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October 2012

The book

My search continues for that book of Hishizashi embroidery patterns.  I had read that there was one written back in 1977 by Chuzaburo Tanaka and now I have found a photo of the cover on a Japanese blog. 


I wish I spoke Japanese because these online translators leave a lot to be desired.  But I am getting closer.  Just to have a photo of the book gives me hope that one day I might be able to get a copy.  These photos are so tantalising.  I did find a site where the book had been listed for sale but that was a few years ago and the listed price was 15,000 yen about $200.00.


On the same blog  back in 2008, I found a reference to another book Edited by Aiko Suzuki, " 堯子 Hatta pattern collection stab Mitsubishi In 1989."  (I suspect that where I couldn't get a translation should read Hishizashi pattern collection.  The translation also says that the cover is pale yellow when it is pale blue.)


With this book I find there is mention of nearly 1,000 patterns.  Looking at the patterns I have done to date I can understand this.  Many of the patterns are different only in the thread count, the pattern looks the same.  If you were to apply this alone to the 400 patterns the number of  would increase out of sight. 

This is all a bit of a break through for my research.  I can now take these books to the University and see if they can locate any copies for me.

Now online

I see that the British Library Journal articles from 1975 are now online.  Among them I found a section on English embroidererd bookbindings.

The Felbrigge Psalter from the 13th-century is one of the pieces.  It consists of two embroidered panels in Opus Anglicanum and measures appox. 20 X 13cm. 

Felbrigge-psalter1-208x300The article by Penelope Wallis says:

The Panels are worked in coloured silks and silver gilt thread – gold coated on silver and wound around a core of silk – on a twofold linen ground, a fine upper layer on a thicker lower one. The silk is used in split stitching while the metal threads are couched on the surface in a chevron pattern and as background. The colours are naturally faded and also destroyed at some time, when they were given a coat of varnish. However, where they survive they show greens, blues, grey, browns, fawn and white as well as a deep rose pink.

The front cover depicts the annunciation with the angel Gabriel approaching the Virgin Mary from the left. The scroll he is handing in his left was probably embroidered with Ave Maria. She holds a book, a motif dating back to the 9th century. The back cover shows the crucifixion with Mary and St. John grieving, while at the bottom a small figure may have been the embroiderer herself.

If you follow the link  you can read the full article which has a number of images included. I think this is something you would have to see yourself to do it justice.  I am going to keep diggin and see what else is in here.

A big purchase

I also bought a ton of Kogin threads, an auspicious number, 111 skeins.  Once I get to that No 50 Hishizashi pattern I want to take a break and start stitching some pieces I have designed.But,  I have a number of classes booked for next year.  That is going to eat into this stock.  I might have to get some more.


I also bought this cute fabric to make my grand daughter a new dress.  It might end up in the charity bin because my daughter-in-law doesn't like ironing.


Nearly Finished

We are nearly at the final stage of the renovations upstairs, polishing the floors.  The workmen came today to do the sanding and apply the first coats of sealer.  But oh the smell! it certainly isn't roses.  We will have to eat out tonight there is no way I could cook near that smell.

I have opened all the windows and shut off the back of the house.  I hope I can sleep.  Dream of roses.  Think of all those other sweet smelling flowers.  They told me it will take about 5 days to clear the smell.  Why didn't I take a holiday?