Look what I found at the Powerhouse

Look what I found at the Powerhouse

I thought I would share this with my readers. This is a knitting sampler rolled as you would a needlework band sampler.  Made in Czechoslovakia in 1876 it contains more than 70 patterns.

This piece is held by the Powerhouse museum and one of the aspects of thier site I really enjoy is that  when you can click on the image and “zoom” in to see the sampler in detail. 

When I saw it I could not help but wonder if this woman had recorded patterns like this because she found English difficult. 

The process of documenting my own Stitching Band Sampler has more than revived my interest in samplers so I  spent a very pleasant hour or so poking about the Powerhouse website. If you have not visited the site before make yourself a cuppa and settle down to browse. There are numerous online resources to make your visit worthwhile. 



  1. In the Netherlands there is recently a little revival of knitting samplers. See for example http://yokkobears.web-log.nl/yokkobears/breien/index.html . Fleur did create two samplers so far and is sharing the knitting patterns on her blog.

    Yesterday I also read about an interesting private collection of historical knitting samplers, see http://berthi.web-log.nl/berthi/2009/05/de-breilap-of-b.html . The text is in Dutch, but there are lovely pictures included.

  2. Beautiful sampler! The maker would have done the sampler because most people (especially women) were illiterate. They could read the stitches more easily than a description. – Cleta

    Cleta Raymond
  3. There’s a book by Susanna E Lewis, ‘Knitting Lace’ , based on a similar sampler in the Brooklyn Museum. I think it was the usual way people recorded stitches. I’ve also seen a similar collection of crochet samples neatly collected into a book..

    Kate in Somerset

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