Friday, July 22, 2011

I am excited! Crewel Friday...

A research librarian I consulted downstairs (thanks, Connie!) found this book in our library collection:  "English Crewel Embroidery Motives and Stitchery of the Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth Centuries" by Miriam Sollau McCurdy. It is an unpublished (as far as I can tell) dissertation for a Master's degree from December 1935. It's at home, full of post-it notes, so I don't have a picture of it (not much to look at, it's a plain cover with a bound, typed manuscript.)  One great part of the manuscript is its bibliography.  I'm so excited.

This book is much more visual.
It's one of the eight (yes, eight!) books I found in our library collection that were mentioned in the dissertation bibliography.  I'm in book heaven!
This book is aimed at teaching children in the classroom practical knitting and sewing. It is from 1914; the original edition is from 1897.  It is full of "drills" with very specific instructions and steps for both the teacher and student--how to put on a thimble, thread a needle, pick up and hold the fabric. It's very nicely illustrated with red and black drawings. With it's two-color printing and many illustrations, I'm sure this book was quite cutting edge in its time.
I love this needlework apron.  In the back there's a lovely fold out for making a sewing sampler with tucks, gathers, bands, gussets and tapes.  It includes a scalloped embroidered edging, darning, patching, cross stitch marking and some embroidery. A whole lot of the book is about mending, darning and patching. I think we need to get back to that reuse-it mindset.
My scan of this book came out with the top cut off.  It is "English Decorative Fabrics of the 16th-18th Centuries" by A. F. Kendrick, published in 1934.  It smells like book--not musty, but like, well, book.
I love that smell.
The book is on heavy paper with big type (my eyes are happy). Half is text and half black and white photographs, many from private collections.  I've already found some good material.

Three more books arrived on my desk late today. There is a two volume set, "Patterns in Western Europe: 1180-1900,"  by Joan Evans and published in 1931.  The index shows some promising listings.  For visual reference, I borrowed "Chinese Art: An Introductory Handbook to Painting, Sculpture, Ceramics, Textiles, Bronzes and Minor Arts" by a whole bunch of people (Fry is the first name) and published in 1935--just in time to be a reference for the thesis. 

I haven't been stitching this week--it's been a busy week so far--I've had two evening guild planning meetings. Two visiting scholars arrived from China  to work with one of our faculty members on translating a book he's writing. They've made my life very interesting--in a good way.  And I'm being dripped on by our over-worked air conditioning system. Hopefully that will be remedied tomorrow by some sealing tape. (I noticed the building engineer didn't say duct tape, but I'm sure that's what it is.)  It's still very hot here.

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