iKnit London, Part III, Final

There is no iKnit on Sunday so the Knitting Gang of Four took ourselves to the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I’d never been there before but C. has been there several times and took us right where we wanted to go:  the lace.

The above wristlet is actually tiny, and really beautiful.  It is part of a display and was the only display of knitted lace we could find.  Here we are looking at the mounted examples:

It’s actually very dimly lit so all my photos of this area needed manipulation to fix the lighting.  What we are looking at are all baby items (including the above wristlet), and the little strip of knitting at the bottom is a sampler of stitch patterns:

These must have been made on needles like sewing needles.  Here’s a close up of the baby sock:

I’m so happy my camera has a macro setting!  We also looked at some amazing hand crocheted things:

To give you an idea of how tiny these stitches are, the little swirling circles in the boarder are much smaller than a dime, smaller than a 1 euro cent piece.  They are tiny and are made up of many many stitches.

After looking at these, C. lead us to a room full of lace, but it was roped off and we couldn’t get in!  She asked the guard if it was possible to see the room.  He made a phone call and 3 minutes later a nice patient man came and let us in and waited until we had seen all we wanted to see, then closed the room behind us when we left.  It was very cool.  Here are some of the things that we saw:

Look at this one (above).  Do you see the metal chain loops holding it all together?

Here’s C. also taking a photo a photo of this box covered in raised needlework.

You have to understand, most of these examples are from 900 to 300 years old!  Some were from the 19th century, but a lot of it was just ancient.  They also had kimonos and skirts and other beautiful textiles.  I took more photos, but haven’t had time yet to adjust the light in them so that you can see what we saw.  I’d never seen anything like this.  It was really special.

After this section of the museum we walked through the jewelry section and then to the museum bookstore.  I bought a very special book there, but will have to write something about it another time.  It’s worth a whole blog post itself.

We at lunch in the museum.  Here’s the dining room:

Everything in this museum makes you stop and stare.  The building itself is a wonder.  I want to go for a long weekend in London and spend all the time here.

We made our way back to our hotel to pick up our luggage, and then headed for the airport and the rest of the story you know.

And that was London!

4 thoughts on “iKnit London, Part III, Final

  1. dominique September 18, 2009 / 22:03

    thanks for showing those beautifull pieces!

  2. Cassandra September 19, 2009 / 09:38

    Oh, the photos are great! Makes me almost believe that we really can decipher them!

    “Gang of Four” — how does that sound in Dutch?!

  3. Cybèle September 19, 2009 / 14:16

    You know what I think is so sad? 300 years ago so many people knew how to knit things like this. Now if you can actually knit, you get people coming up to you saying ‘I can’t even sew on a button’.
    Beautiful pieces. Never been to the V&A either but would love to go one day.
    Bummer about the swift. I have a feeling it will still turn up.

  4. Zwaalie September 19, 2009 / 18:13

    Ooooh booo! Now I really regret I wasn’t there with you. Those photos are AMAZING!!!

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