28 Jun 2010

Bankfield Museum, Halifax, England

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I can’t really post a photo essay from the Bankfield Museum, because they made me sign a form saying that the photos I took were for my personal use only. But since a blog is personal, I’m going to sneak a couple of photos in here and hope nothing bad comes of it.

Last year I got to see the exhibit of the Edith Durham collection featuring textiles, clothing, and knitted accessories from Albania. After I got done visiting the museum, I discovered, unsurprisingly, that there was much more material in the collection that was not on display. The person working at the museum told me that the “best” items were on display, but by that I assumed she must only mean those that were undamaged or on which the colors were not faded, rather than that the pieces themselves were of the most interesting construction. I was right! Here are a couple of things that were packed away in the basement. Yes, it’s a tragedy!

Knitted Socks

Knitted Socks in the Edith Durham Collection

Sock toe close up

Detail of two-section swirl toe on a sock

They also had a small collection of Victorian knitting booklets, in which I discovered about a half-dozen ways to specify “yarn over”… you can read more about that later in the ¬†year in an article on Victorian knitting books that I’m working on for Piecework magazine. (There will be several interesting bits about Victorian knitting coming up in Piecwork over the next months, but I can’t say any more than that!)

Victorian Knitting Books

Victorian knitting books in the collection of the Bankfield Museum

Since we visited the Bankfield Museum, we’ve been to the Beatles museum (and other places) in Liverpool, the Beatrix Potter Hill Top House farm in the Lake District, our cozy cottage at Fort Putnam in Cumbria, Woolfest at Cockermouth, and we watched the England-Germany football match at the local pub. More pictures and notes coming soon!

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