05 September 2006

Yarnival is out!

The awesome Eve at Needle Exchange has put out the first issue of Yarnival!

Check it out - I'm in there!

Just so that this post isn't entirely devoid of real content, here's an excerpt from the chapter I'm finishing (98% done! so close, I don't have time to update the progress bars in my sidebar!), which happens to be about knitting. The diss, btw, is a microhistory about a nineteenth-century Russian gentry family. This chapter is about the mother's estate work:

"Natalia Ivanovna's needlework, done with her own hands, included chiefly sewing, lace-making and knitting. In addition, she oversaw the processing of their own flax into linen fabrics of various weights. She sometimes spun herself, but more often oversaw serf spinning and weaving. While she did sew many items of the family's clothing and occasionally some scarves or shirts for serfs, she was more likely to cut out the fabric herself, and assign the sewing up to the "women" or "girls" who worked inside the house. Weaving was done in an outbuilding, and there seems to have been a chief weaver, assisted by various others; the weavers were both male and female. Cotton fabrics, as well as the occasional fancier material or a finished garment, were purchased - sometimes in Moscow in the case of very special articles. One diary entry indicates that knitting stockings both kept her occupied when she was supervising labor for long periods of time in the fields or barns, and that, on the other hand, this necessary supervision gave her the time to complete many pairs of stockings each year: 'I spent all day in the field. The women reaped 2000 sheaves. I started a little stocking and got to the toe. They gathered more than the second chetverik of the heads [of the stalks].'"

And here's a picture taken on their estate in a remote village in Russia, where I visited a year ago while doing my research in an archive nearby (that's the limewood allee put in by the people I'm writing about, and still recognizable, if a trifle overgrown):

Without further ado, I'm off to go dive into the Yarnival - it looks like there's lots of great stuff there!


The Purloined Letter said...

Wow! Congratulations.

I LOVE the excerpt! How exciting! (BTW, you have now had more people read part of your dissertation than most people do!)

Beth said...

Great diss excerpt! I also loved your blog entry about Mason Dixon Knitting. I love the book - just as a picture book. I'v looked at it a lot since I got it. I haven't made anything but, you know, I'm still working an the shawl soon to become my nemesis.

Kirsten said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of your diss! I really enjoyed reading it. . .I'd love to read more! The photograph is beautiful. Places like that are so magical, where you can see traces of the people who came before.

Kate said...