Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Bedspreads on Show

On Saturday, we had a handling day at Lee Mills for the Hebden Bridge W.I., when we got out a small sample of the really special items  in the Knitting & Crochet Guild collection to show them.  Everyone had cotton gloves, so that they could examine pieces closely. Here, I've picked out a  few to write about.

A handling day on site  allows us to get out some  of the bedspreads - they don't get taken on trunk shows because they take up far too much room.  The white crocheted bedspread that we showed is also very heavy.  It's possibly 19th century.






The other bedspread we showed is one of our favourite pieces.  It's crocheted in several shades of yellow, plus white.




We have identified the pattern that it was made from, too - it helps that it was made in the colours suggested, so that it matches the illustration exactly.  The pattern was published in July 1930, and we assume that the bedspread was made in the 1930s, too.


The introduction to the pattern is in entertaining:
One of the bright discoveries made quite recently is that hand crochet work forms a perfect blend with modernistic furniture, the peculiar texture of crochet being an excellent foil to the highly lacquered surface of cubist designs. To illustrate this point, our own bedspread was photographed on a set of modern kidney-shaped furniture of eau-de-nil lacquer, designed by Lady George Cholmondeley. Notice how she has revived the Victorian use of dressing-table draperies! 


I remember that in the 1950s, many little girls wanted a kidney-shaped dressing table with a curtain round it, including me.  An advantage of the curtain was that it didn't have to be a proper dressing table, just a base with maybe some shelves, and then a top cut out of plywood.  It's hard to think of  kidney-shaped dressing tables as an expression of 1930s modernism, and the bedroom furniture does not look at all 'cubist'.   A beautiful bedspread, though.

We showed some rayon garments from the 1920s and 1930s too, including a very pretty top in five pastel colours.  It seems to be knitted in a slip-stitch pattern, but I don't recognise it.



Close-up of stitch pattern



Wrong side of stitch pattern 

We also showed some much more recent knits, including a couple of Patricia Roberts designs (new acquisitions) and the 'Foolish Virgins' jacket designed by Kaffe Fassett.  I've picked a long cabled tunic with flared skirt and hearts worked in intarsia, designed by Jean Moss - as usual at handling days, the insides of garments get close attention, too.

   

Here's the tunic properly displayed:



As well as knitted and crocheted pieces from the collection, we showed our visitors a selection of tools and gadgets (wool holders, needle gauges, crochet ball holders, and so on) and a few publications.  As usual, it's a pleasure to show off the collection to an enthusiastic and attentive audience.  I hope we'll have a return visit to Hebden Bridge some time, to show them a different selection of items in a trunk show.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you, we had a fab time!

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    1. Hi Jen - so pleased you enjoyed it.

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  2. Thank you, we had a fab time!

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  3. Enjoying it vicariously, through your excellent post. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks Helena - not quite as good as being able to handle the objects, I'm sure but I hope that getting close-ups and information about the patterns (where we've got it) helps.

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  4. The multicolored top is lovely. I think it's often quite hard to tell what a stitch is in a picture, versus holding the thing in your hands, but it looks like some variation of a twisted slip stitch, where the middle stitch of a group of three (every other group of three) is carried over the following color and twisted each time it's slipped. I'd love to try that out and see if it replicates the picture.

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    1. Hi PK - yes, I looked at it closely and it seems to be something like that. I tried out various ideas in some spare rayon, but couldn't quite get the twisting right. Rayon is such a horrible yarn to deal with - if you twist the stitches in the wrong direction they split, if you twist not enough, you get a loose stitch and not the neat effect shown on the jumper, if you twist too much it corkscrews. I gave up in the end - I think the structure is pretty much as you suggested but I don't know how the knitter did it so neatly.

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  5. It was such a fabulous day, thanks again for showing us all those wonderful items.

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    1. I hope we'll be able to show you more things from the collection in future.

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    2. I hope we'll be able to show you more things from the collection in future.

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