I discovered this delightful little treasury on Embroidery-Crochet and Knitting in a lovely used book shop in Long Beach, California. Note the amazing illustration on the front–Silk Worms on a bed of mulberry leaves, with a cocoon in the middle and spun silk flourishes surrounding the cover of the book. I imagine the type set was done by hand as well as the whimsical illustration.
This book is not only a reminder of what was printed in 1899, it also serves as a template for use of the Heminway & Sons Silk thread. The book was a pattern book written and sold to help hand crafters utilize the silk thread, in much the same way knitting books are used for yarn inspiration today.
But the real story of this book is the bits and bobs left behind by the crafter who first owned this Treatise. I don’t know her name or story but the tiny scraps scattered among the pages are a legacy left from one craftsperson to another. I know she valued this book and used it although we are separated by over a century and many generations.
And that she planned her projects carefully with drawings rendered with numbers to indicate which colors she would use. I love how she fully used the book, not afraid to take what she needed and scattering her crafting detritus for me to find all these years later. As if by magic.
I’d like to think she was a knitter also, separated from me by one hundred years and a purpose filled life full of hand craft and love. I hope her lovingly rendered hand crafts are still used and loved today by her grandchildren’s grandchildren. As crafters could we ask for any less?
A Treatise on Embroidery-Crochet and Knitting with Illustrations Published by M Heminway & Sons in 1899 and sold for 15 cents a copy as photographed by Michelle Miller, 2013.