07 January 2014
from the distaff side
You can read about the origins of Distaff Day at the Book of Days. Essentially, Distaff Day marked the resumption of duties after the 12 days of Christmas, but it was often sabotaged by spinsters and those pesky ploughmen. My favorite phrase from this article, describing how men viewed spinning: "It stoppeth a gap..." -- in other words: it keeps women out of trouble and makes a useful product. Heaven knows what trouble a woman might get into. It's enough to make me clutch my pearls.
Disclaimer: I don't own pearls.
I'm reading an ARC of a book by Larissa Brown, writer and knitting designer: Beautiful Wreck. Much of it is set in ancient Iceland, where a woman from our future finds herself - in both senses of the word. She finds herself in an alien landscape, and she finds herself as a person. Larissa Brown wears her research lightly: I found myself totally comfortable in the midst of history and language with which I'm not familiar. I'll review it thoroughly when I'm done - prepare for many stars and superlatives.
Happy Distaff Day! And yes, that is a wombat sitting in my spinning.
Disclaimer: I don't have a pet wombat.