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Thursday, 7 January 2016

St Distaff's Day

In folklore, January 7th traditionally used to be the day to return to work after the Christmas holidays after twelfth night. 

Men to the fields (Plough Monday - link courtesy of the Plough Monday website) and women with their distaff to their spinning (St Distaff's Day)

A distaff is another word for stick or spindle onto which wool or flax is wound for spinning.

You can read lots more about the origins of St Distaff's Day, how spinners went from hand spinning to spinning wheel and who celebrates it now on lots of different websites if it is something that interests you.


This painting is called The Distaff worker

Oil painting in 1878 by Frederick Goodall
 (picture courtesy of BBC) 


I've been knitting a little today, does that count?  Not a distaff in sight but it is wool.   It's the socks for DH I mentioned in my last blog post, one is now completed and another started...


I've been stitching as well

Day 8 completed for the PSS 12 Days SAL

 
A new start for the Wednesday evening LHN/CCN SAL with Barb and he ladies at Needlecraft Haven.  This one is Kitty Sampler by LHN.
 
 
My Thursday evening crafting group met for the first time this year tonight. 

At the Christmas party Santa came round with a sack full of gifts, one for each of us.  When we opened them, we had all been given an oven mitt.  It was a gift with a difference though.  We had a challenge to decorate it over the holiday and bring it back to the first meeting.  They were all different colours but exactly the same.

As I was contemplating what to put onto mine, it occurred to me that I was a 'leftie' and perhaps something that people had not considered when decorating theirs was that if you decorated one side of it then it could only be used by either a left handed or right handed person.  With that in mind, I decided to just add a decoration around the cuff.  Felted flowers in 2 differing colours to co-ordinate with the mitt itself were added...

 
Then I embroidered a backstitch in green for the stems to join them up and made my stitches a similar size to the quilted ones on the mitt.  It was fun to see what others did with theirs.


Are you pleased to be back to your normal routines this past week?

Happy St Distaff's Day my crafting friends

Blessings from my home to yours





28 comments:

Marlene jones said...

This first week has rushed by, and it was good to get back to work. Love your mit.

Mylene said...

That is sure a new word to me...
Lovely colour of the socks you started and a great finish with the Day 8 for the PSS Sal.

Well done on the oven mitt, looks lovely!

Lynda Ruth Bowers said...

thanks for teaching me something new. love the socks. hugs

Gillie said...

That's why we get on so well, two of God perfect people (the rest he made right handed) 😁 You do find some interesting stuff to share and love the socks. Blessings, dear friend.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

Your socks and stitching look wonderful. Love your creative oven mitt for lefties. I should make one for myself!

butterfly said...


You are full of information Julie just like my DH , so I am learning something every day thank you.

Love the socks you are knitting and the oven glove looks great well done .

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Learned something new from your post!
Liz

Maggie said...

Well i never knew that!

Good job on the oven mit :-)
Love the stitching and the socks, (one day I will complete some socks,lol)

Have a good weekend
x

Mary Ann said...

I learned something new today--thank you! I really like the color of the new socks you are knitting. Wonderful progress on the PSS 12 Days SAL, and a lovely start on Kitty Sampler. And, I am a leftie, too!!

cucki said...

Love your post ..the painting is so sweet
Sweet stitching and knitting..
Big hugs x

Christine said...

Lovely stitching and knitting Julie, and the jazzed up oven glove is so pretty it almost seems a shame to use it

Lesley said...

I love the socks and your oven glove is so more pretty than the usual boring oven gloves I have:)

Vickie said...

Very nice socks for DH. I am curious Julie, do you ever patch and repair the socks you have knit him?

Mii Stitch said...

Well, I sure have learnt something new today :) Have a lovely day!

Clare - Aimetu said...

Great stitching start to 2016 Julie - I love your oven mitt too

Mary - Lecoeurceltique said...

Lovely work, Julie. Interesting story about distaff day

Kerryp77 said...

That's really interesting. Good job on plum street 12 days, mine is still at day 3!

stitchersanon said...

Lovely projects. And another idea that I'm going to blatently steal. I used the numbers under wine glasses as a way for people to choose Secret Santas at the craft group xmas meal xxx I did give you credit though xxx

Bea said...

Great finish on the oven mitt. And lovely start on your stitching piece.

Never heard of St. Distaff day before, but it makes perfect sense.

Brigitte said...

Interesting to read about Distaff's Day. I had never heard about it before. I always love to read about traditions from other countries. And you did well knitting on that day :)
A great challenge that your craft group was running. And you found a great solution for decorating your oven mitt.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

I wish I could have stayed off work until the 7th!
Nice progress on the 12 Days, I also had a green cow on mine.
Love the decorated oven glove too, nice idea for a project. It ties in quite well with the object I have to review this weekend. Hint, hint.

Carol said...

Interesting to read about St. Distaff's Day, Julie--I had to google to see what a distaff looks like :) Great colors on those new socks and your SAL is coming along so well. Love the way you decorated the oven mitt--almost too pretty to put to use!

Hope your new year is going along swimmingly--I'm glad to have my old routine back :)

Astrids dragon said...

I love the colours for his socks!
Your oven mitt looks good, what did others do?

Astrids dragon said...

I love the colours for his socks!
Your oven mitt looks good, what did others do?

Dani - tkdchick said...

Happy New Year! Glad to see you're as busy as ever and got so much great crafting on the go!

Hawthorn Spellweaver said...

Love what you did to your oven glove, sweet little flowers - I'm a lefty too and it is all too apparent when I drink from a mug with a logo, that it is facing 'the wrong way round' for me :) Interesting post and lovely crafting :)

Chris said...

Great post Julie!
Lovely progress on your stitching and knitting.
I love what you did with your mitt. You need to take a picture of them all when you meet again!

hookedonstitches said...

Happy New Year, love the socks!