Sunday, 14 December 2008

A little light reading

Whilst I'm not stitching, I'm filling my time with some reading and I thought I would share some of my books with you over the next few weeks.

Today's offering is First Steps to Needlecraft by Eunice Close, published December 1947 and intended to supplement school lessons in needlework. The book assumes basic skills in tacking, running stitch hemming and over sewing and starts with usual instructions to make sewing box, scissor case etc.

I love the sentence ' and please get away from the crinolined lady in a garden type of transfer. Some of these are very pretty, but they have been sadly overdone'
also 'many people prefer hand knitted undies as they are warmer and wear better than those made by machine' I hope this refers to vests, not knickers.

It then goes on to cover making samplers,openwork, cross stitch,canvas stitch, Jacobean, quilting, applique....help, this is beginning to sound like city and guilds!


The last section includes knitting, crochet, tatting, carickmacross lace, needle lace and bobbin lace.


Given the date of publication, it acknowledges the post war problems of coupons and shortage, even to point of giving instruction for making lace bobbins and using flour bags as fabric.

I love old books like this and have a small collection that I browse from time to time giving me a glimpse of a long past life style and always reminds me that I am continuing a long tradition of embroidery and lace making, using techniques that have been passed down through the centuries.

8 comments:

Gina E. said...

Hi Sue,
I also have some old books on embroidery, and like you I enjoy browsing through them. I reckon the instructions they give are better than what is in a lot of the new ones around these days!
I hadn't visited Stitchin Fingers for a week or so, and only just saw your comment on the TAST forum about your broken arm. First thing I thought of was "Uh oh, not a bike accident?" I'm glad it wasn't, but sorry to hear you have a broken limb whatever the cause!
All the best for Christmas!!

maggi said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. You have a really interesting one here. Sorry to hear about the arm - good excuse for learning to sew with either hand! Interesting that you went to enrol in Patchwork and Quilting G & G and ended up doing embroidery. I did exactly the same at South Notts. Unfortunately owing to my late husband's illness I couldn't complete it and now shifts stop me from picking it up again. Maybe one day ...

Paula Hewitt said...

knitted undies - yikes.

Jenny said...

Yummie book. That lace page has got me really interested.

hippopip said...

Hope that your arm heals well and quick,I didnt have knitted undies but I was the proud owner of a knitted swimsuit, and when it got wet it got longer and longer thank goodness for Lycra

Threadspider said...

I do love the slighlty, no, very bossy tone of those old instructional volumes. You can imagine the writer as being a formidable woman with "no begad nonsense about her", to quote from Little Dorrit.

Guzzisue said...

knitted swimsuits...doesn't bear thinking about!! love these old books, thanks for your comments

bikerted said...

Quote:knitted swimsuits...doesn't bear thinking about!!

This bear's thinking!!!