"women's work" HAH!

some excerpts from a document on historical knitting:

In England, knitting expanded rapidly in the 15th century, and at the beginning of the 16th, a number of strong Knitters Guilds were formed. A long and difficult apprenticeship was rigorously regulated: it took three years, after which the apprentice, now called a Companion or Journeyman, was to spend another three years working and studying elsewhere. After this six-year period he was admitted to the rank of master artisan upon the completion of:

A rug measuring eight by twelve feet
A shirt or jacket of wool
A pair of wool slippers

All this work had to be executed within thirteen weeks.

The rug had to be of a complex pattern composed of leaves, flowers, and birds, stylized in a conventional fashion and using twenty or thirty colors. This would not be the floor rug we know today, but a tapestry to adorn a wall


It is a curious fact that knitting, in the Middle Ages and even earlier, was a masculine craft, while women spun the yarn


Thirteen weeks! Ha ha ha... man... completing a simple baby blanket in 8 weeks is a bit of a record for me, let alone an 8x12 rug, sweater, *and* slippers.

MMario's picture

ah - but they would be spending *ALL* their productive time at it - and most likely 12-14 hours a day.


MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Good for you, Mario. I preach this stuff, chapter and verse during my classes. Bravo!

   आदि लक्ष्मी 

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

MMario's picture

some additional qoutes:

In Peru and Bolivia, knitting is primarily men's work. Boys of ten make their own ch'ullus, the distinctive pointed cap with earflaps. ...By the time they are adolescents, boys are very skilled, and can improvise their own colors and patterning.


In Guatemala, men are also fiber workers, this time in crochet. ...shoulder bags...created by Mayan men who use them to carry seeds in planting season, and to carry lunch or dinner at any time. This shoulder bag is the only item of traditional clothing in Guatemala that is not made by women. Even though many Guatemalan men have turned to western-styled clothing, most continue to make and use their traditional shoulder bags.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

kylewilliam's picture

It's amazing what people got done before the creation of Reality TV!