I am busy getting the Whitework Sampler course underway for March 1st and thought I would tell the world about one of the little extras in the class. My courses are always full of context and places to explore if you want to know more than the stitch to do the project. I envision the classes as what I would want if the class was offered through a university - references to keep exploring and growing as a person!
So I decided to make my research easier and share it with you as well. I have collected the findable pattern books onto a very organized Pinterest board. It is organized by the bibliographic reference in Lotz book and I have found additional copies not listed which have come to light in the last fifty years. Currently there are 63 pattern books located on the board with over 2500 pages of patterns. All take you back to the original materials on archive sites with full references.
Why should you care? At its most basic - I have added 2500 patterns to the course. I could never afford the graphic arts to add that many patterns for you to choose from for your reticella samplers. One of the lessons will be all about how to print and resize the patterns for your use as well as how to interpret the woodblock patterns. Steeping myself in them has made me recognize how they were drawing the stitches so I can teach you how to 'read' them as well.
Then there is the added context. These were pattern books! That means that there are samplers out there that used these books. How can we match them up (yup, been doing it), are there notations in some of them that teach us about how they were using them? yes, again some versions have the original owner using the graph paper, etc. The frontispieces have valuable information on the working of the pieces, showing women doing the work. And you can see the transmission of patterns across countries and times.
Through this I found that there is an important collection of patterns just here in a small library in Massachusetts - I hope to visit a particular pattern book where the user used it quite liberally to gain even more insight on the past.
If you are interested in the Whitework Sampler Course and learning more about the patterns and workings - read more info here.