Tuesday, March 6, 2018


The book is precious – the scale of its contents makes it quaint, but those contents also store an  invaluable body of information. Instructions on Needle-Work and Knitting contains not only a curriculum, but also a hint at the sewn objects relevant to the lives of its students, and, in all likelihood, the products of their own hands...
Wow, is this a great post. Sewing is such a fundamental part of human history and culture. It's a shame that now so many of our clothing is really just extruded product like our food or cleaners or anything else - mostly chemical, and seldom considered. Fascinatingly, a recent marketing phenomenon, subscription clothing, makes an appearance in this text, providing an interesting consideration of class economics and the training side of education of the time. Excellent writing and scholarship (this post is sourced), and a glimpse of material and social history that can be hard to find in other studies. Also worth a click for the photos; the flowered embroidery design reminds me of my younger niece's art, it is wonderful - so much so, I hope I may be forgiven for reproducing it (caption intact)

A page of embroidery design’s from Ann Flower’s sketchbook.
Ann Flower, Sketchbook, ca.1753-1760?, Doc. 1244,
Downs Collections, Winterthur Museum, Library, and Garden.

The Atlantic gets into a topic that's rattled around the back of my own mind of late, human sacrifice. While I was considering the spiritual prejudices of taboo (and more specifically child sacrifice) , the focus here is hierarchical - the social structure and implications of ritualized human sacrifice. An attempt to analyze is providing some interesting concepts about the development of the practice, and the point at which it collapses as well.

With staggering frequency ... it was religion rather than reason that turned people away from ritualized brutality.

Corporation, person, citizen. History is fascinating stuff, kids. Legal history can be maddening, when you realize you are governed by century-and-a-half old lies. (The click beyond? Oddly enough, I ran across Roscoe Conkling twice in today's reading. Have a look at him here, this time in a story about the assassination of President Garfield.)

Ahh, Smithsonian Magazine - you always make for good while-away-a-lunch-hour reading. Today, I enjoyed a piece about Holi, one of those festivals of joy and empowerment I'd love to experience. This leapt out: "blue is a reminder that evil exists but can be contained, through courage and right actions." As a recently-blue-haired old lady, that appeals to me. (Extra credit question: does Crayola still make the Indian Yellow crayon ... ?)

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