Prince’s Thistle – a new crewelwork project!

I’ve been visiting the past more often during this time when we can’t go anywhere else with 100% safety. Through books, podcasts and research, I’ve travelled back to Tudor and Jacobean times and, on one of my travels, I came across the beautiful silver traveling canteen below. Isn’t it just stunning?

If you want to know more about the canteen and Bonnie Prince Charlie, a good place to start is here, at the National Museums Scotland website.

It’s believed that the canteen was a 21st birthday gift to Charles Edward Stuart. He brought the canteen with him to Scotland in 1745. The Duke of Cumberland captured the canteen on the field after the battle of Culloden in April, 1746. Cumberland then gave it to one of his aides, George Kepple, who kept it in his family until 1963. It was acquired by the National Museums Scotland in 1984, after a successful fundraising effort to ensure it remains in Scotland.

It is a beautiful object, with an association to one of the most romantic figures in Scottish history. (Sadly, the reality is less romantic by far…) Nonetheless, the thistle on the cup inspired me to created a new crewelwork design entitled “The Prince’s Thistle”.

Above is a color rendering of the design. As you can see, the stitches include my favorite – laid and couched lattice on the larger leaves. I’ll be using Turkey work for the top of the thistle, as have many other designers. There will be touches of silver in the design as a nod to the silver canteen and the workmanship of Ebenezer Oliphant, the silversmith who created the canteen.

The threads I’ll be using are my all time favorite threads from Catkin Crown Textile Studio – Heathway wool. I just love these colors! It’s going to be fun watching this come together over the next few months.


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