Knitwit/On Pins & Needles/[Insert Knitting Pun Here]

I thought the day would never come, but it did, it did! Yesterday, I finally got my turn with the library copy of Stitch N’ Bitch!

I was never much of a knitter, although I did complete a few projects in my youth, including the dreaded Boyfriend Curse. I’ve been itching to take it up again lately, and the more study I devote to the history and impact of traditional female industry like weaving, sewing, and knitting, the more I want to honor that history. So I’ve been practicing, making swatch after swatch, and I think I’m ready to tackle a project.

Once I have finished a few scarves, I might try something a bit crazier, like the knitted flip-flops recommended by Jocelyn at Candy Along.

By the way, errata for Stitch N’ Bitch patterns can be found here.


Painful self-knowledge: a series

As I flipped through my meager selection of channels, I paused for a few moments on PBS and heard “… the Swiss textile expert whose job it was to renovate the fabric.” Before the narrator could say more, I was gasping Ooooo as my eyes grew wide with delight. My ever-deepening nerdiness sometimes staggers even me.

Something to look forward to!

Today in my archaeology lab, we reassembled disarticulated fish skeletons, which was much more fun than it sounds. (Well, it would almost have to be, wouldn’t it?) I was assigned Hippoglossus hippoglossus, the Atlantic halibut.

During this task, I learned (or relearned — it has the ring of a fact distantly known, as in early childhood) that H. hippoglossus is born with an eye on each side of its head, and as it ages the left eye migrates over the top of the head to the right side of the face.

I’ve tried to accept philosophically the inevitable changes that come with age, but I am in no way prepared for this.

Popular Madonnas

I’ve finally created a thesis statement. It is, like everything else, temporary.

I’m positing that the staggering popularity of Luca della Robbia’s terracotta Madonna reliefs arose as an indirect result of the increase in foundling homes, which fostered (no pun intended) a change in the cultural vocabulary regarding women, motherhood, and infants, as well as a growing devotion to Mary.

And, yes, I did choose this in part because the stuff’s so pretty.

Clash of theses

Despite the extra day off (thank you, imperialist swines of history!), I am exhausted and badly disorganized. I haven’t unpacked my winter coats and gloves, ordered my new computer, or written a formal thesis statement for my art history class.

In fact, I am very much afraid that my art history paper has taken a turn for the interesting. I anticipate so much trouble sticking to the professor’s strict page limit that I’m considering new but related topics:

> The Innocenta: The dowry as an index of honor for Renaissance Florence’s foundling girls
> Nekkid, nekkid, nekkid: Sexual license, adolescent confraternities, and Donatello’s David

My thesis statement is due in just a few days, so I plan to research all three simultaneously and see which argument emerges from the historical record fastest. Also this week, I need to start the heavy lifting on my anthropology thesis, for which I am (tentatively) researching the Westermarck effect in maritime societies. Zowie — college is fun!
Heaven help me, I mean it.