Alison Larkin Embroidery

Historical Embroidery in Full-size and Miniature


After all the upheaval and changes the world has had to cope with over the last 18 months, things are beginning to get back to something resembling normal, at least here in the UK. The majority of adults have had jabs, and they are being rolled out for youngsters now, so most folks should be able to achieve some level of immunity to Covid soon. So restrictions are slowly opening up again.

Small steps: I was able to get back to demonstrating at The Captain Cook Museum in Whitby a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve another session next weekend. It was great to be there, stitching and talking to the visitors, even if a face shield didn’t really go with the costume! Since all my embroidery outreach work stopped abruptly last March, it felt good to be talking embroidery some way other than online.

Stitching at The Capt Cook Museum, complete with Regency face-shield!

I also had another session at Burton Constable Hall, near Hull. Our embroidery group, Hull and East Riding Broderers, has been planning an exhibition for nearly 2 years. It was supposed to be last year for our 20th birthday, but Covid. The Hall agreed (Bless them!) to let us take it over to this year, but it did mean setting things up fairly quickly, just as the restrictions started to clear up. A bit frantic, but we made it, and the exhibition looks great! It’s on till September 5th, in their Carriage House Gallery, if you are in the area. Burton Constable Hall, Skirlaugh, East Yorkshire, HU11 4LN. The House is well worth a visit as well. We’ve called it ‘Now we are One-and-Twenty’ – our group started in 2000, which makes keeping track MUCH easier.

Our HERB gang setting things up for the exhibition.

As part of the exhibition some of us are going over to sit in the Gallery or the House and demo/talk to visitors, and I spent a day there last week. I LOVE talking embroidery to anyone who will stand still long enough, and we had some lovely visitors.

Then last night we went to a friend’s 60th birthday party, which was a lovely gentle introduction back into seeing new folks and meeting together. It takes a little getting used to again after so many months of just the two of us, and there is a danger of getting too isolated, I think.

We two fell into lockdown fairly easily, just getting on with life, Chris in his study and me in the studio. Trips to the supermarket was about it, sitting in the garden when the weather allowed, chatting by Zoom and videocalls. It felt too easy, actually, and we have made an effort to try and get out again now it is allowed.

I’m working towards getting face-to-face classes going again next month as well. Zoom calls and online classes are all very well, but being able to show as well as tell is important. Whether any of my students will be able or willing to come back to classes is up to them, but I need to try!

So it definitely feels like progress, slow steps out of the pandemic madness. There are lessons to be learned from the last couple of years for all of us, about not taking health and medicine for granted, but there are also positives like improvements in vaccine development, how folks pulled together, and actually getting to know our neighbours better!

Please let’s keep on with the sensible stuff, like masks where needed, getting vaccinated, looking out for each other. It’s a mad world out there, and we need to pull together to get through this. Covid isn’t going to go away, so we need to live with it, as it gradually becomes one of the regular infections that we get ‘jabbed’ for like ‘Flu. It’ll take a while, but things will get back to normal – whatever the hell ‘Normal’ actually is – but that’s another whole question, and perhaps blog post!

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