Margaret Klein often re-used elements of her knitting patterns to create variations and new garment styles.
Silk Blouse and Silk T-shirt
Styles 297 and 320
Silk Blouse (Style 320) and Silk T-shirt (Stye 297) are essentially the same. They use the same stitch combination but in different styles of garment. The Silk T-shirt (Style 297) has long sleeves and side vents, and the Silk Blouse (Style 320) has three-quarter sleeves and no side vents. The differences are as visible as the similarities. However, because only one of the patterns is dated, it is not possible to know which one is the original design, and which one is the variation. Like the Harlequin design, we initially thought that the knit side was the right side, but the knitting pattern showed that the purl side was intended to be the front. More details about both designs are available in the project report.
Snowball and Bubble Beret
Styles 641 and 731
Although the Snowball Crewneck (Style 641) and the Bubble Beret (Style 731) do not share the same combination of stitches, they showcase a similar effect, which is featured in other Margaret Klein designs. Although the texture of both is visually similar, the stitch combination is not quite the same. This highlights Margaret’s ability to adapt her knitting patterns to employ the same textural effects in other garment styles.
The berets submitted were quite small, which could suggest they were designed for a child. However, as can be seen in the images below, the samples illustrate how the choice of yarn can both alter the size of the beret and accentuate the appearance of the ‘bubbles’.
Gender-Neutral Stitch Designs
During the Knit a Margaret Klein project, researchers found that, unless otherwise specified, garments were generally designed for women. The following examples illustrate Margaret’s willingness to incorporate the same stitch patterns in garments for women, men and children.
There are three known knitting patterns identified as Lozenges. Style 935, cotton V-neck with Lozenges is the same as another garment knitting pattern, Style 878, in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland. Although Style 935 is not identified as a garment for women – but is presumed to be by the researchers – Style 878 is described as a Men’s V-neck. The only difference between the garments is the choice of yarn. Style 935 is knitted in cotton but with smaller needles than Style 878 which is knitted in a Shetland mixture.
Another garment knitting pattern containing the word “Lozenges” is Style 890 Children’s Lozenge Crew. In this garment design, Margaret appears to use the same stitch motif as that used in Styles 935 and 878 but distributes it differently. The child’s garment has one line of lozenges down the front and sleeve, while the adult has two on the front and none on the sleeve.
When we received samples of Sleeveless Crewneck Style 0-107, we discovered that it was an updated version of garment Style 523. The only difference being the choice of yarn. Style 523 is knitted in Alpaca and Style 0-107 is knitted in cotton.
Style 523 appears in one of Margaret’s illustrated Style Guides modelled by a woman. However, in another of her Style Guides, a Long Sleeve Cable Crew, Style 028, featuring the same central panel found in Style 523, is modelled by a man. Furthermore, in the garment description for Style 028 it states that other examples of garments featuring a similar stitch pattern are available and mentions Style 523, which would suggest that Margaret regarded this as a gender-neutral garment.
An example of Style 028 is in the collection of the National Museum of Scotland (and an image of this garment is featured in the project report). Although the garment is modelled by a man in the Style Guide, the museum has identified it as a garment for a woman, further emphasising the gender fluidity of this particular style.