Patterns of a theme is a series featuring patterns in knitting and crochet based on a specific theme.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover the other day, that foreign knitting and crochet designers choose to incorporate Greek elements and Greece as a theme in their work quite often. I found it unexpected, since knitting & crochet are more crafts of the ‘North’ and naturally, northern traditions are better represented. Even though nowadays there is a revivali n Greece, these crafts normally do not enjoy particular popularity, and as a consequence, traditional motifs, practices and designs are easily lost or forgotten (or not developed at all). So while books and the internet are flooded with traditional North European designs, it is a delight to see something different: works inspired by Ancient (and more recent) Greek Art and History.
In my genuine curiosity, after stumbling upon a few designs, I begun searching for more and more and I ended up with a formidable selection of patterns. I selected even between that set, but there were still too many designs for one post. Eventually I decided to split the one big set into three smaller parts. In this first part, there are sweater, dress and mitten designs featured only.
1. First, there is Peloponnese by Sandi Rosner, an elegant slip-stitch colorwork cardigan that features a popular and well known Greek symbol, Meandros (Μαίανδρος). It is also kind of special, because the cardigan is named after the place where we live, Peloponnisos.
2. Then there is the sexy Knit Dress – Greek Godess by Fashion Martina, a one shoulder dress with mohair ruffles, inspired by Ancient Greek togas.
3. A stunning representation of Ancient Greek Mythology are the Medusa Mittens by Annie Watts, that depict Medusa the Gorgon (of course) in beautiful stranded colorwork. [In the same style there are also The Mitts of Sisyphous and Pandora Mitts.]
4. The only design that is not inspired by Ancient Greece in this pattern set is The Greek Mitten by Marcia Lewandowski. This stranded colorwork mitten with strong geometrical design is an excellent example of more recent Greek folk design. I don’t have access to the book in which the design was published, so I can’t say for sure, but my guess would be that this is an example of knitting traditions of the rural areas of Northern Greece. (the area where people always knitted more, even today)
5. Meander Mittens by Lotta Groeger is another pattern that makes use of the Meandros symbol, but with a delightful twist: in a round version.
6. Ancient Greek Paper Runners Chart by Nicole Nehrig, is a very clever adaptation of Kate Davies’ Paper Dolls sweater pattern. The chart replaces the stranded colorwork pattern in the yoke, with a new one, inspired by Ancient Greek pottery.
7. The Greek Pullover by Sharon Shoji is by itself very simple, but with a classic silhouette that dates back to Ancient Greece and that resembles a toga-like drape and shape.
8. And last but not least, there is Greek Steps by Helene Rush, a slip-stitch colorwork sweater pattern with creative construction and modern look, despite the allover use of a modified version of the classic Meandros symbol.