Monday, October 13, 2008

bygone stitchers

As I've grown more interested in the needlewomen of bygone eras, it occurred to me that although I've been stitching for nearly 30 years, I probably am woefully ill-prepared and under-skilled by what I imagine their standards would have been hundreds of years ago. What if one of these gentile ladies rang my doorbell on a lazy Sunday afternoon? What would they expect to find? For example, every properly trained needlewoman would have certainly had a show sampler; not the sampler she learned her numbers or letters on, but a sampler she would have hung in the parlor or entry hall, extolling her heritage and lineage. She would have displayed her faith with an Adam and Eve piece. She would have a complete set of stitching tools (measuring tape or rule, variety of needles, scissors, laying tool, thread winder, etc.) of high enough quality to warrant admiration of her colleagues. She probably did not have an endless bucket of fibers, shelves laden with patterns, and pallets of fabric. If only my knowledge of the needle was as deep and rich as my stash.

If small-ish samplers count, I have a good "old school" sampler to claim: Kingsland, The Learned Wife. I also have an Adam and Eve piece in progress however, the colors are so off that I need to frog most of it and re-do. Stitching set is also in progress. One day, little fish needle book, one day. As for the impossibly long To Do list and shameful stash? I'm working on it.

Me thinks I have miles to go before I sleep.

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