Friday, October 5, 2007

I have no spindle, but…..

Today, my AOL news told me that the Leonardo da Vinci painting, Madonna with the Yarnwinder, which was stolen several years ago, was recovered in Glasgow.

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The oil-on-wood painting, which shows the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus on her lap holding a cross-shaped spindle for yarn, is one of several versions of the same scene painted between 1500 and 1510”, they said. I thought the yarnwinder looked a bit like a drop-spindle, but with only one spoke. I suppose it could be something similar to a niddy-noddy but without both ends. And we all know that the Madonna was often portrayed as a knitter, with various knitting implements, including double-pointed needles. Her Son’s seamless garment is even mentioned in the gospel, isn’t it, when it talks about the events leading up to crucifixion, and the Roman guards casting lots for his robe, which was especially prized because it was a seamless garment – something that can only be produced through circular knitting….

So, we’re in good company – spiritually speaking – as knitters and spinners. It’s interesting to think of Mary, at home, in the evening, with her feet up, knitting away on a little shirt using DPNs and saying “Oh Christ! I just dropped another stitch!” just like I do.

Okay, that last part was totally tongue-in-cheek and probably sacrilegious, but…well… I have no excuse.

It is really and truly Autumn now.... those warm, summery days and those cool, shivery nights. You know, I'm an old-fashioned type of girl, and I like Edwardian bedsocks and sleeping caps, warming the sheets before I get in, but sleeping with the window open. I chalk it up to visiting my great aunt who was in her 90's when I was 10 and the only heat in her house came from a combined wood and oil stove in the kitchen, with vents in the ceiling above it to warm the upstairs.... So, this kind of weather is in many ways comforting weather for me...and knitting weather, too – second only to deep winter snow-days when you can’t go out.

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Here I am on the road to the apple orchard, in my funny handmade, flannel jumper-dress, knitted vest, and silk scarf around my head. I think I look quite Russian! (my true heritage on my father's side). This is a digital photo of a regular photo that my sweetheart took, so its kind of grainy-looking... and the shadows make my nose look hooked, but I can assure you, that is not the case! Its appropriate for October though, coming on to Halloween...

Every summer at work I organize a Hat and Mitten Knit-out, where we all make items for the elementary schools. In mid-October (coming right up), I give them to the school nurses and they hand them out through the winter to kids who need them. Its subtler that way. Last year we made 80 hats. This year I have only about 20 – and I made four of those! I don’t know why people were less knitty this year. Its really too bad, though. I’ll post pictures and design notes on the ones I made soon: two from one skein of Reynolds Whiskey DK and two in Noro Kureyon.

I finally got the yarn for the Fall IK Duster: Sublime’s extra fine merino:
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Now, if I can just get my sock-knitting obession under control, I can cast on!

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