Varying the Historical Patterns

4. Sanquhar Gloves as a Living Tradition

Here are examples of gloves that play with historical grid patterns and design conventions.  Most of the examples shown were created by students attending workshops in Sanquhar knitting taught by Beth Brown-Reinsel.

Michelle Poulin-Alfeld, who started a study group in her town, comments:

“I loved learning the traditional basic construction used for Sanquhar gloves: specific stitch and round count, defined block (dambrod) patterns, gussets between the fingers, and the elegant use of pleated fingers. And yet the structural constraints in which the destiny of each stitch was known surprisingly became a template for creativity and personalization of an entire series of these charming gloves. The intuitive and comforting rhythm of knitting them drew me to my knitting nest daily. What started for me as a gasp of awe when I saw the first marvelous pair knitted in Scotland was followed with that same response with each finished pair I made, both from me and from loved ones who received them.”

Here, Michelle knitted one glove in the ‘Rose’ pattern (left), and the other in the ‘Drum’ pattern (right), making a subtly mismatched pair. The difference between the two patterns lies in whether the central stitch in the diamond is surrounded orthogonally by stitches of the same colour or contrasting colour.

In another example, she changed the look of the glove by omitting the cuff rib, giving a rather sleeker look to the overall appearance.