samples 1

The first of a series of posts (mostly photos) on some knitted samples I am making for an idea I have.

The first six

I am not particularly conscientious about sampling for handknitting, although I do do it- though only for jumpers and the like. I have even got into the habit of washing and blocking my swatches, a very grown-up habit. But for this, I am really into it! Looking at patterns and their rhythms, as well as tension and the ideal fabric for this project, is beautiful, and the fact that the samples are done on my vintage knitting machine means that the whole process is actually viable time-wise…

(For those not familiar with them, these motifs are part of a massive collection of pattern cards put out by knitting machine card manufacturers over the last fifty or so years. The whole concept is amazing, as the cards are multipurpose and can be used for a number of different stitches- inevitably, I got stuck on their application on colourwork, because I am mad on patterns and colour, but they are equally beautiful when used in slip, tuck and weave. One of my knitting machine heroes, the lovely, patient and generous Christine, inherited a huge box of them, many very old, and let me rummage through- and man, was I in heaven.

So I am working my way through the pile of the most promising cards, making swatches using the ends of balls and shades that I don’t want to use for anything else. Which means that the colours in the samples are not what I imagine for the end product and that I end up with a motley, disparate collection of swatches. But it feels good to use all those small odds and ends. Makes room for the many colours I’ll be bringing into the little room, if all goes well.

Recycled shetland and lambswool yarn

Noro waves



I’d love to know if there are any patterns that you particularly like or dislike… Or colour combinations that do or might work for you. A little bit of market research. And a warning- there’ll be more in the next little while so please be patient with me- very excited!

18 thoughts on “samples 1

  1. Nikki

    I love the Shetland one and the Noro – for different reasons but I think I like them equally (…and boy, do I have to get that pattern-card thing working on my machine!!)

  2. Raynor

    They’re beautiful! Probably my favorite is the green leaf/tree motif one in the center, but they’re all rather gorgeous. I also quite like the mid-century modern abstract pattern on the right in the shetland/lambswool swatch. Also, the art deco one. (Gosh Raynor, why not just list all of them again… blerg)

  3. Sooz

    Pattern wise I like the first 3, colourwise I love the noro gradations. But really they are so inspiring about colour work – you are definitely turning me…

  4. julesmoon

    Thanks everyone : ) it is great to get such positive feedback on them- though I was hoping you’d help me cull more as I’m going to find it hard to choose between them all! I guess it is a bit hard to be without knowing what the application is. I’ll ask for more brutal assessments once the prototypes are done.

    Thanks again and happy weekend xx

  5. Sonia

    What lovely samples! I think the muted colours work very well together, even though they’re not your intended colour palate. My fav patterns are the ‘olive one’ the first in the line-up and the tree/leaf one (the third sample). But they all have potential!

  6. Emma

    Oh, all of them look so good! That’s not a particularly helpful answer though. I really like the pattern on the left in the recycled shetland. Colourwise, I like the pyramids combo of a lighter brown with a darker brown.

    You’re making me miss my poor old neglected machine…

  7. frog

    I love the colour reversals in the shetland and lambswool yarns – I really enjoy the depth it creates and its visually fun without overloading the eye.

    The deco inspired designs look great too, though I’d be thinking about making the architectural elements pop out a little more with tonal contrast.

    And I am stunned they were created on a knitting machine. My longing for one grows ever stronger!

  8. Katie

    the green leafy one in the first photo is my favourite, but then I’m a sucker for anything tree-inspired!

    these are so gorgeous (surely these will convert Nandi to a knitting machine lover?)

  9. Niki

    Quite right to be excited! I think it’s personal preference and application – my faves are the purples/greens (colour-led rather than pattern first).


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