TAGS: Knitting Patterns

  • PieceWork January/February 2015

    We embarked on devoting one issue per year to historical knitting with the January/February 2007 issue. In each issue so far, our contributors have taken us far and wide on the knitting spectrum.

    The tradition continues. In this issue, in “A Crown Prince, a Knitted Sweater, and Escape from Nazi Invasion,” Laura Ricketts tells the story of the “ski trip” that wasn’t for three-year-old Crown Prince Harald of Norway. Carol Huebscher Rhoades designed her project based on sweaters found in the Myrbergsgården Museum in Vörå, Finland (“Sweater Traditions from Finland: Vörå-Inspired Arm Warmers”), so that they “can serve as a wearable gauge swatch” for making a traditional Vörå sweater. And in “Fashion for All: Garments Knitted from Wool Yarn in Elizabethan England,” Lesley O’Connell Edwards cites a 1583 letter from Richard Hudsoun to Sir William Heyrick in which “Richard asks William to have a purse with a lock hinge made for him from a pair of worsted stockings.” Yes, the Elizabethans were into recycling! These are just a sampling of what’s in store for you in this issue.


  • PieceWork September/October 2014

    Here is our fourth special issue combining two of my favorite things—literature and needlework. In the previous issues (September/October 2010, 2011, and 2012), we looked at knitting from the perspective of Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s brilliant sleuth; the sampler that Eliza, a double agent in the fictional world of Quicksilver, set in the time of Louis XIV and James II, cross-stitches; and the magnificent crocheted bedspread that plays a prominent role in the novel Like Water for Chocolate.

    For this issue, we have gone even further afield, ranging from plain sewing in Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders to rug hooking in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Pat of Silver Bush and knitting in Edith Wharton’s short story Roman Fever. And there’s much more.

    Now please find yourself a comfy chair and help me celebrate needlework in literature. Enjoy!

  • Knitting Traditions Fall 2014

    In PieceWork’s ninth edition of Knitting Traditions, we explore the practical and creative evolution of knitting. Beginning with a visit to the Orkney Islands, we learn how gansey and lace stitch designs evolved there both through everyday life and because of its particular geography. Then we sail to The Netherlands where, through the colorful lives of fisherfolk, ganseys and their stitch patterns developed into a rich Dutch tradition full of its own symbolism and history.

    And there are other sorts of adaptions in this issue. You will discover how one knitter used an eighteenth-century embroidery pattern as inspiration for a stunning colorwork mitten design. Another knitter translated a 1920s golf stocking pattern into a stylish, yet practical, liner for a pair of Wellington boots. And yet another knitter acquired an intriguing pair of slippers at a farmer’s market that were knitted in Iran with handspun yarn. She reverse engineered a sweet pattern perfectly connecting cultural tradition with contemporary design. Galina A. Khmeleva combined elements of Orenburg knitting with Scandinavian design to create the gorgeous shawl that graces our cover.

    In this issue, I hope that you’ll discover your own knitting connections through the people and their land, the culture, the history, and best of all, the beautiful knitwear.



  • Knitting Traditions Spring 2014

    In PieceWork’s eighth edition of Knitting Traditions, we pay tribute to determined individuals and an array of cottage industries and cooperatives that have turned to knitting for income.

    In this issue, you will meet Ceceila, a Cowichan knitter in western Canada who recalls knitting into the early hours of the morning by candlelight, knowing the sweater she finishes for sale will keep her children from going hungry; and James Moar, an invalid in 1880s Shetland, who learned to knit from his sisters, so he could contribute to the family income. You will discover the powerhouse stocking knitting trade that flourished in Wales for over two hundred years and the knitting cottage industries of Macedonia that have thrived from the nineteenth century to the bustling markets of today. You also will meet the Swedish social reformer, Berta Borgström, who formed a knitting cooperative to help women in need and to preserve her country’s traditions. Enjoy their amazing stories and over 20 companion projects to knit!

  • PieceWork January/February 2014: Historical Knitting

    PieceWork’s annual historical knitting issue includes knitting patterns for all skill levels. Find striped knitted socks based on ancient Andean artifacts, a sixteenth-century whaling cap, Sanquhar knitted gloves, Lithuanian beaded wristers, and more!

  • Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits

    Look through the eyes of Downton Abbey with this new special issue from PieceWork magazine. Enjoy knits inspired by the lavish sets and styling of the hugely popular television series, which tells the story of the Grantham clan and their servants at England’s Downton Abbey.

    This special issue will include:  Knitted garments and accessories—gloves, shawls, sweaters and vests, blouses, hats, purses, and more—for both those upstairs and downstairs. Learn about knitting for the troops during World War I and enjoy articles detailing aspects of the Downton eras:  fashion, history, and culture.

  • PieceWork September/October 2013

    Celebrate PieceWork’s twentieth anniversary with this collector's edition devoted to Treasured Bags. You’ll find eight projects, including a pouch based on an Egyptian textile fragment to knit and nalbind, a Turkish colorwork purse to knit, an embroidered alms purse, two sweet crocheted purses, and a button bag.

  • Knitting Traditions Fall 2013

    The seventh edition of PieceWork’s Knitting Traditions is all about lace—its magic and mystery and its ethereal quality—as expressed in knitting." —Jeane Hutchins, editor

    Enjoy 148 pages filled with knitted lace perfect to knit in the summer and fall months. Find stunning stoles, scarves, shawls, an entire section with lace patterns from Victorian England, and lacy edgings, doilies, socks, and more. In addition to new patterns designed for this edition, our archives yielded a selection of older lace patterns that are no longer widely available. Plus, indulge in the inspiring and informative companion stories that frame the knitted lace projects in historical context.


  • Knitting Traditions, Spring 2013

    Knitting Traditions Spring 2013 brings together knitting traditions from around the world and across time. This issue features over 20 knitting patterns with inspiring and informative companion stories that frame the projects in cultural and historical context. Patterns include a vintage pucker-stitch knitted sweater, Orenburg lace scarves, gorgeous gloves and mittens, a miniature silk bag based on one from the 14th century, a sweet sweater and mitts for baby, and more! Plus, you'll find poignant stories about special knitters and a look at knitting schools in Elizabethan England.

    Learn about the history of the Jack Frost Yarn Company and its popular, now-vintage knitted pattern books. Enjoy photographs of early Jack Frost pattern booklets and create your own vintage baby cardigan with the Jack Frost Baby Cardigan knitting pattern. Join Galina Khmeleva in an exploration of different types of Russian knitting needles and create your own set with instructions for personalized knitting needles. Try your hand at the challenging Honeycomb lace motif with Galina's knitted scarf pattern. Learn about the history of Waldorf schools and their practice of teaching children to knit in the first grade to improve hand-eye coordination, concentration, and creativity in students. Create your own Waldorf-inspired knitted horse toys to foster creative and imaginative play for a child in your life.

     Editor of PieceWork

  • PieceWork March/April 2013

    Until the invention by Johannes Gutenberg of automated movable type in A.D. 1452, the number of people worldwide who could read remained very small, the vast majority of them wealthy members of society or clergy. To communicate with nonreaders, pictures were used. These might be painted on canvas (the word "picture" comes from the Latin word pictus ("painted"), or, as you'll see in this March/April 2013 issue of PieceWork, executed in needlework. From among the countless possibilities, we've selected examples from seventeenth-century elaborate raised embroidery ("From Raised Embroidery to Stumpwork: Four Centuries of Dimensional Needlework"), motifs on a christening robe ("Exquisite Whitework: The Arbroath Robe"), some of the charted images used in filet crochet ("A History of Filet Crochet: Creating Pictorial Designs"), and the ubiquitous knitted eight-pointed star/flower/snowflake motif (One Knitted Motif, Many Names"). Projects include a sweet knitted cardigan for baby, a stumpwork dragon, and the knitted pincushion that received the grand-prize in PieceWork's 2012 Pincushion Contest.
    Motifs, symbols, drawings, secret messages--all are included in this March/April 2013 issue. The adage "One picture is worth a thousand words" continues to ring true. Enjoy!

     Editor of PieceWork

  • PieceWork January/February 2013

    This is PieceWork’s seventh annual Historical Knitting issue! A few highlights: Working with Priscilla Gibson-Roberts was a dream come true. Both of us are indebted to the Martin Fellows Hatch family for lending us the stunning Armenian sock (circa 1840–1860) for study and photography. Priscilla’s colorful adaptation of the original graces our cover; complete instructions and charts are provided. I’d always wondered about polka jackets. Were they named for the dance? Who wore them? When? All these questions and more are answered in Helen Bonney’s article on the polka knitting craze. By 1849, a polka jacket, a tiny waist, and a voluminous skirt covering layers of crinolines were the pinnacle of fashion. Helen transcribed instructions for a knitted polka jacket from an 1849 pattern. Carol Rhoades rewrote the instructions for today’s knitters and knitted our sample. Galina Khmeleva once again shares her extensive knowledge of and love for Orenburg knitting, this time with traditional mittens for men and boys. And when we learned of the adventures of the English Captain Burnaby on his unauthorized trip to Russia and his encounter with Orenburg knitting in 1875, we knew we had to include it here. There’s much more. Each article and project in this issue adds to knitting’s illustrious history. Have a glorious time discovering it. I certainly did!

         Editor of PieceWork

  • Knitting Traditions, Fall 2012: A PieceWork Magazine Special Issue

    Here's a glimpse of what's in Knitting Traditions Fall 2012.  This is the 5th edition of this special issue from the editors of PieceWork.

    Jeremina Robertson Colvin left her home in the Shetland Islands in 1885 for Cowichan Station in British Columbia, Canada. When Jeremina met Mary Edwards, a Cowichan, the two women formed a bond that remained steadfast throughout their lives: knitting played a major role in their friendship.
    Jeremina and Mary's story is just one of many compelling accounts in this fifth edition of PieceWork's Knitting Traditions. Other passionate knitters whom you'll meet include Cornelia Mee, a nineteenth-century English author of knitting books and certainly one of the first knitting entrepreneurs, and the American poet and knitter Virginia Woods Bellamy, who received a patent for her "Number Knitting" in 1948.
    You'll also learn how the surprise discovery in an antiquarian bookshop of a color illustration from a nineteenth-century French book led a designer to develop her Bavarian Leg Warmers project. Our nine vintage patterns (six sweaters, a hat and scarf set, and pair of mittens) were knitted using the original instructions from vintage magazines. They are reproduced here exactly as they originally appeared.

    It seems that knitting traditions and connections are everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely places.


  • PieceWork September/October 2012

    What could be better than a combination of books and needlework? Welcome to PieceWork's third annual literature-inspired issue!

    Did you know that there's a historical novel that uses needlework in detail to tell the story? "Love, Needlework, and History in the Bayeux Tapestry" examines The Needle in the Blood by Sarah Bower. "A Camel to Embroider in Bayeux Stitch" provides step-by-step instructions for working the famous stitch.

    Learn about the ties that the stunning crocheted bedspread on this issue's cover has to Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate. Make your own bedspread with the instructions in "Tita's Kaleidoscope Bedspread to Crochet."

    The "Mystery Yarn" chapter in Robert McCloskey's Homer Price focuses on "one of the town's best-known and best-loved citizens," yarn shop owner Miss Terwilliger. "The Great Yarn Ball Contest" offers highlights from the book that has been delighting children and adults since its publication in 1943; a pattern for knitting your own Miss Terwilliger skirt follows.

    Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) used the hierarchy of needlework to develop the characters and setting in Jane Eyre, first published in 1847. Plain sewing was at the lowest level; find out where your favorite technique placed in "Victorian Social and Needlecraft Hierarchies in Jane Eyre." PieceWork's salute to needlework in literature is full of more literary-inspired articles and projects. Enjoy!


  • PieceWork July/August 2012

    Blue jeans, blue moon, Rhapsody in Blue, Colorado sky blue, "Blue Suede Shoes," Texas bluebonnets, cerulean, the Caribbean Sea, lapis lazuli. Blue can be striking or soothing. Royalty and religions have used the color for millennia as a symbol of power.

    From ancient Egyptian socks to stitch-resist cloth in Mali, from "as true as Coventry blue" to Pueblo ceremonial leggings, the July/August issue of PieceWork is dedicated to the color blue. We examine its importance, how it has been used, and how some traditional methods of achieving the color are being preserved. It turns out that tie-dyeing cloth with indigo was introduced to the world long before the 1960s; Native American men knitted and wore ceremonial dark blue leggings; and Chinese embroiderers stitched symbols onto white cloth with blue cotton hand-dyed thread. Explore glorious blue in this issue of PieceWork!