A Reminder



Today I walked past the Ecuadorian embassy and noticed a surprisingly heavy police presence for such a quiet, well-to-do street. One policeman stood on the steps of the building, another around the corner, and a police van was parked across the road. Then I saw a small group of people holding a flag, written on which were the words ‘FREE ASSANGE’. With a jolt, I remembered that Julian Assange has been under a kind of house arrest in this building for the past seven months.

The story has largely disappeared from UK news, but a handful of people make sure that there is a constant reminder and witness to the political stalemate taking place on this quiet, cold London street. It reminded me that even the act of standing, watching and waiting can be a powerful form of activism.

Eivor Fisher’s ‘Swedish Embroidery’

In an earlier post I mentioned finding this beautiful book on Swedish embroidery, written by Eivor Fisher for an Anchor series in 1953. Here is a sneaky peek to show you how inspiring this book is. I loved reading about the traditional bridegroom shirts, made by their future wife to be worn on their wedding day, and “often not used again until needed as a shroud”.

Swedish Embroidery

A recent discovery at a fleamarket of a beautiful old book on Swedish embroidery has got me inspired.

Here’s the book, published in 1953, which came with a sheaf of patterns to use:

And here are some examples I found online which I love:

Example of huck weaving

Embroidered Mittens, in an exhibition at Liljevalchs.

Bracelet, early 19th century, Sweden, metal mesh and silk, counted thread embroidery.

Carriage cushion, 1795, Skåne, Sweden, free embroidery in wool thread on wool twill.

Useful Links:

textilgalleriet – This site has some impressive close-up pictures of textiles, I love being able to see the stitches. There is also a great ‘Arbetsbilder’ or ‘labour photos’ section, with images of women working on different crafts.

Needleprint – Bursting with great pictures and designs, and excellent list of museums with textile collections.

Huck weaving – Some history, step-by-step tutorials with photos and examples of huck weaving. Lovely!

I’ve started to practice a little bit of counted thread embroidery, but could do with a focused project to get me started. Any ideas?