Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Moving right along...what is on my needles?

Right now, I am all about samplers. I have a pattern (really more like a home study) based on a sampler that I designed, which I am hoping to have ready for distribution in the near future. I am re-knitting it in a finer gauge and tweaking the charts and instructions. I have already put together a workshop based on the sampler, which covers several useful lace knitting techniques. I will post pictures of my progress later this week. Here is the original sampler I designed.
I have found some really nice Internet resources for those of you interested in samplers:
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston:
Some excellent knit sampler photographs. Outstanding...
Needle Arts Bookshop:
A nice sampler photograph
The Textile Museum:
A PDF file of textile collections all over the place
Island Wool Garden website:
The virtual studio of Catherine M. Thomson, a brilliant lace knitter. The second link is a pattern for a small sampler from Ms. Thomson's website.
A Yahoogroup based on sampler knitting:
The moonrise website: is owned by Sandy Terp, who is a terrific lace knitter, designer and teacher. She has a kit for an old sampler pattern. You get a copy of the old pattern (in longhand) and Sandy's own lace notation or "shorthand" for the patterns. I am strictly a chart woman, but some people really like this lace "shorthand." You can get just the pattern, or the pattern with a generous supply of yarn.
Take a look at my Flickr pages, at the following link, to see some lovely sampler knitting based on the Susanna Lewis book.
I am also sharing a list of some of my favorite books related to sampler knitting. These are certainly not the only books with good fuel for the sampler fire, but they are the ones I though were most pertinent:

There is a lovely lace sampler in Victorian Knitting Today. I have not knit it, but I have drooled on the pages.
The Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns, by the wonderful Barbara Walker, is all about samplers. Some are lace and some are not. A wealth of good information.

This is the Holy Grail of lace knitting, mostly because it is so hard to get. Based on a sampler from the Brooklyn Museum that Susanna Lewis charted, you can reproduce that sampler, errors and all, with this book. A good read.

These three books are a wonderful resource for samplers in both lace and other stitches. The charts are excellent. The text is in German.
There are also wonderful books for lace stitches and for edgings, if you want to design your own samplers. Maybe we will go there in the near future. In the mean time, knit on!


  1. A knitting friend has the Susanna Lewis book and it has lots of cool and inspirational lace knit patterns. Alas it is out of print and they want a fortune for the used copies. Sigh.

  2. So sad, right? I was lucky enough to get this book when it was first printed. It is a nice resource, but not worth the price it is commanding on ebay these days. I hope it gets re-published so people can have access to it for a reasonable price.

  3. It is. I started looking for a copy last year and found a lot of discussion on Taunton having sold the Brooklyn Museum the manuscript. So they have no rights to reprint. Also at this point the museum has not wanted to let several publishers that have approached them reprint it. I saw where the author and several publishers have asked that people write the museum to see if the number of letters might persuade them to release it back for reprint. This is the info given:
    Arnold Lehman, Director
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn, NY 11238

    Just in case someone wants to send a letter for the cause. :)
    Susanna (not the author)