Monday, 7 December 2015

Ta Dah! Lady Iliffe's Shawl

A few months ago I was asked if I could make two shawls for Basildon Park, the house where I work.  They were to go into the Lady Iliffe's bedroom to protect an armchair and a chaise longue from hands that are prone to touching the soft furnishings.  As we touch them they wear away and eventually disintegrate to nothing.  The armchair in particular had already suffered some damage and the repair was now being damaged.

Lord and Lady Iliffe were the last owners of Basildon Park and gave it to the National Trust to care for nearly 40 years ago.  So it is important that things are taken care of and kept in good condition for as long as possible.  The National Trust believes in conservation, which is keeping things in the best possible state you can, rather than restoration, which is making things look like new.

I was honoured to be asked to make something to go into the house, especially something that will protect it for future generations to enjoy.  I am passionate about Basildon Park as you know and also about conservation and keeping things safe for the future.  So it was a real delight to make something for the house.

Immediately I handed over a shawl that I had made for myself a couple of years ago, but which I never wear.  That is being used over the back of the armchair.  I needed to make a shawl though for the chaise longue.  Finally, it is finished, so Ta Dah!  Lady Iliffe's Shawl!





It is made from an acrylic yarn, which might seem like an unusual choice, but it is hard wearing and will also resist any bugs eating or living in it which is important in a historic house.  We can do without a family of moths taking up residence!

Lady Iliffe's bedroom is wallpapered with a delicate pink paper, and the curtains are a floral chintz fabric with a blue ribbon running through the flowers.  One of Lady Illife's favourite colours was pink.  I thought that the pinks and greens in this yarn would compliment all of that, and the change of colours should help to disguise any grubby finger marks. 


I don't have a decent photo of Lady Iliffe's bedroom, but this is a photo of a postcard.  The room looks a little different to this now, but you get the idea.  The chaise is the one you can just see in front of the table and the armchair just makes it into the right of the picture.

There isn't a pattern I am afraid.  I made it up on the hoof, quite literally sitting at work one day and playing with the yarn and my crochet hook.  The border is also made up and I have no idea what sort of stitch you would call it!  Next year I am hoping to do some work on patterns, and I hope to release this pattern to you then.





The edge has a sort of frilly look to it which I think makes it look quite ladylike.  It is hard to make something that looks delicate but which is in fact quite dense and hardwearing!  This is not the place for delicate laceweight yarn with lots of open work!

You are seeing this before I take it into work later in the week.  I hope that they will be as pleased with it as I am!  Lady Iliffe's bedroom is now closed for conservation cleaning until spring next year, but if you visit then you should be able to see both shawls doing their job of protecting the furniture and adding to the lived in look of the house.


I was commissioned in the spring to make some daffodils for the house, but this is the first "big" thing that I have been asked to make or have finished for someone else.  All rather nerve wracking, but exciting too!  We will see if perhaps it leads somewhere.  Depends on my self confidence levels which are, despite perhaps appearances, not the best!

Hope that you like it!

Amy

57 comments:

  1. Ooh, how exciting to have something go on display that will be admired for generations to come, and how lovely to be asked! I'm not in the least surprised, though, your creations are beautiful and should be admired by as many people as possible xx

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  2. Yes, it is an honour and a great job at the accomplishment you did. This is an exciting moment for you to remember years to come as well. Imagine everyone passing through gets to see your work but also the protection that it brings as well. I'm not big on made up patterns, when it comes to knitting or crochet, I leave that for others.

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  3. I do like it, I think it is beautiful. How exciting to have it on display in a property that you love and care so much about. This must be a proud day for you. Congratulations x

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  4. Useful and beautiful. Well done Amy.

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  5. It's beautiful- seriously. clever you. How lucky they are to have you. I'd love you to make me one of the one you made for the wedding- would you take a commission? (seriously) xx

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  6. Hey Amy,
    My goodness that's lovely! I love the colours. They do suit the period very well. I'm sure her ladyship would have loved it too ;))
    Leanne xx

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  7. Exciting times to have been commissioned to make something for such a prestigious house is wonderful. Congratulations.

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  8. How exciting to have one of your makes on display at a National Trust property Amy, you should be very proud. I am seriously impressed that you can just make up the pattern 'on the hoof' It is a beautiful shawl and I love the muted colours.

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  9. How wonderful to be asked to do something like that! And you have done them proud. The shawl is exquisite and has a delicate, aged look which would fit nicely into the room. Gorgeous! xCathy

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  10. The shawl is lovely! And what a good idea to use shawls to protect the fabric.

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  11. It's lovely. I'm sure it will do its job well, protecting those precious items of furniture as well as looking pretty and as though it's just been left there.

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  12. William Morris advocated that one should have nothing in one's home they didn't know to be useful or believe to be beautiful (I hope I've quoted correctly!) and your shawl fits the bill on both counts! It is lovely and as you say the colours will be perfect on two counts, too: it will complement the scheme of the room and also disguise little grubby finger marks. Well done you, it is beautiful ... and useful!!!
    Margaret P

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  13. It is beautiful! The colors are lovely and will look right at home in that room. What an honor to be asked to create something that will be both useful and attractive. You're a talented, creative gal!

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  14. How exciting to have your work in the House protecting the furniture. These two will last a long time, especially since you chose acrylic, so no moths. I like the pink walls of the bedroom.

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  15. It's a lovely shawl Amy, you must be very pleased & proud to be asked xx

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  16. Hi Amy! Oh, what a beautiful shawl. YOu do such a beautiful job of crocheting! What a lovely place to work and thank you for sharing it with us. Have a great week.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  17. Well done, Amy! You are GOOD with that crochet hook!

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  18. It's lovely Amy, I really like how it will give a feel that Lady Iliffe has just popped it down there. And I love that it's handmade, and especially that it's handmade by you! No doubt it will do a great job of protecting the chaise longue. CJ xx

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  19. It's lovely Amy and you must be so proud. The colours are muted and sort of faded, but oh so feminine. Could I pinch the colour idea? Confidence is hard for some of us, but if you get another chance at something, grab it. Take care.

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  20. What a privilege to be asked to make something for the house. Your shawl is beautiful and will make a lovely addition.

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  21. What an honor to have been asked to crochet the shawls. Such pretty work you do. Nice to know your hand made pretty will help preserve this piece of history.

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  22. How lovely and aren't you clever? I'm always so impressed when people can make up a pattern as they go along; I wouldn't know where to start. You should be very proud. xx

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  23. The shawl looks lovely, Amy. I'm sure they'll be delighted with it! :o)

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  24. Beautiful colours, beautiful design, beautiful shawl. How proud you must be xx

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  25. Absolutely beautiful Amy !!
    Look lovely xoxo

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  26. How exciting, and what an honour to be asked - and the shawl is just lovely, so take credit where it's due, lovely Amy, well done you. Hugs xx

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  27. Your shawl is beautiful. How special to be asked to do this. They do have confidence in you! Your talent is evident.

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  28. Great job , they will look wonderful in that room . I bet they will love them . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  29. You do such beautiful work! The shawl is lovely!

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  30. So beautiful, just what you'd expect to find in a Lady's bedroom.

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  31. It's not only a lovely shawl you have created but you've added to the legacy of this historic property. You should feel honored; how special. Wishing you a fun filled holiday week, Pat xx

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  32. This is really special. Special because you were asked to make a shawl, and special because it's going to be on show for (hopefully) many years to come! You did a marvelous job with the shawl Amy. Love the colours, and from the post card, I think they'll suit the chaise very nicely! You have good reason to be proud ;)
    Wendy

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  33. Bravo Amy....very nice,indeed!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  34. The shawl is lovely. How clever you are.

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  35. Hi Amy,

    The shawl is gorgeous and such an honour to have it displayed at the National Trust place. Great job. Love the pretty pink bedroom.
    Enjoy the week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  36. Amy the shawl is beautiful, they will be so grateful for it as I am for my personal 'tour' yesterday of Basildon Park, thank you x

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  37. Congratulations, clever Amy! The shawl is absolutely lovely, and the colours a beautiful blend which will work perfectly in the situation. I do hope you get a chance to photograph in in place, to show us all :)) xx

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  38. It's gorgeous and definitely fit for a lady. How lovely that you were asked to make this, and a reflection on your talent. It will look beautiful draped over the chaise longue.
    Cathy x

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  39. Really a beautiful work ... They were right to ask you to do it !! Bravo ! Have a hopeful day ... hugs

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  40. The finished shawl is beautiful and to be involved in the NT property in this way is well-deserved. Congratulations Amy!

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  41. You can be proud Amy the shawl is quite beautiful and will give a lovely touch to Lady Iliffe's bedroom. :) xx

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  42. Wow what an honour to be asked to do something that is linked with such a historical house.
    You should be very proud.

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  43. Oh how wonderful - and well done you! Beautiful work and looks like you have put a lot of thought and hard work into it :)

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  44. I think it's going to look great in that pink room. I'm sure the powers that be will be pleased.

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  45. The shawl is very lovely, Amy.

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  46. It looks brilliant Amy. I will look out for it next time I visit. x

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  47. Aren't you clever. How exciting getting a commission too.

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  48. That is exciting you certainly nailed the border, it is lovely. Jo x

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  49. The shawl is beautiful - you should be very proud to produce such a lovely piece of work.

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  50. I think it is absolutely lovely, Amy! I am so impressed that you made up the design, too! How wonderful that your pretty shawl will be used in such an important way and that many people will be able to admire your beautiful work. You should be very proud of yourself! Hugs xo Karen

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  51. Oh wow! What an honour! It's beautiful Amy xx

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  52. Great job my Friend! It turned out beautifully - and I'm beyond impressed that you made a lot of it up!! Such talent! ;)

    I love the colors and "ruffled" feel of it. And how lovely that it will benefit something so important. Bravo! xoxo

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  53. Amy, that is beautiful! How wonderful to be able to make something for Basildon Park. You do such beautiful work, and without a pattern. I'm impressed.

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  54. This is gorgeous, Amy! Well done! It will look lovely in place, protecting the furniture and looking as if it belongs too! I especially like the frilly edging!
    Barbara xx

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  55. Amy, you did a fantastic job with the shawl as evident by all of your amazing comments. Well done, I bet the Lady of the house would have loved it.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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