Depression Lace

This type of embroidery on gingham fabric was very popular during the depression when lace was a luxury most could not afford.

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I first learned about Depression Lace (aka chicken scratch embroidery, Hoover lace, Amish embroidery, gingham lace, snowflake embroidery, broderie Suisse) about a year ago and I really wanted to try it but I never managed to find any good cotton gingham so that I could try it.

But last week I went to Ikea, and to my joy, found that they have this nice pink cotton gingham for $6.95 Canadian a metre. Score! (They have some very nice linen as well, that’ll be my next purchase. 🙂 I love Ikea’s fabric department.)

So before trying a nice gingham apron (a la Dorothy and The Wizard Of Oz) or some nice depression lace throw pillows, I thought I would play around and experiment with a sort of sampler. Continue reading “Depression Lace”

Visible Mending: The Beauty Of Broken Things

It’s been a hell of a overcomsumption party, but the fun is over and the guests are puking in the bushes outside. It’s time to relearn the wisdom of Making Do and Mending.

The Japanese have a really beautiful set of aesthetic traditions that, to me, are the exact opposite of the frantic, febrile spasm of over consumerism that the world seems to be caught up in. We are literally consuming ourselves to death.

One of the most beautiful and healing of these concepts is wabi sabi.

Wikipedi says, “Wabi-sabi represents Japanese aesthetics and a Japanese world view  centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.

“the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry,  asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy.” (Wikipedia)

Those are such beautiful concepts. There is a coolness, serenity, naturalness and acceptance that feels like the exact opposite of anxiety in these concepts. Now I am no expert at all, but I think I really get this right down to my bones. These are my guiding principals as a craftswoman. Continue reading “Visible Mending: The Beauty Of Broken Things”

London Adventures III: Victoria and Albert Museum

Hello from Winnipeg!

I want to share this with you, It is a posting from a wonderful blog, ‘A Stitch Or Nine’.

She went on my dream trip to England, full of needlework, stately homes (and their textiles) and museums. I doubt I’ll ever get to the V&A in London but this was a wonderful glimpse into it’s wonders.

The best part IMHO, is the last section of her post, the Japanese textiles. It’s a chance to see kumihimo in it’s original setting, lacing Samurai armour together.

I recommend visiting her blog with a good cup of tea and some time to really explore. It’s worth the visit!

Enjoy!
Love, Baba StringThings

astitchornine

The trip to London concluded to one of my favourite museums, the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum. Whenever I’m in London, I always try and visit the V&A and I’ve still only seen a small fraction of the incredible collection they have.

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Everything about the V&A is fabulous – the building, the exhibitions, the entire scale of the museum. If you can think of it, they probably have a collection on it. I’ve seen everything from a collection of locks and locking mechanisms, to armour for animals alongside more traditional pieces of art.

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As it is a British national museum, entrance is absolutely free. You do have to pay to see the special exhibitions (tickets are around £15 for non-members) they have but that is it. They have an extensive gift shop and cafes if you want to support the work they do, which I would wholeheartedly encourage. There are…

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Finding Treasures

S0, as you Winnipegger’s may know, Wolsley’s Neighbourhood Bookstore and Cafe is closed (temporarily I am POSITIVE). I encourage action!

Anyway, I just read this wonderful post about finding fibre-love treasure in second-hand bookstores ad thought to share it with you.

Two of the best finds I ever made at the cafe were ‘Plain and Fancy: American Women and Their Needlework, 1700-1850’ by Susan Burrows Swan (found last week!) and the ‘Woman’s Day Book of American Needlework’, by Rose Wilder Lane. (Yes, Laura’s daughter!) It still had it’s companion box of patterns too!

Have you made any amazing finds second-hand?

A good second-hand book store is a pearl beyond price.:-)

The Sweaty Knitter, Weaver and Devotee of Other Fiber Arts

I enjoy roaming the aisles of used book stores.  Over the years I have found some amazing HandweaversWorkbookbooks for very little money.  Recently I came across a 1956 edition of A Handweaver’s Workbook by Heather G. Thorpe (originally published 1936, reissued in 1974).  Not surprising given its age, the book is hardbound, and the pages are printed on heavy acid-free pages. It is also in perfect condition, nary a pencil mark! What a find!

Browsing through it, I was impressed by its thorough yet not overwhelming approach to introducing weaving.  I learned some interesting facts I’ve not seen newer weaving survey books or learned in a weaving class.

Did you know (I didn’t!) that …

PorteeCrossThere are different names for crosses on warps made withe a paddle dependent upon their position:  The first cross at the end of a warp is called a porrey cross; the second cross is called…

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Chatelaines: The Original Multi-App Mobile Device!

My Chatelaine isn’t as pretty as the Victorian ones, but it’s just as handy.

Continue reading “Chatelaines: The Original Multi-App Mobile Device!”

What Do You Call Your Arts And/Or Craftsy Self?

In praise of all of the Craftivists, Textile Artists, Crafters, Embroideresses, Spinsters, and Needleworkers…

Image above is Alter Image by Alanna Tyson Her post on Art vs Craft is well worth reading

I am a craftswoman, not an artist. I am a Craftivist  too. Let me tell you why…

The Personal Is Political

Words can be unexpectedly powerful. The difference between a craftswoman, needleworker, crocheter, fibre or textile artist, and artisan, etc., may be only a matter of terminology, but what you call yourself  makes a real difference in both self and public perception.

As always, the personal is political.

Continue reading “What Do You Call Your Arts And/Or Craftsy Self?”

Antique Pattern Library Catalog

Hundreds of years of needlework and yarncraft patterns, all for free!

 

Here are some of the wonderful free vintage publications from the awe-inspiring Antique Pattern Library Catalog. I can’t recommend this site highly enough. Do yourself a favour; put your feet up, grab a cup of tea, and settle in for a good rummage through the patterns.

Antique Pattern Library Catalog

If, like me you are a huge fan of both string and history then this site is a treasure trove. It’s like a really old second-hand bookstore; you might have to do a bit of hunting around to find the gems but it’s totally worth it.

Continue reading “Antique Pattern Library Catalog”