The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, has an on-line digital collection of knitted works (both modern and historical, hand knit and machine knit), and artworks that feature knitting. Some entries have good descriptions of the works too – and one could spend an enjoyable few hours going through all the lovely historical knits here! For lacelovers in particular, there are dozens of lace samplers in the digital collection.
Some of the beautiful historical knits that caught my fancy were:
Fine knit European mitten, estimated late 1600’s. Very fine stitches in a brocade pattern with gold and silver threads – and excellent example of knitting craftsmanship.
Italian gloves, 1500’s. Though the image is black & white, the border patterning and the large motif on the hand are detailed and elegant. Also note that there are eyelets going up the side of the gloves.
Russian Lace shawl, 1800’s. Very fine lace stitches and an intricate grouping of geometric patterning – beautiful!
Lace Sampler, German, 1800’s. Beautiful selection of lace patterns.