Sunday Stitches

Sunday Stitches – Roman Stripe and Fluted Rib Stitch

Hello! The stitch samples I would like to share with you this week are two patterns taken from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G Walker.

Roman Stripe

Roman Stripe Stitch

Worked over an even number of sts

The sample shown is worked over a cast on of 26 sts.

Row 1: K1, [k1, yo] 24 times, k1 (50 sts).
Row 2: K1, p48, k1 (50 sts).
Row 3: K1, k2tog 24 times, k1 (26 sts).
Row 4: K1, [k2tog, yo] 12 times, k1 (26 sts).
Row 5: K1, [yo, k2tog] 12 times, k1 (26 sts).
Rows 6-7: K26 (26 sts).

Repeat rows 1 – 7

Fluted Rib Stitch

A simple, reversible knit and purl stitch pattern, which when left unblocked falls into soft wide ribs.

Fluted Rib bf blocking

This is the pattern when blocked.

Fluted Rib Stitch

Worked over a multiple of 8 stitches + 1

The sample shown is worked over 33 sts.

Rows 1, 2 and 3: P1 [k7, p1] 4 times.
Row 4: K2, [p5, k3] 3 times, p5, k2
Row 5: P3, [k3, p5] 3 times, k3, p3.
Rows 6, 7 and 8: K4 [p1, k7] 3 times, p1, k4
Row 9: Repeat Row 5
Row 10: Repeat Row 4

Repeat rows 1 – 10

Stitch Abbrevaitions

k– Knit.
p – Purl.
k2tog – Knit 2 stitches together.
yo – Wrap the working yarn over the right needle, from front to back (counter-clockwise).

Happy knitting! x

Sunday Stitches

Sunday Stitches – Checkerboard Mesh and Zig Zag Ribbon Stitch

I love to swatch, I really do. I try to find time in the week to try out a couple of stitch patterns so I thought I would create a regular feature on this blog to share them. Welcome to Sunday Stitches!

The 2 examples this week were taken from A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G Walker.

Checkerboard Mesh

Checkerboard Mesh

Worked over a multiple of 10 sts plus 4

Row 1: P34.
Row 2: K1, [k3, yo, ssk, k1, [k2tog, yo] twice] 3 times, k3.
Row 3: P34.
Row 4: K3, [[yo, ssk] twice, k1, k2tog, yo, k3] 3 times, k1.
Row 5: P34.
Row 6: K2, [[yo, ssk] 3 times, k4] 3 times, yo, ssk.
Row 7: P34.
Row 8: K1, [[yo, ssk] 4 times, k2] 3 times, yo, ssk, k1.
Row 9: P34.
Row 10: K2, [[yo, ssk] 3 times, k4] 3 times, yo, ssk.
Row 11: P34.
Row 12: K3, [[yo, ssk] twice, k1, k2tog, yo, k3] 3 times, k1.
Row 13: P34.
Row 14: K1, [k3, yo, ssk, k1, [k2tog, yo] twice] 3 times, k3.
Row 15: P34.
Row 16: K2tog, yo, [k4, [k2tog, yo] 3 times] 3 times, k2.
Row 17: P34.
Row 18: K1, [k2tog, yo, k2, [k2tog, yo] 3 times] 3 times, k2tog, yo, k1.
Row 19: P34.
Row 20: K2tog, yo, [k4, [k2tog, yo] 3 times] 3 times, k2

Repeat rows 1 – 20

Zig Zag Ribbon Stitch

Zig Zag Pattern

Worked over a multiple of 10 stitches

Row 1: P30.
Row 2: [LI, k2, ssk, k5] 3 times.
Row 3: P30.
Row 4: [K1, LI, k2, ssk, k4] 3 times.
Row 5: P30.
Row 6: [K2, LI, k2, ssk, k3] 3 times.
Row 7: P30.
Row 8: [K3, LI, k2, ssk, k2] 3 times.
Row 9: P30.
Row 10: [K4, LI, k2, ssk, k1] 3 times.
Row 11: P30.
Row 12: [K5, LI, k2, ssk] 3 times.
Row 13: P30.
Row 14: [K5, k2tog, k2, BLI] 3 times.
Row 15: P30.
Row 16: [K4, k2tog, k2, BLI, k1] 3 times.
Row 17: P30.
Row 18: [K3, k2tog, k2, BLI, k2] 3 times.
Row 19: P30.
Row 20: [K2, k2tog, k2, BLI, k3] 3 times.
Row 21: P30.
Row 22: [K1, k2tog, k2, BLI, k4] 3 times.
Row 23: P30.
Row 24: [K2tog, k2, BLI, k5] 3 times.

Stitch Abbrevaitions

k– Knit.
k2tog – Knit 2 stitches together.
p – Purl.
ssk – Slip 2 stitches knitwise, then knit slipped stitches together.
yo – Wrap the working yarn over the right needle, from front to back (counter-clockwise).
LI – (Lifted Increase) Insert right-hand needle into the front of the next stitch in the row below and knit; then knit the stitch on the needle.
BLI – (Back Lifted Increase) Insert right-hand needle into the back of the next stitch in the row below (i.e. from the top down into the purled loop behind the stitch on the needle) and knit; then knit the stitch on the needle in the usual way.

Happy knitting! x


Quilts and Colour Exhibition

During our recent trip to Boston I visited the Quilts and Color exhibition currently showing at the Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition was especially useful for me as it ties in very nicely with my current knitting course module which looks at the use of colour.

The exhibition showcases around 60 quilts from the collectors and artists Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy and looks at both the craft of quilting and colour theories used in the design of the pieces.

The collection ranges from early 19th century to the 1940’s, a time when women’s environments were very labour intensive. The collector Gerald Roy quotes: “That first sentence that I use in my collector’s preface—I make my quilts as fast as I can so my children won’t freeze, and as beautiful as I can so my heart won’t break —I think that is the epitome of what quilt making provided for women throughout the history of the nineteenth century. Their worlds were very much labor intensive, and to be able to escape and to produce something by way of producing it for utility, for the family, for warmth, but also having that other very, very special part was extremely important.”

The first quilt we saw was the Carpenters Wheel Quilt by Mrs. Miller made around 1890.

Carpenters Wheel Quilt

I found this combination of colours really interesting – the photo doesn’t really do it justice though as the orange was much brighter, but the complementary colors of dark red and green seemed to reign it in. What you also don’t get from the photo is the detail in the stitching, if you look really closely in the orange squares you can just about see the flower pattern.

This next piece is ‘The Star of Bethlehem’, there aren’t any details to say who it was made by other than it was made in new England in the 1920’s.

Quilt Star of Bethlehem

Here is a close up of the centre, the amount of work that must have gone in to produce something like this is incredible:

Star of Bethlehem Quilt

We spent ages in front of this next quilt ‘A Thousand Pyramids’ (1930), trying to work out of there was any pattern  or logic to the placement of the triangles or whether they had been placed randomly.

Thousand Pyramids quilt

We never reached a conclusion on that one!

Pamela Parmal the exhibition curator states:  Traditionally, most quilt makers used a high contrast, usually white with a dark color, to create their patterns, which could easily be seen. A lot of the quilts in this exhibition do just the opposite; they’ll use similar colors together, or will have no white whatsoever. In fact the majority of the quilts in the show do not have white in them.”

‘Touching Sunbursts’, made in Pennsylvania in 1854 was one of the few quilts on display that used white.

Touching Sunbursts quilt

Again, this was one when viewed close up you could see intricate stitching patterns in the white squares, details which get lost when viewed from afar. This is what made the pieces so interesting as on first glance you are drawn in by the colorful and bold overall pattern,  but when you get closer you can see the patterns on each individual piece of fabric as well as the stitches that piece it all together.

I didn’t make a note of the origins of this one unfortunately but I was totally captivated by it. It’s almost as if the dark pattern has been printed on top of the finished quilt.


Here is a close up – just look at the number of different individual fabrics that were used to make it!


Another of my favourites was this one – it reminded me of spinning records.


Quilt 2

If you look in the red squares you can see the stitching patterns a bit clearer in this one.

Speaking of the collection Gerald Roy quotes “…can you imagine what these women, if they were alive today, would think about their work appearing on the walls of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston? I mean that would be mind-blowing to those ladies. And what a compliment.”

If only the family of Mrs. Ephraim Scott has known her ‘Sunburst Quilt’ (1856) would one day be on display – it was dubbed by them as the ‘ugly quilt’!

Sunburst quilt

This is one of the best exhibitions I have been to for a long time. Each quilt is so intricate and beautifully made it’s impossible not to stop and appreciate the detail in each one. The amount of thought, work and love that went into each one is truly inspirational.

The Diamond Field Quilt

The Diamond Field (1860) – picture taken from

C&G Hand Knit Textiles, knitting

C&G Hand Knit Textiles – Module 2 – The Knitting Bit

Following my previous post on Module 2 of the Hand Knit Textiles course, here are the samples I produced for activity 5. The brief was to produce 3 or 4 samples based on visual sources of line, but I got a bit carried away and did a few more 🙂

Activity 5 – Interpreting Line in Knitting

Sample 1 – Green Vase


This vase is in the V&A Museum in London and I like the thin white lines painted on the ridges and the way they reflect the light.

The sample is knit in plain green stockinette  and then in first purl row I used a fair isle patterned yarn which sat on the stitches below and above each ridge to give the highlight effect.


Sample 2 – Grille


Knit in striped stockinette but the diagonal lines were picked up using purl stitches so at the end I could draw a line of yarn through these and finish with a button for the centre.


Sample 3 – Egg Dish

Another V&A find – the sample couldn’t be anything else but entrelac!



Sample 4 – Hexagonal Box



Sample 5 – V&A Floor


It was the interlocking squares that I liked about this pattern – originally tried working this one in colour but it got beyond complicated trying to keep track of the intarsia bobbins! So it became knit and purl instead and duplicate stitch over the black squares – but I wasn’t keen on the result,  it works better in one plain colour.


(By the way, see if you can spot the mistake in the floor mosaic photo!)

Sample’s 6 and 7 – 3D Blocks


After failing to recreate the V&A floor sample in colour I wanted to try again with a different pattern, this design was on the back of a greetings card.


I then tried the same design in a linear pattern and used contrasting yarn to pick out other patterns within it. The shapes aren’t very clear from the photo below but they are in yellow, pink and green.


Sample 8 – Ironworks

I wanted to have a go at creating something using raised stitches and cables and was inspired by this picture of an iron railing.


This is my least favourite sample and probably would have been a lot more effective in just knit and purl stitches. It just looks a bit messy and not really the result I was after. But hey ho – it was a good lesson in what doesn’t work!


Sample 9 – Llama

I found this little fellow in the Birmingham museum – isn’t he sweet!


The sample was a combination of knit, purl, stripes and eyelets for the markings.


So that was all of the knitted samples based on line – I absolutely loved this activity and could have quite easily carried on making more!

The final part of the module was to produce a ‘resolved piece’. Using the techniques previously explored the aim was to experiment with line patterns and work through a range of ideas to create a decorative design that could be applied to a craft item. The end design could be used as a print on a scarf, indentations around a ceramic pot, an embroidered or stitch pattern on a wall hanging or quilt etc.

Resolved Piece

My resolved piece started life as ripped up pieces of cardboard and thick paper which were then glued onto an A4 piece of card. I overlaid a piece of tracing paper and took a rubbing using a white wax crayon. This rubbing was turned upside down and put back on top of the original with glued on bits of string to mark out some of the lines.


I took a rubbing and scanned it into the computer.


Then was the fun bit of matching up the lines and picking out repeat patterns.


Here are a couple of ideas that were developed further


But in the end I went with this shape as it made me think of butterflies!


Once the main pattern was decided on I experimented with colours using watercolours and tissue paper.


This is the final design in colour.


Which was scanned and repeated to produce the pattern below.


The course then requires you to demonstrate how you saw the design being used. I saw this pattern as being a pretty print on a dress, forgive the rubbish drawing, but you get the idea!


And that was Module 2!

If anyone is interested in doing this course it is run by Fiona Morris at ‘Distance Knitting’ and you can find more details here.




C&G Hand Knit Textiles, knitting

C&G Hand Knit Textiles – Module 2 – The Design Bit

I have received module 2 back now so thought I would share an overview of what activities it included and some of the samples I produced for it. This module focused on design and creating patterns from lines and I am going to do this post in 2 parts as there is quite a lot of work in this module. Here is the design bit.

Activity 1 – A collection of images to reflect the theme ‘line’.

I had great fun collecting images and taking photo’s for my file, here are a few of my favourites.


These panels are part of a public installation by Dale Devereux Barker at Cloister’s Walk, St. Katherine’s Dock, London. You can check out more of his work here. His use of line and colour are really inspiring!


This one was taken in Greece and is a reflection of ferry lights in the water.


This pretty skylight is at the Birmingham museum.

Activity 2 – Mark Making

It was back to school with this activity – out came the felt tip’s, poster paints, crayons and anything else I could lay my hands on! The aim was to experiment with different mediums and papers to create lines and markings.


Activity 3 – Doodle Sheets and Repeat Patterns

You are provided with a blank grid of boxes, each one to be filled with a doodle or pattern.  You then take 4 photocopies of the sheet and cut them up so you have 4 repeats of each pattern which you can then play around with to make repeat patterns.



Activity 4 – Layered Landscapes and Repeat Patterns

In this activity to have to select a landscape image that has a number of horizontal divisions.

I chose this one.


Using tracing paper, a scalpel and some card you make a tracing of each horizontal line. For each line you cut out the shape from a new piece of card and stick them on top of each other to build a layered picture from which you can take a rubbing. From the cut outs you can create 2 images – a positive and a negative image.


As with the doodle sheet before you then take copies of the image or scan into the computer so you can play around with repeat patterns.


I like this image as it has clearly defined horizontal lines but the pencil markings also make a chevron pattern.

I interpreted this in a knitted sample using red and orange yarn to create the stripes on a chevron background.


Activity 5 continues this theme and looks at interpreting line through knitting and you can use images that were collected in activity 1. I will share my knitted samples in the next post.