return to the water

Prior to my stroke, I was an enthusiastic swimmer. I found swimming both invigorating and relaxing: a great form of exercise and a useful way to wind down when I was busy and stressed out at work. My body and balance changed radically following my stroke, but I’ve attempted (and enjoyed) the occasional swim, mostly… Read More

Great Tapestry of Scotland 93-123

Panel 94: Hill and Adamson The silver herrings and striped petticoats of the Newhaven fisherwoman. In the comments on yesterday’s post, Heather linked to an interesting take on the “when is a tapestry not a tapestry” question from a tapestry weaver who strongly objects to the misappropriation of the term in reference to non-woven textiles.… Read More

Images of knitting – 2

Here are a couple more postcards from my collection. Strictly speaking, these are reproductions of advertisments, but I am particularly fond of the Sunlight Soap image which, as you can see, has been pinned on my board for some time. I find it interesting for the way it represents knitting as a leisure activity, rather… Read More

racy mending

I have been playing around with ideas about mending and darning for a forthcoming article, and have been turning up some interesting tangential things in various digital collections. Pictured above are “Chicago’s top models for 1922” who have been co-opted to advertise the novel innovation of the seam ripper. The caption reads “Ripping is a… Read More

well, you asked

By request, another treat from The Archers pattern book. Here is the fragrant Caroline Bone / Pemberton / Sterling resplendent in a knitted suit of lemon hue. In this frothy confection, she may well run the risk of being mistaken for one of Ian’s more outlandish Grey Gables deserts. . . and yes – it… Read More

unheppy

I am often struck by the liveliness and diversity of the world of contemporary domestic crafts. In very particular ways, the intermewebnet really has informally transformed the domestic into the public sphere. From their kitchens and computers, women and men all over the world are exchanging knowledge about an enormous range of practical issues and… Read More

whisky and women

Bunnahabhain. Monday morning. I’m a woman that likes whisky. Now, I know I don’t need to explain this to you. I know that you may like whisky too. And I’m sure that if you do like it, if you have any sort of taste or enthusiasm for any type of usquebah, that you will probably… Read More

Brian Sewell and the Bluestockings

“Brilliant Women: Eighteenth-Century Bluestockings” National Portrait Gallery, until 15th June. On Thursday evening I stood in a packed room at the National Portrait Gallery. Men and women of all ages jostled to get a look at a three-quarter length portrait of an eighteenth-century writer. This was Catharine Macaulay, author of a radical history of England;… Read More

The domestic in drag

needled reviews: Nigella Express, BBC2, Mondays, 8.30pm Jane Brocket, The Gentle Art of Domesticity (Hodder & Stoughton, 2007) Despite my best efforts to avoid it, last night I encountered Nigella Express. It was much more diverting than I’d assumed. Indeed, Mr B and I spent the programme in a state of near hysteria. How we… Read More