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.
Merle Oberon (February 19, 1911 - November 23, 1979) Stunningly beautiful and a wonderful actress. Her knitting or Vivien Leigh's? Some captions on the internet state that she was helping Vivien Leigh as Laurence Olivier looked on from behind them.