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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Knitting in art

Yesterday was the birthday of my dear husband Ian,  so we went to London to view the Water Colour exhibition at Tate Britain. On the train journey I'm pleased to announce that I made good progress with knitting the can can curly scarf, I'm using circular needles as straight needles for it makes the work more portable.

Anyway, we ate first, apologies to all eaters after me who wanted the salmon fish cake, I had the last one. Food in museums has become so good now, no curly sarnies. As we were leaving the café we spotted the restaurant, think I'd have splashed out there seeing it was birthday but too late. Would have been good to be in quieter and slightly more spacious surroundings as well as waiter service.

We enjoyed the exhibition, both noticed that there is so much more detail in older work, the modern pieces seem to be much more broad brushed, also I liked the paintings that were realistic, I'm not into allegorical, highly symbolic or campaigning works. However, one painting had such a wide range of Victorian domestic detail was Walter Langley's 'But men must work and women must weep' painted in 1882 and exhibited the following year.

What really caught my eye though was the knitting on the table on the left, four needles so how far back does this skill go? I struggled with this and have switched to magic loop, but this wouldn't have been an option then. Also were there patterns at this time, presumably the skills were handed on verbally. Besides the knitting there is completed patchwork on the right of the picture.

I'm sure the curators didn't intend us to be interested in these skills, rather it was the painting. However, I googled Water Langley and found his painting 'Girl knitting' again the subject is using four needles.

Just saying, how two interests can coincide so encouraging me to research Walter Langley. Would I have bothered if I'd had to go to the reference library, look in art books and peer at a poor monochrome reproduction. Doubt it.

Another simple pleasure yesterday was travelling on the top deck of number 88 bus from Tate Britain. London was busy, crowded pavements, lots of tidying up going on, but looking  beautiful in the evening sunshine. Dr. Johnson was so right.

Well must get on, domestic things to do. Enjoy the weekend folks.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I'm trying to work out whether she is using four needles or five?