Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cross Stitch - Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire

For a change this post is not about books.

I like to do cross-stitching, but one of its disadvantages is that I cannot read and stitch at the same time. Other difficulties are that I cannot do it in the summer as my hands get too hot and at other times of the year I find the light is not good enough so I have to use a daylight lamp, which I don't find very easy. Anyway, now that I've just finished reading The Testament of Gideon Mack, which I'll write about soon, I feel it's time to get stitching again after many months of inactivity. I have quite a lot of different ones on the go, some I've been doing for years. One of them is a kit to stitch Little Moreton Hall. The photograph above shows the minimal amount I've done. It's quite hard as it is such a fine canvas and small stitches - I'm no expert. The Hall, a National Trust property in Cheshire is a beautiful timber framed Tudor building as shown in the photographs below.

Little Moreton Hall is one of the most impressive buildings I know, with its wonderful decorative timber framing and patterned glazed windows. It is marvellous to be able to visit such an historic building and many rooms are open for the public to look at and walk through. It looks top-heavy with its projecting upper storeys. The earliest part of the building dates from the 1440s and 1450s when the Great Hall and the East Wing were built. A third storey was added in 1560-70 during the reign of Elizabeth I, containing the Long Gallery, 68 feet long with a massive arched roof. Cross beams were inserted into the roof trusses in the late seventeenth century to stop the walls from coming apart. The walls are crooked and the floor is uneven, so you experience a truly precarious feeling walking along the gallery. When I visited it quite a few years ago the Long Gallery was not furnished, much as it would have been when it was first built, because the Elizabethans used the room for walking, daily exercise and games. It was very easy to imagine what it must have been like.

I bought the Guide Book, the Cross Stitch Kit and a small bay tree in a pot for the garden as souvenirs. I like to buy Cross Stitch Kits of National Trust houses and properties wherever I can find them. I now have a few including a view of St Michael's Mount near Penzance in Cornwall, and an ornamental gate in the garden of Townend, a 17th century solid stone and slate farmhouse near Windermere in Cumbria.

I also like to buy bookmarks to stitch. They are much quicker to finish and have a practical use. I've decided to start the bookmark shown on the left in the photograph below even though I have several other kits I've started and not finished.


KreativeMix said...

love the pictures

kim said...

Hi Margaret, I live close to Moreton Hall, and I have never visited, it is going on to my list of things I must do in the New Year. Thank you so much for your book recomendations for Christmas, I have just read 'The Christmas Mystery' which was just fantastic and I am waiting until tomorrow to start 'A feast for Advent'. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to your book reviews. Kim

danielle said...

I love stitching as well, and it is always hard deciding whether to read or stitch. I am working on a little birthday gift at the moment, but I haven't been making good progress as I tend to pick up my book instead! I have stitched one bookmark, but I've yet to finish it as it is on linen (not a precut bookmark) and I am lazy to do the stitching around it, so I can cut off the excess fabric. I love those historic house kits by the way!

jenclair said...

:) I'm a needle work person, too. I love to embroider and to quilt and one of the decided disadvantages is exactly what you mention: you cannot read while doing it. So these inadvertent cycles occur in which one activity is neglected.

The Christmas Mystery is still on my list, but I've not yet purchased a copy.

The stitching on Little Moreton Hall does look quite difficult! But there is such relaxation in needlework that as soon as you get accustomed to the tiny stitches, things will probably roll quite easily.

Cath said...

I used to cross-stitch a lot but have arthritic hands these days so it's not so easy. I have so many lovely kits unstitched that I don't like to think about it too much.

My father-in-law was apparently billeted in Little Moreton Hall during the war. He used to say it was cold and draughty! We belong to the NT but have not been to that property. One day, hopefully.

BooksPlease said...

Kreativemix, thank you.

Kim, Lt Moreton Hall is so beautiful - do go when you can. Thanks for your nice words.

Danielle, reading is the major hindrance to stitching. I've never tried stitiching on linen - impressive.

Jenclair, you're right stitching is relaxing. Thank you for the encouragement.

Cath, I can imagine how cold and draughty that must have been! Lt Moreton Hall is well worth a visit.

Lisa said...

What a beautiful building!I certainly understand your 'dilemma' to not be able to read and cross stitch at the same time. I'm a knitter, and I have tried numerous times to find a way to knit and read at the same time, but it just doesn't work. That's one reason I've not been reading as much lately because I'm finishing some knitting projects that are to be Christmas presents.

Sam said...

This comment is not related to this particular post, but I have tagged you with my Christmas Meme!

Tara said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful building. It looks as though it would be very difficult to cross stitch! I don't know why I've never thought of stitched bookmarks - yours are lovely. I'd like to make one myself.

GeraniumCat said...

Such a wonderful building! I hope you'll post a picture when you've finished. I like to do needlepoint, but my hands get very tired and they take me years to finish. Bookmarks would be a good idea, much more manageable.