Friday, September 19, 2008

More on historic fiber arts

BibliOdyssey continues dish out the fiber images. Today it features several illustrations from Kurtzweil (1550), by Jörg Wickram (~1505-1562). One includes a niddy-noddy. I'd love to know what the poem illustrated by this woodcut says. I'll look into it, then add the translation if I can.

UPDATE: A kind friend was able to offer a summary -- "The gist of it is that someone is telling some guy to help with 'winding thread & yarn', saying that it will not hurt his honor/reputation to do so. ("Just do it. It won't kill ya," as my mom would've said.)"

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Needles Excellency

Gotta love it when favorite things converge. This time it's needlework and rare books. The most recent post on BibliOdyssey features several illustrations from early lace modelbuchs. Along with this quotation from from The Needles Excellency: A New Booke wherin are diuers Admirable Workes wrought with the Needle, [1631] by John Taylor:
The Praise of the Needle

"To all dispersed sorts of ARTS and TRADES,
I writ the Needles praise (that never fades)
So long as Children shall be got or borne,
So long as Garments shall be made, or worne,
So long as Hemp or Flax or Sheepe shall beare
Their linnen-woolen fleeces yeare by yeare;
So long as Silk-wormes, with exhausted spoyle,
Of their own Entrailes, for mans gaine shall toyle:
Yea, till the world be quite dissolv'd and past;
So long at least, the Needles use shall last"
NOTE: You can see the entire Needles Excellency, but mind you, it's a 5.8 MB PDF file.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

I've been debating whether I even want to restart this blog. I don't expect anyone else to read it; and its original skill-building purpose has more or less been fulfilled. But lately I've felt like writing, so I guess I'm back, for a while at least. I still plan on keeping the content focused on knitting and other fiber-related topics, but other thoughts might sneak in from time to time. Now, for instance.

I've been a longtime fan of PBS, and never minded the pledge drives much when they kept the programming the same. You could call in after your favorite show, and say yes, I like this stuff -- carry on. But now the drives are all "special" programming. Self-help gurus and nostalgia-trip concerts aimed at their target audience. I used to joke that I'd know I had reached a certain age when they replaced "do-wop reunion" with The Clash.

I really should have seen it coming. Of course, I called in...