2) Assuming "Giselle" is a traditional thread item, yes.
3) Assuming the scabbard is not a traditional thread item, yes.
Yes to both.Pattern items do not have True Patterns of their own
A Thread/Magic item is its own True Pattern
Yes.Test Knowledge = Questions
Research Knowledge = Answers
Key Knowledge = Questions and Answers
Technically, you don't. It's just a lot harder.Page 229: "By researching the history and activities of a True Pattern, it is possible to obtain its Research Knowledges."
Do you need a Pattern Item to do this research? I ask because in that sentence seems to imply you do not. You certainly can use a Pattern Item (and it's the most common way), but is the above sentence implying you don't always need one to research a True Pattern?
If you get the pattern item, you can use Item History to learn the Test Knowledge, which can guide your research. Since you know the question, it's a lot easier to find the answer.
If you don't have the pattern item, you don't have any way of learning the question. You can do research, and make an educated guess about what might be the correct answer. But until you actually obtain the pattern item and use Item History to confirm the question, the answer (even if correct) doesn't do you any good.
This kind of leads into your follow-up question.
You can't do anything with the knowledge on its own. It's like having a key, but no lock. Without the pattern item, you can't confirm you're even answering the right question.This is what's throwing me, this is why I said in my first post that it seems like there are two ways of doing this (with a Pattern Item and without).
Finally, if you do not need a Pattern Item to research a True Pattern, why bother with Pattern Items at all, what added bonus do they give?
Also, the pattern item is required as a representation of the True Pattern to which you are tying, and a symbol of the associated knowledge. If you don't have the item, you can't get any bonus at all.
There are two methods, but it's more like there are two directions from which you can approach it.
(A) Question first.
(B) Answer first.
You still need both pieces. The pattern item lets you learn the question. (And, ultimately, use the power the answer unlocks.)
Is that any clearer?