Whitework embroidered alphabet: letter J

A whitework alphabet: letter J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

I’ve loved – and lost – a lot of pottery and porcelain over my life time but I still find it hard to resist buying something lovely that catches my eye. I have an especial weakness for jugs though in recent years I  have limited my collecting to those 6 pint Emma Bridgewater ones, of which I have about 20. Now I think about it, I also seem to have half a dozen or so of her 3 pint jugs and a few more pint an a half ones dotted, semi-camouflaged  around the  house full of pens and pencils, paintbrushes, scissors, hand cream, etc., etc… but obviously, these don’t count. In chintz, the pattern I’ve used for my embroidered jug, I have both a 6 pint (with mended handle) and a 3 pint.

A whitework alphabet: letter J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

Chintz was one of Bridgewater’s earliest designs dating from 1985, which I know because she helpfully lists patterns and dates at the back of her book Emma Bridgewater Pattern (Saltyard Books, 2015). Produced in 16 shapes (and I think I’ve had most of them), it came in 3 colourways – pink roses with green leaves, pink and yellow roses, again with green leaves (see photograph of a dish from the book) and ummm, a third of which I know nothing. Any ideas?

Detail of whitework alphabet: letter J (hand embroidered by Mary Addison)

If you love modern success stories going from kitchen table to owning a factory in the Potteries, Emma’s 2 books could be for you. Toast, Marmalade and Other Stories  and Pattern are just right to pick up and read on a cold winter afternoon when the rain is slashing across the windows, the fridge is well stocked and the sofa well cushioned. After a splendid afternoon reading, you may even feel up to padding into the kitchen and whizzing up one of the recipes that splice the text. I’m glad to see Corned Beef Hash is just as much a favourite with Emma’s family as it was with mine.

Emma Bridgewater pink and yellow rose chintz dish

Emma Bridgewater books: Toast, Marmelade and Other Stories (Saltyard Books, 2014) AND Pattern (Saltyard Books, 2015)

On the other side of the Atlantic, Molly Hatch is a much loved potter. She first came to my attention with a range of mugs, whose bases were decorated with flowers –  great in a row hanging from cup hooks, such a jolly idea.  Sadly, I don’t think she produces these mugs now and anyway little of her range is available in the UK  –  John Lewis has a few things, as Anthropologie does sometimes, though not, I think, at the moment. While being a commercial potter she also keeps her hand in the art side of pottery too – see Molly Hatch Studio and enjoy the pictures she paints using designs on individual plates all working together. I especially like her take on a couple of English  Chelsea Porcelain plates. (A search of Molly Hatch installations, clicking on images, will reveal even more.) Her book A Passion for China: A Little Book About the Objects We Eat From, Live with and Love (September Publishing, 2017) celebrates everyday crockery and the stories they carry. The watercolour paintings of plates, jugs and ornaments – but especially plates – are delightful (and several would lend themselves very well to embroidery!).

Molly Hatch book: A passion for China (September Publishing, 2017)

Porcelain will have to wait for another day!


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Another little cardigan with leaf buds

In spite of all I said about the little leaf  bud cardigan in this post, I couldn’t resist making it again for my husband’s five year old granddaughter. This time it’s in pink as it’s her favourite colour. In my haste to get it posted to arrive in time for her birthday last week (at which I’m usually very bad) I forgot to take any photographs, hence this headless picture as I think nowadays one should get permission before showing photographs of other people’s children … and I really wanted to get a short post out today.

‘Marcie’ cardigan (pattern by Sarah Hatton from the book Little Rowan Kids)

Now I’m in a dilemma. Daughter No 2 likes the cardigan so much she wants me to scale it up and make one for her. At first I said yes, bought a pattern similar to this but for an adult, to be done in a yarn with a very nearly similar tension (yes, that very nearly similar is worrying me too!). I thought I could then just leaf bud away… But the more I think about it, the more I think I’m not up to the domino fall of complexities. I mean if it were a child’s jumper, experimentation would be just about do-able, but I’m not sure I have  the heart to start a project using a large amount of quite expensive yarn without being more sure of the outcome. I haven’t told her yet and will wait till  I’ve done a bit more research to see if I can find a ready made pattern of similar shape and decorative stitch. Any ideas from you experienced knitters?


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