13 Dec 2017

An Old Favourite

Knitting is, surprisingly, a relatively new craft. We have examples of spinning and weaving going back millennia but the first true examples of knitting date from only a few hundred years ago. 

It did take a while for both the knit and the purl stitch to be developed, but once news of this new invention spread then remarkably complex work started to appear. Queen Elizabeth I was famously proud of her fine hand-knitted stockings and you can still see examples of these in places such as Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, UK. Since some of these have more than 20 stitches to the inch, it is easy to appreciate just how much skill went into their making.

What is equally astonishing is that we are still using some of the earliest stitch patterns even to this day. New stitches are being developed all the time, of course, but we still cherish some of the old favourites.

Porcupine Stitch is one of these. It would be true to say that it is not used so frequently now as in Victorian Days when it was quite a fashion craze, but it is still a beautiful lace pattern and one that we felt we must include in our Reversible Knitting Stitches book.

In the 1800's, ladies would often be seen wearing light-weight lace shawls called "clouds", which they would drape over their heads or around their shoulders. Porcupine Stitch was a popular stitch for these as it was seen as a mark of affluence if the shawl designs were complex and intriguing. In a small sample Porcupine Stitch can look a little haphazard, but after a few repeats it becomes quite mesmerising to work. 

In this series of blogposts, I am featuring 12 stitch patterns from our book and showing 12 knitting patterns which use these stitches. Yesterday, I featured a cable pattern which was used in the Verwood Cushions pattern.

Today, I would like to showcase a placemat set using cotton twine! This is Anna's D.I.Y Placemats pattern which has a lovely combination of Porcupine Stitch with a contrasting Feather-and-Fan design. Both feature a natural waving edge to give a stylish and unusual touch.

The placemats are worked in a simple cotton twine which can be purchased in a D.I.Y. store or Home and Garden centre. The twine really emphasises the lovely textural nature of both of these stitches and gives a placemat set which would be equally at home inside on the dining table or outside for a family lunch on the patio.

Please click here to read the first in this series of blogposts, then follow the links at the bottom of each post to see all the stitch patterns featured.

To read more about our Reversible Knitting Stitches book, please click here
The book is available as an E-Book, a Print book, or a Print and E-Book Package.

Until tomorrow,

Happy Reversible Knitting!


Last Blogpost: It's all about the 12's
Next Up: Yarn choices and a man's tie

My Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com
Anna's Website: www.kikuknits.com

Our Book: Reversible Knitting Stitches

. 27/7/18 W

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