Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Friday, June 09, 2006

More Samplers

All I'm knitting at the moment are more of the K4 scarves in Homespun. The one I finished this afternoon in the Granite colorway is pretty so maybe I'll get a photo of it later. The skein I'm working from for the one currently on the needles is a mix of purple and black (or so dark a purple that makes no difference) and the resulting fabric looks like velvet. But in the meantime, here are some more samplers.

This first one is by Mary Dewit Dansers, worked in 1824. I especially like the large alphabet in Eyelet stitch and the graceful cursive letters of the alphabet just above it. For some reason, the fruit in the basket on the left side was let unfinished in the original, so it's unfinished in the reproduction.

The Sarah Johnson sampler from 1814 is a bit more formal. The twining roses in the top border remind me of the Seven Sisters rose that was blooming across the front of the house last summer. (We moved it last fall to my mother's back yard where it will have more room to roam and it seems to have survived it's second move in 4 years quite well.) I also like the willow tree to the right of the house, the dogs and the Greek key side borders on this design.

The Ruth Clouds sampler is in a book with - I believe - 6 or 7 others. I've finished several of them. This one was originally stitched in 1790 when Ruth was 11 years old. The thread used for some letters on the original had faded to almost the same shade as the background fabric, so the D, F, & H in the top line do not show up very well and the lower case l through o are hard to discern in this photo.

The Almira Eaton sampler was one of the first ones I worked. It's from a kit that I bought in a Northville, MI, antique shop many years ago. Here again, the original sampler threads had faded so that many letters blend into the background.

The more I look at these samplers, the more I get the urge to pull out my patterns and stitch a few more. However, I'm finding that they are difficult sizes to find frames for - I've been measuring frames at garage sales and have yet to find one that will match any of the samplers I have completed. I think I may have to take up a bit of woodworking if I ever want to get these on the walls.


Anonymous Geraldine said...

These are gorgeous! I have one very old sampler, that I found in my mom's things, we don't even know who did it, but I have framed it and will treasure it for a long time.

Thanks for stopping by Veggies...too.Hope you try/enjoy my split pea soup recipe soon.
BFN, Geraldine

2:37 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

More lovely samplers...I know the pull of the cross-stitch charts, but my walls are pretty much covered, and I can wear my knitted shawls, so I guess I'll "stick to my knitting!"
Love what you've done, and those with faded threads just look all the more authentic!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Shelob said...

These are GREAT! I wish I'd gotten into something like this before I had to give up the cross-stitch (even with a magnifier, working on the linen I liked made me nuts but now I've more time to knit!). These pieces are splendid! I'm glad you're going to hang them, and that others took the time to preserve the designs and the names of the original stitchers. Nice to know these won't be lost to time.

Oh -- and with the fine yarn for your shawl. I find that if I moisturize just before working with the finer yarn or just before reading braille, it makes it easier to distinguish what's under my fingers. Maybe it will help!


4:40 PM  
Blogger lauriec said...

Those are incredible! They appeal both to the history geek in me as well as to the knitter/crafter. It always makes me wonder what will future generations think of my work if it were to survive 200 yrs!

6:12 PM  
Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

I love these old samplers. When I was young, my mother collected samplers knit by girls with my name (Hannah, which was more popular in the 1770s than it was in the 1970s....)

4:53 PM  

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