Ewes-ful information

Lookit! My last entry got noticed by Geek & Sundry. Thanks for mentioning me, guys :)

Speaking of things that are both geeky and awesome, I am very excited about something a friend showed me on Patrick Rothfuss’ website:

This is totally what I wear to work... I do want those shoes, however. In flats...

Speaking of work, I stumble across this post on Tumblr, which sums up why I’ve decided I want to persue work as a children’s specialist:

Sidenote: I have recently become rather obsessed with Tumblr (in addition to Pinterest…) Follow me!

The full quote, from Neil Gaiman (who else?):

“Stories that you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely visit.” ~ from M is for Magic

Something else library related that I think will make your day:

Recently, a library customer left her laptop at the bus stop outside a library. Another library customer found the laptop and took it into the library, on the assumption that the owner might return to the library to look for it.

That’s exactly what happened. The owner took a cab back to the library and found the laptop waiting for her there. She left the note above for her anonymous saviour on the bus stop hydro pole, thanking him/her and relaying the cabbie’s similar story that he shared during the cab ride.

After a shitty day at work, with printer problems, kids breaking the elevator, and grumpy old men being indignant over having to prove they still live in the municipality once a year (“I’ve lived here for 40 years! I’m not moving any time soon.” Well that’s great sir, but I have no way of knowing that and unfortunately your word is not going to cut it with the Public Libraries Act) I really needed to read something like that :)

The CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) ended on labour day weekend. Here is a round-up of yarn and fibre-related goodness. Sorry, they’re cell phone pictures…

The Peru booth of hand-knits and crafts was a stop I had to make.

A close-up of the 100% alpaca coat. The fibres were more glorious in real life.

Incredibly detailed kids and baby sweaters.

This fantastic crochet top, I mean lady, sat in front of me at the talk by Richard Palmisano on hauntings at the CNE grounds.

These three pics below are of a display on sheep at the Farm Building <3

Actual sheep!

This llama was not impressed with my taking her picture.

Alpacas with funny haircuts.

And now I’m off to finally start work on my shrug. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

kniterly:

I know I’ve been rebloging lately, but I’ve bee loving reading this vivid photographic journey through Peru focusing on it’s rich textile culture, so I had to share. The author’s company, LN|, sells items that are hand-knitted & hand-crocheted, in Belgium as well as in Peru. In her own words, “whereas in Belgium my beloved co-workers are grannies, in Peru they are young mothers who find themselves in difficult familial situations and rough living circumstances. There is a lot of unemployment in Ayacucho, making it difficult to create a good economy. That’s why good-cause organization Solid International, founded in 2000, tries to create employment and better living conditions by combining knowhow and experience from a team of experts. It has no use to just give money to the poor, which is in no means sustainable. Solid tries to find small employees to create employment, and so me, LN|, is one of them.”

Awesome, no?

Originally posted on LN|Knits:

Finally, back to writing. We have been extremely busy these past few days. The busier, the better, so we like!

Let’s start off with day 16. Last Wednesday was the first day that me and Griet had to work apart from each other. Griet is namely not only here in order to take stunning pictures for LN|Andes and LN|Beanies, but also for Solid International. So in the morning she went to the ‘campo’, and I finally had some time to sit down and work. And so I did, in the sun, on the terrace, it’s not bad working here I must say!

In the afternoon I was hunting delicious pies since I wanted to do and bring something for my beloved young girls and elegant ladies. Armed with which I recon 4kg of Peruvian pie I headed towards DIA to participate in a second workshop and, of course, to…

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Storytelling and fibre art

The weekend before last, I had the opportunity to take a course through Storytelling Toronto. It was a great learning experience, and to my surprise I was able to successfully complete the weekend’s goal of learning and telling an oral story. I chose this story, one close to my heart as a nerd where Celtic myth is concerned.

One the way home on the Saturday, I got to thinking about the tradition of storytelling. Of our mostly illiterate ancestors, sitting around fires or hearths and passing on their oral history with a dual goal of entertainment on long winter nights and establishing cultural memory. Often they did this while engaging in handicrafts that were necessary in order to food and clothe the village.

This made me wonder if there were myths and legends featuring knitting, weaving, or spinning. If so, how many? How are these crafts portrayed? In my research, I came across some interesting resources:

This page on allfiberarts.com features a pretty decently extensive list of myths featuring fibre arts, complete with links to the myths themselves.

 

 

I also enjoyed this blogger’s post on the knitting Huldra character from the folklore of Norway.

 

Speaking of the northern reaches of Europe, here is a great piece, featuring gorgeous photographs, on the traditional folk costumes of Scandinavia, which of course features lots of knitwear. They even have a book available on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course, one can’t talk about European knitting traditions without mentioning Estonian textiles. Nancy Bush’s seminal book on the subject is something every knitter should read, in my opinion, but the essays of  this blogger makes for pretty good reading as well.

There is of course a rich knitting history in the British Isles too. Here are some great sites on the art of Fair Isle, Arans, and Guernseys.

Heading around the world now to the Andes of Peru, no tour of knitting culture would be complete without mentioning the rich textile tradition found there. I could not find as much knit-related folklore from the area (not in English anyway), but this photographic travelogue richly illustrates the vibrant culture and mentions some folk traditions, as do the essays located here and here.

 

The Folk Knitting Flickr group has a great bibliography of books on folk knit patterns and history on the bottom of their description page. Being a librarian of course, I have a few gems I would like to add.

1) Folk Knits: Traditional Patterns from Around the World by Melinda Coss. It’s out of print and hard to get your hands on, but a few patterns can be found on this Flickr user‘s account, mostly on the 2nd and 3rd pages.

2) Knitting on Top of the World by Nicky Epstein

 

 

 

And on a related (to knitting, folklore not so much), the Toronto Star published this article on the rise of the knitting commuter on the weekend. I was so pleased :D