Knit and crochet patterns inspired by historic textiles collection

On the 17th February 2014, the anniversary of Miss Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s birth (17 February 1886), Gawthorpe Textiles Collection launched an exclusive range of downloadable knit and crochet patterns, under the newly created brand Miss Rachel’s Craft House Patterns. These patterns have been inspired by Miss Rachel’s lifetime passion for needlecraft including embroidery, lace and costume gathered from across the globe.

The first patterns released under the new Miss Rachel’s Craft House Patterns brand have been created by a group of five of the country’s most prolific and influential designers and makers, who were invited to spend a day at Gawthorpe Hall, with unlimited access to Miss Rachel’s extensive collection.

Taking personal inspiration from a day spent in the archives and in Miss Rachel’s Library, handling some of the lesser known items in the collection, the designers Debbie Bliss (pictured above right), Kate Davies (above, middle), Jane Ellison, Claire Montgomerie and Emma Varnam created a new garment or accessory of their own; these items have now been translated into patterns, which will be sold via our ravelry shop to help sustain and secure Miss Rachel’s legacy and the on-going work of the charitable trust.

These incredible designers were introduced to the collection and like so many of our visitors came away inspired and brimming with ideas, enthused by the enduring philosophy and passion of Miss Rachel.  She believed that creating something beautiful, through the mastery of a craft or skill was life enhancing, as well as practical and educational.  The sale of these contemporary patterns will help secure this remarkable collection for generations to come. To buy patterns click here

Debbie Bliss has created a knitting needle case (inspired by a 20th century sampler)

Kate Davies has created a stylish Tam (inspired by a bed cover embroidered by Miss Rachel)

Jane Ellison has created a hat and mittens and a scarf (inspired by notebooks in the textile archive with knitting annotations and samples)

Claire Montgomerie has created a spring capelet (inspired by a tiny fragment of crochet)

Emma Varnam has created a cushion cover (inspired by a large soldier’s quilt)

Debbie Bliss, commenting on the project said, “It was a tremendous privilege to be asked to part of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection project, to see and handle some of this amazing collection.   Hearing about its history and the redoubtable Miss Rachel was wonderful, as was seeing the other designers excited about creating their different pieces. It was a truly memorable day.”

The items created by the designers will will be on display when Gawthorpe Hall reopens to the public on 29 March 2014 with special textile-related events.