Anyway, this lovely little book came from the Society for Creative Anachronism (who else?) and contains 'Fact and Folklore for Spinners and Weavers and is by Beth Hochberg.
It contains an apparently random selection of interesting little snippets so I thought I'd share a couple that caught my eye.
' When unmarried Hungarian girls would wait for the young men to come and court them, they sat in a group and spun with the handspindle. If a girl dropped her spindle while the boys were there, one of them could demand a kiss from her'
With my performance with a drop spindle it would appear that I am in for a lot of lip action should I happen to visit Hungary.
'While a silkworm is spinning its cocoon, the nearby area should be kept free of loud noises. If there is a sudden noise, the silkworm may stop spinning, and not begin again'.
Gives a new meaning to 'Shhhh, I'm counting....'
The Roman poet Catullus (54BC) describes spinning with a distaff and spindle.
Their hands duly plied the eternal task;
The loaded distaff in the left hand placed
With spongy coils of snow white wool was graced;
From these the right hand lengthy fibres drew
Which into thread 'neath nimble fingers grew.
At intervals a gentle touch was give
By which the twirling whorl was onward driven;
Then when the sinking spindle touched the ground,
The new made thread around the spire was wound,
Until the clasp within the nipping cleft
Held fast the newly finished length of weft'
I was sitting out in my garden for an hour this evening, peacefully spinning yarn for my flutter scarf on my drop spindle and this poem really brought home to me the connection to women over thousands of years who have all made yarn to clothe their families and earn their livings, all from this simplest of all tools.
The simplest of tools can also be the most beautiful. Take a look at this.
It's a tiny, foldable niddy noddy from Sublime Spindles made to my exact specifications in apple wood. I wanted a niddy noddy that would break down and fold flat so that I could carry t around with my spindles and fibre and needles and not make an awkward parcel like my fixed one does. It's only 8 inches long so it stows away really easily. I couldn't recommend the service highly enough.
And finally, in case you think I am so busy wafting around reading poetry and playing with my new toys, allow me to introduce the latest Pick 'n' Mix sock to get its partner.Meet the Battenbergs! Its probably the most complex pattern of all the Pick 'n' Mix socks but goes pretty fast once you get into the swing of it. Its the pattern that makes me smile the most I think because its so.... cheesy.
Maybe not the right choice of word for a sock but you know what I mean...