It suddenly occurred to me that last year at this time, I was not only swamped at work and getting ready for back to school, but also preparing for a wedding. #1 Daughter got engaged in June and married in October, so in August we were tasting cakes, pricing flowers, and sewing dresses, not to mention learning Pinkham’s Wedding Cantata. This picture is of the cake table. Non-Southerners may be confused by the groom’s cake, at the extreme left of the photo. If I start whining again about being busy, throw things at me.
I finished Siv. I altered the sleeves a little while sewing them in, washed it, blocked it according to a favorite sweater, folded it neatly, and put it away till the weather cools off a little.
While working on the second sock, I learned something new about the history of socks from The Knowledge Web. Hosiery knitters had started using frames (like big versions of knitting spools)to speed up their knitting, since Napoleon’s blockade had done terrible things to the British economy. The payments for socks were getting smaller and smaller, and the knitters then had to rent the frames as well. As times got harder, the rents went up and the payments went down. The last straw was when knee breeches went out of fashion. With the advent of long trousers, men no longer cared so much about their hose, and the hosiery-makers could cut them from big pieces of machine-knitted cloth instead of using the fully-fashioned socks the knitters made. Enraged, the knitters (who were known for some reason as “sock weavers”) followed Ned Ludd on a rampage, breaking up the big machine frames. Wearing masks and scarves (knitted?), they carried on their destruction until many of them were caught and transported to Australia, and in a some cases even executed. Fourteen young men who died on the gallows for frame-breaking in 1813 sang hymns as they awaited execution, and the crowd joined in.
Perhaps only dyed-in-the-wool knitters will be moved by the drama of this story. I think it would make a great movie, though. It was Lord Byron, who later made a name for himself by cavorting about in Turkey and writing spicy poetry, who spoke stirringly in the House of Lords on behalf of the Luddites. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and maybe Kevin Kline as the crusty old weaver — I see the possibilities here.