Tuesday 16 August 2016

Knitting Sampler Squares

I wrote here in January about a hugely long sampler that we have in the Guild collection, made by a knitter called Gladys.  There are about 940 stitch patterns in it.  Gladys intended to reach 1,000 but had to give it up because of arthritis in her hands - she never cast it off, though, and when it was given to the Guild after she died, it was still on the needles, so perhaps she had hoped to finish it.

The London branch of the Guild has been studying the sampler and is planning a couple  of projects based around it.  One is to add another 60 or so stitch patterns, to reach Gladys' target.  Another, which is under way, is to re-knit some of the most interesting stitch patterns and maybe publish them.  I volunteered to knit two of the patterns, and have just finished and posted them.  We were asked to knit 20cm. squares, with a garter stitch border. They are all in the same wool - 4-ply merino in cream.

My first square, pattern no. 491, is a very pretty pattern of cables separated by open-work panels.

The other (pattern 370) is not as successful, I think.  It has bands of reverse stocking stitch, knitted on size 10 (3.25mm.) needles, separated by two rows of a more open stitch knitted on size 7 (4.5mm.)  needles. But the two fancy rows don't show up as much as I think they should, partly because of the tendency of the stocking stitch to curl - even after I stretched the swatch quite a lot.  All you get is a general impression of horizontal channels between the bands of reverse stocking stitch, punctuated by little holes.  It seems to have looked better in Gladys's original, so perhaps it doesn't work well in this yarn.  

Imagine knitting swatches of over 900 different stitches! Would you be able to remember them all, even if you could find that many in the first place?


  1. Hi Barbara, We met at the KCG in July, I was one of the party visiting the Guild collection, now I'm working on pattern 841. Thank you for posting this, I was able to check I had right number of stitches and correct border from your blog photographs.

    Any idea what Gladys meant by "B1 Thus = . wool back , drop next st. 4 rows down, then knit Dropped st. and 4 horizontal loops above tog. as one stitch.

    Have you come across this before?

    Regards, Madeleine Swann.

    1. Pleased to hear my photos were helpful. I've replied by email about Gladys's instructions - I have come across something similar before (already planned as a blog post when I can remember where I've left the pattern...)


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