Saturday, March 31, 2007

Our friends have been safely delivered to Waverley Station.

Yesterday’s cultural outing was, in the end, not to Falkland Palace but to Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott’s wonderful house in the Borders, and to Melrose Abbey nearby, bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang. We had a grand time. I am very tired.

Not much knitting. I am nearly ready to fuse the wallaby pouch to the body. I think I’ll press ahead and do that, and maybe finish the body, before sinking back into the arms of my Princess.

One further note on Wednesday’s visit to the Museum of Scotland: the knitting showcase included a Fair Isle sweater, as I have mentioned. It was nearly 100 years old (1910). It is distinctly short in both body and sleeves – a sweater for a man to do some work in. It was folded so that I couldn’t see how the sleeves were attached to the shoulders, or how the pattern behaved at that interesting juncture. It had a round neck with stand-up Fair-Isle-patterned collar.


  1. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Isn't it irritating when curators who don't know about knitting get to put it on display? They just don't understand which are the bits that us technical folk will want to see.
    Princess has me speechless with admiration.

  2. Anonymous4:09 PM

    Jean, you could always phone the museum, and ask the name and email of the curator of textiles. Write an email saying who you are, a very brief precis of your experience with scholarly endeavors (to show you know museums are SERIOUS (ahem) places) explain your particular interest and ask for an appointment to visit the collections.

    The collections professionals in most museums enjoy speaking to someone knowledgable in their field, and may be appreciative of the extra information you can add to the background of certain objects. They might even be looking for volunteer help one day a week.

    I work in a major museum in Ottawa, and if someone has a genuine reason for wanting to see the collections for which I care, I have no problem with making a half-day or more available with decent notice. Of course I am safe in the knowledge that you aren't likely to want to see pickled crustaceans and parasites any time soon...

  3. I'm with Jean from Cornmwall - how irritating. As with what Judith said, I'm also thinking that there may even be groups booked in for viewings on a regular basis. When I get IK I notice that there's always so many knitting, weaving and spinning tours through Ireland and Scotland advertised, I'd be surprised if they didn't occasionally book in to see these sorts of collections. You could tag in on one of those. I the meantime, Judith has given me the brilliant idea to see if I can organise something like this with the S'n'Bers in Can'tberra - err Canberra, Australia at the National Museum.

  4. Anonymous12:34 AM

    Kate, this is one of those things where a group may not be a real benefit. Collections space is often tight, and if you want to take something out to examine it, table space might be limited. If I think of the collection areas I've seen, I would suspect that a group of no more than 5 inexperienced visitors might be the maximum a curator would be comfortable supervising.

    But all museums are different, so all you can do is ask and see!