Tuesday, December 19, 2006

History and the Present

Today as I was popping around some of my favorite websites I somehow stumbled on to this book. It looked promising as I love to read about history and what's better than learning about history directly pertaining to a hobby you have?

In searching Amazon and looking for other books that might pique my interest, I linked to this book, by the same author. Prehistoric textiles? Sounds neat. I think to myself "Wow, I want to read these books. I'm cheap and I don't want to buy them. Drat, what am I going to do?" Then it hits me, I'm at Purdue University. I'm on a campus with thousands of books, and at least ten separate libraries. Somewhere on this campus, I bet they have the books I want to read.

So off I go to the Purdue Libraries homepage and lo and behold, there are the books I want! Being an impatient person, I hightailed it to the library where I got a little lost, but a kind knitting reference librarian (she was making the nautilus from Knitty btw) directed me upstairs.

Off I went on my merry way where I found both of the books that I wanted and promptly parked my butt on the floor to look at the books around them. Oh, the delights, the treasures, the titles! A History of Lace! Tapestries! Andean Textiles! This little Knitter Bunny nearly passed out from the thought of all of the fiber, however I persevered and perused the books until one more title caught my attention. Who could resist a book titled The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies: Christine de Pizan's Rennaissance Legacy?

Now, I am a merry bunny today, and I may have been smiling a bit goofily as I filed past rows of books that tantalize me even as I write this. I was tempted by books on myths and legends, folklore and fairy tales, mermaids and vampires, but I kept to my original intent and checked out my three books that related to fiber.

Which leads me to this posting, where as I'm writing I'm contemplating the origins of these crafts that I am so new to. I imagine small children learning to spin and knit and weave to clothe the family. Countless women toiling over stitching so small it takes bright light and a good magnifying glass to see, and the emotional outpouring that would have gone into the finest pieces that we still see today. In addition to this, I wonder about the common cloth and knitting. The child's doll made from leftover bits of wool that we will never see and socks that were worn until there is nothing left.

The thought of those pieces of love and devotion touch me in a way that I never comprehended before learning to spin, knit, and weave. It makes me think, ponder, and question what we have come to know and how many millions of people learned these same crafts, generation after generation passing down the techniques without benefit of paper and pen.

Changing tracks, I want to mention my FO's. Two catnip mice finished. Sadly, Hook will have to wait until I have some more manly yarn to get a mouse. I'm sure that Stash will share.

And, I ordered yarn from the Loopy Ewe today. Not only was ordering easy and efficient, my order was processed today. Probably even shipped today. I'm shocked, delighted, excited, and amazed at how quickly my yarn will get here. If it makes it here by Christmas (OMG, I might get it by Christmas!) I'm going to stuff my stocking with it. What? You want to know what I bought? Too bad, you'll have to wait until it arrives. ;)


At Tuesday, December 19, 2006 9:20:00 PM, Blogger AR said...

I love a good library! The librarian was knitting while you were there, or you just talked about it? Boy, I'm nosy! LOL

At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 1:11:00 AM, Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

I love that you checked out what pattern the librarian was knitting. We're such dorks.

For some reason, I didn't get email notification of your comment on my blog today (and a couple of others - grrr), and I just wanted to say thanks. You're very smart, too. ; )

At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 2:43:00 PM, Blogger NeedleTart said...

The Husband got me the Woman's Work book when it was first published (book clubs + The husband? Don't ask!). I really enjoyed it and you will, too! Have fun.

At Wednesday, December 20, 2006 10:37:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh gotta love good textile books.

The mice are so cute! Where did you get the pattern? I bet our cat's would love them.


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