattern on the border is lelya, I used it for years, it is centuries old in Russian crafts from wood work to weaving to knitting and to name it. The second is diamonds from kosoryadki with the solid center. For some reason they cut it to 4 holes on that shawl. We do this kind of a thing differently so the lace does not pull. Russian work this pattern differently. The 3-rd is from kosoryadi as well, the patten called derevchiki. It's all over Orenburg shawls. all 4 base patterns are.
    The center supposed to be glukhotinky, usually translates as strawberry. These folk used a different pattern as well.

    What strikes me, how traditional Russian patterns got onto an English lace item. They made them look different. Russian do not knit the lace base elements the same way they did on that shawl. But the combo does read like a Russian warm shawl.
    I wonder if they did it like what Orenshal does. They take a folk pattern and put it on their machine made item.
    Folk patterns are not copyrighted. So commercial vendors use them.
    It's good that the tradition has inspired someone. Even if it does not look like our lace anymore and they have changed the base patterns to the way how they understood them.

  3. Поздравляю Bac :) for your immediate and informative assessment of this history of all this -- there is a tiny sentence in the British press about this: (reference is in paragraph right under the photo of the parents holding the baby!)