Sunday, 26 May 2013

Interiors and Knitting

A Quiet Afternoon (1917)
Marie François Firmin-Girard (1838-1921)
Oil on canvas
Private Collection
Image from © Christie’s Images/The Bridgeman Art Library
Image number: CH 474812

Spring has finally sprung – at least, it makes an appearance every now and then, and early summer is on its way. One of the things I like most about the seasons is the changing light. I am writing this on a stormy day with the light rapidly changing. The temperatures have dropped again so I have not thrown open the doors and windows today as in the paintings featured here.*

A Fisherman’s Wife – Fifeshire Interior
William Kay Blacklock (1872-1922)
Watercolour heightened with white
Private Collection
Image from © Christie’s Images / The Bridgeman Art Library
Image number: CH 651892

There are no soft golden or pink tones in my room. Today only grey and white ones pour in from my window.

A Young Woman Knitting in an Interior
Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
Private Collection
Image from © Christie’s Images / The Bridgeman Art Library
Image number: CH 11405

I am also always interested in the furnishings, dishes, cooking utensils and minutiae of the interiors as well as evidence of handwork.

Cottage Interior, 1840
Charles West Cope (1811-1890)
Watercolour on paper
Private Collection
The Stapleton Collection
Image from The Bridgeman Art Library
Image number: CH 136992

Best of all, there is knitting in each one of these paintings.

Woman Knitting by the Fireplace
Even Ulving (1863-1952)
Oil on canvas
Private Collection
Image from © O. Vaering/The Bridgeman Art Library
Image number: CH 394373

*All documentation is from

Monday, 13 May 2013

Egg Cosy

This pattern comes from Weldon’s Practical Knitter, Number 114, Twenty-Eighth Series (1895). It is also published in Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Interweave Press, 2004.

The original pattern called for three colours of “single Berlin wool” and “four No. 16 or No. 17 steel knitting needles” (modern equivalent for both are 1.75mm/US 00.)

Although I have registered a few complaints about projects here, I mostly enjoy making things or I would probably would not be knitting, sewing, stitching, etc. In 2012, The Year of Completion, this egg cosy turned out to be one of the most delightful items I ever made in terms of pattern and materials. I did start out with Paternayan crewel wool (single strand) but had I continued, the cosy would have fit a small bird’s egg, not the common breakfast one. I then switched to Knit Picks’s Palette in Blush, Peony and Bison, still on the original size of needles.

The knitting is done from the top down, the last “rounds” making a solid rim for the cosy to stand upon.” The final touch is a “tuft of rose-coloured wool,” although the one on mine is rather more of a pom-pom than a little tuft of strands of wool.

The cosy measures 3”tall, or 4” counting the tuft, and almost 2 ¾” wide, just above the rim. It would make a nice companion to my other one from Weldon’s ( For the moment, however, I think we will use these modern versions I made earlier this year.*

All quotations are from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 10, Interweave Press, 2004

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Famous Knitters – Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003)

Actress, style icon, and, as Wikipedia states, a woman of “headstrong independence and spirited personality.” And a knitter, as shown in these images from a few of her films. She is also one of two of the actresses who have appeared or will appear on this blog that I have seen in person. In Miss Hepburn’s case, it was not in a professional capacity but on the street, several times, in New York City when I was studying there.

 Stage Door (1937)

 State of the Union (1948) - note the kniting case.

Holiday (1938) - I think. I haven't seen this film for some time but I do remember the knitting scene in the drawing room.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Famous Knitters - Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn (May 4, 1929 - January 20, 1993)


Always elegant!