sampling local samplers

Yesterday I took myself on a little outing to the Fitzwilliam Museum after my translation class. I asked the man on the desk to direct me to their textiles collection, which he did, but he muttered about how they didn’t have very much in the way of textiles to show. This appeared to be true. There were some rugs in the room next to the armoury, but they were hanging right at the tops of the walls, above some large display cases, which made seeing them almost impossible. Then there was a small collection of 17th and 18th century samplers, hidden in the fan gallery. Although there were only a few, they were very beautiful and finely worked. I took lots of pictures, but the light levels were extremely low, so they didn’t come out super clear:

While I was inspecting these samplers, considering how I might go about making one of my own, and simultaneously being bowled over by their tininess and the precision that went into working them, I made another new discovery: pattern darning. This is something I have never ever come across before, or at least if I have I didn’t recognise it. I think I would have mistaken it for weaving. I never knew this could be done, and it looks so attractive and so deceptively like woven fabric. Ah, yet another thing I would like to have a go at myself:
I would say I’d save it for a rainy day, but today I learnt that Cambridge is officially classified as ‘semi-arid’, and in the same category as most of the northern Mediterranean coastline in terms of how much rain we get. I guess I’ll have to wait.