Saturday, 12 June 2010

Counted Threads - Another Way

I am very interested in the versatility of the counted thread pattern which is the input for needlework, knitting, filet-crochet, weaving and even marquetry in the form of Tunbridgeware. I often see work that has glid on the magic counted thread pattern carpet from one craft form to another - from cross-stitch to knitting; from filet crochet to cross stitch and so on. Here you can see a counted pattern illustrating the input for a traditionally handmade French carpet. (The concept is well illustrated but I think the carpet maker might have a job to interpret all that detail on this grid!) The illustration comes from my Diderot's Encyclopaedia of Trades and Industry which was originally published in 1763.

Here you can see the full page from which the extract was taken. I really love this book as it gives me the opportunity to eavesdrop on people at their work in the mid 1700s.
I thought you might like to see a close of the woman at work - around her neck she is wearing a candle to illuminate her work.


  1. I can only imagine the candle would also keep you warm in the winter but no fun in hot summer.

  2. The beauty and detail of works created under what we would consider primitive conditions, such as wearing a candle, are amazing! It makes me thankful to be able to flip a light switch on.

  3. A candle around the neck! That`s very inventive! The heat from it would be uncomfortable on the face, I would think.I just bought a small clip on LED light so I can stitch in low light this case, i`ll take modern tecnology!

  4. Wonder if her chest was burned from the heat transferred through the metal candle holder(at least I would imagine it was metal). And who wants to inhale smoke? What about her eyes? Hot candle wax?

    I love textiles, and making textiles. But I don't HAVE to do this to support myself or make sure my family has clothing. We are lucky girls.

  5. I feel the same way. There is something more immediate and connected when reading a period book, rather than one written many years after the period has passed.