This book meticulously investigates the lace stitch patterns on 19th century knitted-lace sampler from the Brooklyn Museum. In the first half of the book the author, Susanna E. Lewis, painstakingly charted each of the 92 stitch patterns on the sampler and presents these charts with a photo and row by row instructions. The second half of the book is a workshop on the characteristics of knitted lace, classifications of the sampler pattern, information on how to create lace patterns and several patterns for lace garments.
I would venture to say that it's the best reference on lace knitting - at least for those of us who love getting into the technical details and dream of creating their own designs.
Nancy mentioned in the Estonian Lace class that Estonian lace knitters would learn new stitches by borrowing lace samplers from other knitters and returned the sampler with a new knit stitch added on the end. Although this sampler isn't from Estonia, perhaps it was created through a similar tradition.
I checked the usual used book sources and was shocked at the prices listed. I suggest checking it out from a public library or a knitting guild.