Yesterday, we went to an antique show/fair and one of the exhibitors was a woman who was furiously knitting. Of course, I went to chat with her and discovered that she was knitting in the medieval method of holding the right needle still and tucked under the right arm while all the movements of knitting were done by the left arm. The only involvement of the right hand was to throw the wool. Those who have studied the history of knitting know that in the medieval ages the members of the knitting guilds wore special belts with a groove which held the right hand needle in a stationary position. I must say that this woman knitted with great speed both the knit and the purl stitches.
When my new book arrived from Canada, the owner of the shop included this old poem which I wanted to share.
The Prayse of the Needle
To all dispersed sorts of Arts and Trades,
I write the Needles praise (that never fades)
So long as children shall be got or borne,
So long as garments shall be made, or worne,
So long as Hemp or Flax, or Sheep shal bear
Their linnen wollen fleeces yeare by yeare;
So long as Silk-worms, with exhausted spoyle