This is a prototype of sorts. Inspired mostly by the medieval cushions and relic pouches in Rutt’s A History of Hand Knitting, and a little bit by the recent cover story on medieval knitting in Tournaments Illuminated (it’s not online, but you can see virtually the same article here), I drew up a chart in a spreadsheet to play around with some heraldic motifs. I used some Wool-Ease I had sitting around; not exactly a period fiber, but good enough for experimenting. And the colors I had are quite nice.
The chart includes some basic decorative motifs at the top and bottom (actual medieval patterns), some repeating ladders (my SCA badge is a ladder vert, bendwise, which means a green ladder, leaning with the top to the upper left), two cats in a medieval heraldic style (I suppose they look more like dogs, though), and some Ys, or shakeforks (a motif related to the Shire of Wyewood, the local group where I participate). However, once I started knitting, I saw that my stitches are much squarer than I expected, so the pouch’s proportions were going to be off. I ended up removing a rung of the ladders, and leaving the Ys out completely. Darn it.
I will probably add a lining to this (it needs it because of the stranded wool inside), and redo the tassels because I don’t like them. Then I will improve the design a bit and make one with 100% wool.
This was a fun project because it knit up very quickly, and every round you knit makes it look different. There’s also nothing very difficult about it. Just knit a tube and sew up the bottom, really.