Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Old World Tokens

It was tradition for ages for the lady to grant her knight a token of her affection. This was part of the rules of Courtly Love. Gradually it be came less formal and the gifts we give today to one's significant others are at least partially influenced by this. Originally, I think, it was a sleeve or glove then a ribbon when the knight was to joust for the lady. You can see this in several episode of The Tudors. (Yes not historically accurate but still pretty fun).

Tokens of affection were often handmade items. Keep in mind, noblewomen had time to sit and do all the embroidery and sewing. (Unlike us who scrounge for sewing time - well I do). Sometimes it would be family crests then it became initials, intertwined.

Now, before I show you all the pretty pictures, it must be said, I loathe embroidery. I rarely if ever do any of it. Yes, I did make a Christmas table runner, but that took me two years. So the fact I did this in about four days total, spread over a week, is a pretty big deal for me.

And now for the pictures.
In progress, letters intertwined and the crown beginning

More of the crown

Finished piece, except for the hemming around the edges. 
The colors are brighter in real life

I made it on a scrap of Aida cloth I found in the stash, and with DMC cotton embroidery thread. I found the pattern out of a book I found in the library. I don't remember the name but it was full of monograms. I blended a couple of the patterns together to get the image I liked. All the colors are symbolic and directly linked with Heraldry - a hobby and fascination of mine. 

I'm quite happy with it. And it's likely the only embroidery I'll do for the next couples years. Although embroidery floss is quite useful for eyelets.....

And no, no you don't get to know who the initials are for. ;)

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