Home again, successfully. Yesterday was devoted to convalescence. Today the Christmas scramble begins anew, and rather pleasantly so, for Helen Chronic-Knitting-Syndrome and I are going to have our own little Christmas party at a local estaminet.
I had my recent eBay purchase delivered to her (the bound volume of early Vogue Knitting Books), so I should get that today. The seller sounded a bit scatter-brained, and December is tough for everybody, so I didn’t want to ask her to wait a week to post it. And I wanted even less to have it fester for a week in the Sorting Office.
Helen emailed me with details while we were in London. There is no doubt at all that I’ve got a bound volume of issues Two through Twelve, Spring 1933 through spring 1938. Covers and advertising pages are missing. That’s sad. But for £13.50 it’s an astonishing bargain. In November of last year, numbers One, Two and Three, bound together, fetched £112.
[The model Jean Shrimpton – elderly British readers will recognise the name – got her big break in the Vogue Knitting Book. It was a three or four page colour spread advertising, I think, Bernat Klein yarns, just at the time when colour printing and hand-painted yarns were simultaneously taking off. Shrimpton went on to model for the VKB itself, and eventually to appear on its cover, and indeed to pop up everywhere for a few years. I mention this as an illustration of why it’s sad to strip a magazine of cover and ads.]
So, as I’ve said before, I’ll go on looking for issues 6, 7 and 8 in proper, separate form. But this means that in a sense, at least, I’ve got them all except for Spring, 1940.
While we were away, my Orenburg sampler from Heirloom Knitting turned up. I long to drop everything and try it. “Everything” means Christmas knitting, which I annually swear not to get involved in; and the need to knit a Christmas tree ornament. I’m well on target, but they must be done.
And while visiting Heirloom Knitting just now for the sake of that link, I was led on to Renaissance Dyeing. Oh, for another lifetime!
I think the most memorable and exhilarating thing we saw in London last week was the exhibition of Richard Serra’s huge welded steel sculptures at the Gargosian Gallery near King’s Cross. But the high point of the week for me was this. It’s in the textbooks, and I have long loved it, but never expected to see it face to face. It lives in Urbino, where it belongs. It’s currently in the Renaissance Portrait show at the National Gallery. Unfortunately my husband’s stamina, usually invincible, gave out that afternoon, and I wasn’t able to spend the time I would have liked with it.