I do research on and recreate garments and objects from the past. My sources range from original items to photographs in books, periodicals, art works, literary references and period patterns. My research also involves the history of knitting needles and related implements.
The portrait in the corner is by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) of Elisabeth Alexeyevna (?), location and ownership unknown.
I made this piece many years ago, as a teenager. It was, unfortunately, damaged in a move - the brown water marks are still visible.
This was a kit, purchased at The Needlewoman in Regent Street, London, one of the most fabulous shops ever and now, sadly, gone. Every trip there always resulted in wool for knitting or stitching kits or supplies for some sort of hand work - there was so much to choose from and plan to buy the next time! Alas, I no longer have the packaging or directions for this kit nor can I remember the name of the piece of art it was based on although there is a nagging sliver of a memory whispering, "Spring" and, though it seems unlikely, Salvador Dali. If anyone can identify the original sketch, please let me know.
This piece was difficult to photograph as it is framed under glass, hence the sideways angle of the photograph.* The design was stamped on linen and stitched in wool. The finished area measures 15 ½” x 19 ½”.
P.S. April 5, 2011: The image is Autumn (1970) by Salvador Dali - at least I had part of it right! His signature appears, in reverse, near the pointed foot of the woman. Many thanks to members of The Gunroom of HMS Surprise for their assistance in identifying the original drawing.