Sunday 20 December 2015

Picture This

Last week's Huddersfield KCG branch meeting was a trunk show of picture sweaters.  I took a large suitcase full of picture knits from the Guild's collection, along with bag full of pattern leaflets, books and magazines.   I mostly chose knits I was already familiar with, and several of them have already featured on this blog - the Postman Pat sweater, with its pattern; the Cherry Brandy sweater (sing-along optional);  the Mary Maxim jacket; the Willow Pattern sweater.  Here are some more.

Most of the picture knits and patterns I showed on Thursday were from the 1980s - the heyday of the picture knit.   (Though the Mary Maxim jacket is 1950s.)   Around 1980, sweaters with landscapes on the front were popular - I found several patterns as well as the sweater below.

Sirdar 6109

A lot of elements appear in several similar designs - there's a blue sky with white fluffy clouds, often some hills or mountains in the background, often a few trees (usually conifers); maybe some water, and sometimes a few sheep.  I showed a Hayfield pattern in the same genre here.

I also showed a landscape sweater of a very different kind, by Sandra Inskip.  We have three or four of her Yorkshire scenes sweaters, all knitted in the natural colours of British sheep breeds. I think this one, showing the Ribblehead viaduct is the nicest.

The flower-vase sweater below is a bit later, I suspect - 1990s?  I haven't seen a pattern for it, and I think it might have been knitted from a kit.  (But see my PS below.)

It's worked sideways, and I guess is intended to be done in stranded knitting.  But the knitter has woven in the colour not in use.....

...which gives an uneven texture on the right side.  I think it's quite an attractive effect.

I like it very much - especially the unexpected touches of  bright colour, turquoise and pink.  If anyone recognises the design, I'd love to know.

I finished the show with a couple of seasonal knits.

The polar bear sweater is from a Scheepjeswol kit.  To me the polar bear has a rather odd expression - as though he is grumbling about a mild toothache.  In case you miss the wintry theme, the back reinforces it:

And finally, although we don't have any specifically Christmas sweaters in the collection, as far as I know, we do have a very nice one with a robin.

I guess the bobbles are meant to represent snowflakes.  The robin is done in intarsia, and the footprints are in stranded knitting...

-- and continue all across the back.  Isn't that charming?  Again, if you recognise the pattern, please let me know.

 PS Karie Westermann has suggested that the Flower vase sweater might be a Kaffe Fassett design.  And now I've searched though his designs on Ravelry  (should have done that before), I see that it's a design called Brocade.  I thought at first it was only very similar, because the main illustration on Ravelry shows a sweater knitted conventionally, not cuff to cuff.  But most of the Brocade projects on Ravelry are knitted cuff to cuff - so that more or less confirms it.  It's Kaffe Fassett's Brocade.  I would still like to know, though, whether the colourway in the collection sweater was suggested by KF or devised by the knitter.


  1. Hi Barbara. Have you discovered any further information regarding the Kaffe Fassett design Brocade, also know as Chintz? I have the book with the Chintz pattern, so can provide the original colours if you would like them. Plus other details that may be of assistance. I am Janette on Ravelry.

    1. Hi Janette - Thanks for the offer. As far as I remember, we discovered that the version we have was a kit from Woman and Home magazine, and so the colours in ours are the ones in the kit. I think that we have the pattern in a book too, but that the name of the pattern in Woman & Home is different. I'll check and confirm.

  2. Hi Barbara ,
    I knitted the robin sweater for myself in the early 80's . I actually was looking for the pattern to do it again and it appeared on your website !!
    It was a really lovely sweater and I wouls love to do it again if I could find the patter .
    Liz Johnstone

    1. Hi Liz - sorry I missed your comment earlier. I don't know where the pattern was published, I'm afraid, but at least we now know that there was a pattern. Do you have any recollection whether it was a leaflet or a magazine?

    2. Hello Barbara
      I, like liz johntone, knitted the robin sweater back in the day! I have been searching for it for ages and happened to come across your website. I know it was printed in a woman's magazine. Maybe Womans Realm or Womans Own. In my mind I can see the picture in colour, so it wouldn't have been Womans Weekly. I would also love to knit this again, it was so much fun. Any ideas where I could try too get hold of the pattern.
      Kind Regards

      Jenny Bellamy

    3. Hi Jenny - sorry for the delay in publishing your comment and replying. I should get a notification email when someone comments, but they have been going astray. There seems agreement (see the next comment) that the pattern appeared in a magazine, but not which one - and I still haven't seen the pattern I'm afraid.

  3. I knitted the Robin pattern and loaned it to someone that my husband worked with and it was never returned. I would love to knit it again. I think it was in a magazine maybe woman’s realm or woman’s own. I have searched for it in vintage patterns but have been unable to find it.Ann Venning

    1. How sad to have lost the pattern. You and Jenny both think it appeared in Woman's Realm or Woman's Own. You might try IPC who published both (and also Woman and Woman's Weekly) - although Woman's Own doesn't cover knitting any more, Woman's\ Weekly does, so there is knitting editor there. Or maybe a letter to Woman's weekly with a photo might jog someone's memory?


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