While I was away in Lancashire I popped over to Gawthorpe to see preparations for the new season’s exhibitions. Excitingly for me, my Richard the Roundhead Tam is included, – the first time my work has ever been displayed in a museum or gallery context. I can tell you that the thought of the tam being exhibited (and examined) weighed on my mind somewhat while I was knitting it, and because of this I was very pernickety with my finishing. I was heartened to read that Emma Varnam also felt similarly when producing her glorious Soliders Quilt Cushion!
Alongsisde the new knit and crochet designs, there is much more for visitors to Gawthorpe Textile Collections to enjoy as well:
Rachel and her team are hard at work preparing the displays, including the beautiful beaded dress which you can see to the left.
The collection includes many wonderful books of lace swatches, including this example, which Rachel Kay Shuttleworth has annotated in characteristically direct fashion.
This amazing hexagon quilt is a recent acquisition, and joins the display for the first time this season.
Here is Jennie Pitceathly, director of Gawthorpe Textile Collection, who I persuaded to snap a few photographs of me wearing my Richard the Roundhead tam, for you to see.
Me and the tam, hanging about outside Gawthorpe’s very imposing front door. . .
Then I said goodbye to the tam, which has now joined its fellows in one of the display cases.
I have received quite a few enquiries about the Richard the Roundhead design, and I wanted to be sure you all know about the background of this project. With support from Arts Council England, Gawthorpe commissioned me to produce the pattern, I was paid for this commission, and in return waived all rights in the design. I do not directly sell this design, nor do I profit from it. Its purpose, like the other patterns produced by Debbie Bliss, Emma Varnam, Claire Montgomerie and Jane Ellison, is solely to raise funds for Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. If you purchase this pattern, therefore, you are directly supporting one of the most significant textile collections in the UK, enabling Jennie and Rachel and their team to continue the work that Rachel Kay Shuttleworth began, inspiring future generations about textiles and textile history. If you are a shop with a wholesale enquiry about the Richard the Roundhead pattern, you should contact Gawthorpe Textile Collections directly.
Gawthorpe Hall and its Textile Collection re-opens to the public on March 29th Please do pop along if you can!
Did I mention that I really love my work? This week work took me to Frome — a beautiful small town in a part of Somerset which I have never visited. I was there to see Jen . . .
. . . and also got to hang out with Jim (the inimitable Veuf Tricot) and Scooter. The latter is a very smart feline — far too smart to injure his dignity posing for photographs.
Jen and I worked (and plotted) really hard, and then then took an afternoon off to potter around town. I’m really glad we did, as Frome is a place that seems to demand pottering.
Everywhere you look, there are inviting windows to peer into. . .
And things to look at . . .
On Catherine Hill, there are several fabulous vintage stores, selling niche and carefully curated garments and objects. I love this selection of cloches . . .
. . . and am concerned that this dress and its very particular green is going to haunt me.
Catherine Hill also boasts a lovely haberdashery shop called Millie Moon
I have a mild addiction to ribbons and trims . . .
. . . which was certainly fed there.
And best of all, Catherine Hill has its own lovely yarn shop – Marmalade Yarns
In this extremely pretty and well-situated shop, Catriona and Maxine sell a superb selection of British yarns from mainstream producers like Rowan to some of the best independents like Skein Queen, Fyberspates, and Shilasdair. Marmalade Yarns is also a stockist of (ahem) ME. I don’t think it will ever stop being exciting to visit a place that sells my book and patterns.