Sunday, August 27, 2006
Here are the gifts that Graham and I exchanged for our first (paper) anniversary (or "any worse-ary?" as G insisted on calling it!) For Graham, 3 volumes of Ruskin's Stones of Venice, which he'd been hunting for for ages, and which we found in a tiny shop in the Shambles Market. For me, a reproduction--on photographic paper-- of a photograph by Frank Meadows Sutcliffe, who took genre-style photos of life in and around Whitby in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. This is one of his many knitting shots (treated myself to a book that contains quite a few more as well as lots of views of Whitby, children playing etc). Knitting was a major part of women's lives hereabouts. As well as there being many local gansey styles (Bobbins website tells you more), the museum has a sizeable collection of lovingly crafted knitting sheaths, a knitting belt and the most beautiful leather needle case, decorated with a leaf design and inscribed with a badly-spelt but heartfelt verse (about remembering the maker whenever looking at the case). The knitting was probably just for family use, or for pin money, but jet and jet jewellery had a big part to play in the local economy. Jet is fossilized aracuria (monkeypuzzle tree) wood, still found in and around Whitby. Hence Graham's other gift to me: the silver and Whitby jet necklace. The design of this one is inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (from Glasgow, rather than Whitby) but we both saw it and said "that one".