Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Rambling - Part One

In Bedford Jail – John Bunyan (1626-1688) and his Blind Daughter
Alexander Johnston
Oil on canvas
Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Lancashire, UK
Source: The Bridgeman Art Library
Image ID: BKB 100459

As I keep mentioning, I am determined this year to finish off a very large number of projects and more keep slipping onto the list. Right now, I am in the midst of completing some 17 and 18th century projects. Some of them are fairly simple, repetitious patterns so, as I knit, my mind tends to wander hither and far. Thinking about future 17th century projects, I remember the painting of John Bunyan and make a mental note that I must more closely examine what his daughter is knitting, get a better look at her workbag on the floor, and do some research on her life.

Then my mind ambles back to how knitting was considered a source of income for the poor and the blind and those School Stockings I made last year and the pair of socks I have on my needles from that book about teaching the poor to knit. But, no! That project is from 1817 and is not on this or next week’s schedule and so must be pushed aside for the moment.

Interior with a Woman Knitting, a Serving Woman and a Child
Pieter de Hooch
Oil on canvas
Harold Samuel Collection
Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London
Source: The Bridgeman Art Library
Image ID: GHA 34463

The 17th century is always very much on my mind this time of the year as the tulips are out and then I think of the Dutch and this painting springs to mind. It is a difficult to see what the lady is knitting but isn’t she lucky, perhaps, in that someone will mind her child for a while so she can get on with her work with her cat for company.

My mind roams further onto the late 19th century and I remember this lovely painting by Carlton Alfred Smith, many of whose works conjure up images of the cottages of Lark Rise to Candleford so it must be time to re-read and watch that all over again.

A Young Girl Knitting
Carleton Alfred Smith
Medium unknown
Location unknown
Source: http://goldenagepaintings.blogspot.com

No, no – most of April is devoted to the 17th and 18th century so back to this baby jacket (http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O108312/jacket/) which is now being knit on single pointed needles which makes it easier to see the pattern as it evolves and use it for reference as opposed to my previously knitting it in the round which also crumpled it.

More tomorrow.

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