This is a lovely set of 9 books - 8 from the National Trust, which describe and illustrate the wonderful homes associated with exceptional people and, in many cases, rare needlework collections. All books are in very good condition and have 50-60 pages. Above is the guide for Oxburgh which now houses needlework by Mary Queen of Scots.
Hardwick Hall probably needs no iontroduction as being the spectacular home built by Bess of Hardwick which also houses work by Mary Queen of Scots and Bess, herself.
Antony has been the home of the Carew family for 6 centuries and is home to some wonderful Elizabethan blackwork domestic items such as pillow beres.
I hope you are watching the fabulous BBC production of Wolf Hall on the TV at the moment - there is filming at Montacute House - which is also home to the Goodhart Samplers
Ightham (pronounced Eye-tam) Mote is the loveliest ancient house and was saved from dilapidation by an American, Charles Henry Robinson, to whom we should all be very grateful.
Dame Dorothy Selby lived there - she died of a needle-prick in 1641. In the church is her famous monument which features carvings of her needle-work.
The Vyne is part of what was once a larger Tudor House and was built by Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain, William 1st Lord Sandys. Wonderful tapestries to see there!
Only 10 miles from the centre of London is one of England's greatest Stuart houses. Ham House was built in 1610 by Sir Thomas Vavasour, Knight Marshal to James I.
But it was a woman, the beautiful, restless, ravenously covetous, Elizabeth Dysart who left the greatest mark on the house with her lavish decorations and furnishings.
Knole was once the home of Queen Elizabeth I's favourite, Lord Leicester. Later the house passed to the Sackvilles, Earls of Dorset and so came to belong to the Bloomsbury writer Vita Sackville-West. A place rich with examples of early decoration and textile hangings. Last, but not least, Sherborne Castle, home to Sir Walter Raleigh and some beautifully embellished Tudor manuscripts and charters.
Marsha Parker (formerly Marsha Van Valin) deserves a medal of honour for the work she has accomplished in making historic samplers available to stitchers. She has charted a prodigious number of samplers from European and US museums and the extent of her work is reflected in her catalogues. This bundle is 2 catalogues plus around 20 supplements.
They are certainly pretty samplers images to enjoy - but these are so much more than this as Marsha carefully described the samplers, their makers and their sources - an education in its own right.
If you are a lover of historic samplers, I could not recommend these to you more.
I won't go on about the days when one could walk down Stroget in Copenhagen and look in the windows of both Eva Rosenstand and Clara Waever like some child looking in a toyshop on the eve of Christmas....
but here you are two comprehensive catalogues of work carried home from the now sadly-missed fabulous sampler museum in Celle.
The catalogue even has a delightful charted pattern to make the circular daisy cloth you can see in the bottom left hand corner above.
The Permin catalogue together with the previous catalogue document with their reproductions, samplers in the Celle museum - as well as the work of wider interest to the stitcher.
Here you can enjoy some of the samplers from the Celle Museum in their replica format.
And then there is the work of Elizabeth Bradley.
Every year I would make at least one pilgrimage to Liberty's of London to see what was new and take home the latest catalogue which came in the form of a massive double sided A1 folded sheet covered with all the beautiful Elizabeth Bradley designs
All these items are in carefully kept order
and I hope their beauty will inspire you to continue your stitching.
Three very different takes on Quaker samplers. The ones above and below by marvelous Midnight Stitching and Kathy Barrick-Dieter make delightful additions to your wall and are quick and easy to complete.
And for the ultimate in thread and needle keeps, this wonderful project by Ellen Chester will impress your stitching friends....
This is a very interesting set of books - not only for knitters but those interested in textile history. All books are in reasonable or better used condition. The Art of Knitting is a hard back of 160 pages which in addition to providing 24 practical knitting projects, recounts the history from earliest times
each knitting project is based upon an historical knitted item such as the fabulous 17th century knitted tunic documented above
and even a Quaker pincushion!
This soft back book of 68 pages is also a treasure trove of historical information as well as patterns
I was particularly interested in the section on Schools of Industry as knitting featured large on most charity school curricula - not only for girls but boys also.
Gladys Thompson's book below has over 170 pages of history and gorgeous patterns -
as well as the detailed particular history of the origins of the patterns. Stories are told that you could always tell which village a drowned fisherman came from by the 'gansey' he was wearing
Sarah Don's book - a softback of over 120 pages - documents the history of the origin of these lovely garment as well as supplying practical tips and full patterns
individual motifs with sample colours are also given.
For true devotes of the history of knitting around the world then the Bishop of Leicester's book on the subject is a key resource
he was a keen knitter himself untoil his death in 2011.