November 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to November, the season of mists and bonfires. I do hope that this finds you well and you are managing to enjoy some of the autumn colours before the rain washes the leaves away. Halloween is barely over but all the Christmas goodies are cramming onto the shelves already. I find I have already bought advent calendars and ordered my Christmas beef!

I hope as many as possible of you are having your boosters and flu jabs. My husband contracted COVID last week and we have been in isolation since. Apparently I don’t need to isolate as I’m testing negative, but that seems bizarre to me, so I’m staying safely at home, with my man flu victim. I seem to still have enough antibodies to avoid the virus despite being in close quarters with an infected person, which is a relief.

Fortunately he is not too bad, just very fatigued and hating being without taste and smell. The TV and a roaring fire have helped!

I’ve no stories or photos from members this month, but I have suggestions for visits and podcasts.
It’s the Knitting & Stitching Show at Harrogate soon –18th– 21st November, with lots to see and do. Have a look at featuring artists: Maria Thomas, Hannah Lamb, Sabi Westobi, Omone Otite, and the Embroiderers’ Guild will be bringing its current exhibition “Exquisite Containers” to the show.


If you fancy some fresh air and a walk: The Weston Gallery at Yorkshire Sculpture Park will be transformed by Annie Morris’ vibrant sculptures and intricate ‘thread paintings’ –  Wakefield   25th Sep 2021 – 6th Feb 2022  Annie Morris’ installation creates an immersive experience of the artist’s own studio, mimicking a creative environment where the immediacy of her drawn and stitched work sits alongside sculptures in various stages of creation. Aptly named The Stacks, the colourful structures are precariously balanced in towers to demonstrate a sense of instability and fragility. They poignantly represent themes of grief and loss, as the artist took inspiration from a tragic event in her own life whilst creating them, the death of her first child before birth. The exhibition will be accompanied by a new monumental bronze work that will sit in the park outside, marrying Morris’ work the striking Yorkshire landscape.



At the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, from 9th Oct – 20th Feb 2022 you can see the work of a pioneering painter of women, war and marginalised people. Laura Knight’s staggering success in the male-dominated art world paved the way for the recognition of women artists.

With a style that sat somewhere between figurative painting, realist tradition and English Impressionism, Laura Knight (1877-1970) is considered one of the most prolific 20th-century English artists. She was particularly known for her work as a war artist during the Second World War, shining a new light on women’s role in the war effort, and for her fascination with the backstage world of ballet, theatre and circus, often painting marginalised people.

As an artist Laura Knight was constantly breaking conventions and challenging stereotypes – notably she was the first woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy. The exhibition will feature 160 of her powerful works, from commissions created during the Second World War, rarely seen paintings and graphic works, to ceramics jewellery and costume.


If you are in London over the Festive season, Don’t forget about: Beautiful People: The Boutique in 1960s Counterculture at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London.  1 October 2021 – 13 March 2022.

Frilled shirts, Regency brocades and velvet trousers – there’s plenty in this exhibition to inspire you to push the boat out with your costume this Halloween. Beautiful People explores the designers who defined radical fashion in the 1960s, driven by freedom and flamboyance. The exhibition is an explosion of colour, materials and decorative design – the perfect way to brighten up the greyest of days.

On Saturday 20th Novemberthere will be a Closing Down Sale at Pentrich Village Hall, 10.30 – 4pm. Ann Mayner, owner of Quilt Essential, Cromford Mill, is retiring and moving away. She has always stocked a great range of fabrics and notions, so that should be very worthwhile.


In Nottingham I urge you to visit the Castle Museum for the Paul Smith exhibition. It’s exciting and inspirational, full of colour, character and images. For this exhibition he focuses on photographs and colour and his eclectic use of both. It’s on until February, but if you go out-of-holiday times there’s no need to pre-book and you can wander round at leisure. The Castle has been revamped with two cafes and the shop has plenty of goodies and gift ideas.    

Another shop with great gift ideas is at the Contemporary Museum in the Lacemarket, Nottingham. It’s my go-to spot for quirky and unusual gifts, art books and children’s toys. Closed on Mondays.   


A new Podcast to listen to: Meet Me at the Museum – new series. The Art Fund podcast features well-known faces taking someone they love to a favourite museum or gallery, to explore what’s on offer, have a chat about what they find, and generally muse on life. Previous series have featured guests including comedian Mae Martin, poet Benjamin Zephaniah, and actor Mathew Horne, all exploring museums they love. As well as getting a peek behind the scenes, finding out what makes a museum tick, their visits are also the starting point for some great conversations about life, the universe and everything. Oh, and also a chance to eat lots of cake in the cafe. (You will have to bake your own of course!)  

I’ve been watching interesting craft contests. Channel 4 hosts HandMade, a weekly show featuring competing woodworkers, with a different set of challenges each episode. It is fascinating to watch the designs coming to life, the energy and, in some cases, excellence of the craftsmanship.  

On Netflix and You Tube there is a show called Blown Away, about glass blowing. Very American in nature, but each episode is only a half hour long, so very compulsive! Mindblowing and very instructive, I absolutely love it.  

I also love the Thursday episode of Strictly: It Takes Two when they have the costume people showing the outfits for the next dance show. They often discuss the structure of the garments, show their plans and current work, but that often evolves during the Friday dress rehearsal and changes get made. Fascinating.


I’ve been compiling my Christmas list, from my armchair. Books on my list are:

I’ll review them in January, if I find them under my Christmas Tree! Any more reviews or gift suggestions are very welcome, as I’m sure readers would appreciate some ideas.


I also attended a lovely in-person workshop at Hope & Elvis, up at the Harley Gallery near Worksop. Fabulous workroom with a delicious hot lunch. The class was run by Mandy Patullo, a friend and fabulous stitcher, who mainly uses antique materials and quilts in her work. We made small hand stitched dolls. Here are some of Mandy’s and our class efforts.

If you have any newsletter contributions, puzzles, recommendations, etc, do please send them to me via the Living Threads email address:  or email me directly at It’s a hopeful time of year and but we still need some tips and interesting  or amusing snippets!

Email us at:  or check us out on Facebook.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have been unwell or had Covid-19, and that the booster keeps us all safe.
Everyone please enjoy the season and keep creating.
Until December

Gilli Theokritoff,
Newsletter Editor

Copyright © 2021 The Living Threads Group, All rights reserved.

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