The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth
2 journalers for this copy...
Since many of these crafts were primarily the work of women. One of the chapters deals with fine knitting as in the making and mending of stockings, and uses excerpts from period diaries to show how some women spent massive amounts of time at the work.
There are nods to the societal changes wrought by mechanized mills, at the culture clash between early settlers and the Native Americans, and changing fashion in homespun and other decorative arts. The chapter on Hannah Barnard's cupboard (early 1700s) includes the question of why her name was so prominent on the piece, with the author's note that it exemplifies "both the enticements and the difficulties of historical interpretation based on physical evidence alone".
Other items include an embroidered chimneypiece from the 1700s (that one's in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, though not currently on display; there are excellent digitized photos here); a niddy-noddy from 1769 (I did not know what this was before reading this book - it's a wooden cross reel used in spinning); a linen tablecloth (that chapter includes lots of new terms, such as swingle and hetchel; and more.
A poignant entry is the "unfinished stocking", from the collection of the New England Historical Society; for some reason it was left incomplete, with the very fine steel needles still in place and two balls of fine linen thread still attached. It ties in beautifully to the many completed items, though the question of why this particular half-done stocking was preserved that way for long enough to get into a museum!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
☺ Happy Traveling, Book! ☺