15 October 2009

Eh, she used to embroider too

When my original knitting instructor (Mrs Maclaren) took me on as knitting student when I was a mere kidling, she had high hopes for me.

Those hopes were based in part because, although I was well under the age of 10, I'd already proved myself to be a very talented hand seamstress, quilter and embroiderer. While I wasn't born with a needle in hand it was a near thing.

I did not live up my instructor's expectations and she pronounced me hopeless as a knitter. My other talents stayed and expanded but knitting. . . let's just say that while the knitting seed was planted but it was in hibernation.

One of the embroidery types I really loved was known as Swedish or Huck Weaving.

Swedish friends assured me that there was nothing ethnically Swedish about it and the Huck came from the fact that at one point in its popularity it was worked in Huckaback fabric that, like Monk's cloth, features raised vertical fabric floats that perle cotton, embroidery floss or other embellishing thread cab be threaded/woven through to form a design.

The technique was very popular in the 30s and has had a number of different resurgences over the years.

I began designing in the technique about 40 years ago and last did serious design work about 30 years ago when it retreated as a well adopted needle arts form.

At one point, I worked up designs/finished linens while studying and sold them on a consignment basis with boutiques and a few dear friends also ended up with custom designed and worked pieces.

Since I no longer actively design in this area and my design portfolio (like my modeling portfolio and library of programming subroutines) didn't make the trip to California or stay safely in storage back East (sigh) I hold out but limited hope that some of my friends will figure out digital cameras and such well enough to send photos of the still come out for special occasions linens I designed and stitched for them over the years.

Some of the fabric stored in the studio is hunted down Huck. Some of it high end nice stuff and some of it that is not a lot better than the old style public restroom towelling of days gone by.

I've also either found or replaced some of the original Mildred Kreig pattern booklets but I'd dearly love to see my own original designs. Crazy girl that I am, I have thought about trying to work floats in knit designs to introduce Huck surface weaving into knit designs.


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