Monday, March 17, 2014

Mailbox Monday - March 17

Since I last did a Mailbox Monday post (it has been a long time), the home for this meme has moved. Now, Mailbox Monday has it's own blog!

The goal of the meme hasn't changed though, and neither has the warning about the increases to readers' TBR piles.

In the last week I've received two items, one of which is not properly a book - I've been looking forward to it for long enough though that I wanted to say something about it anyway.

Spin-Off Magazine - Spring 2014 Issue
Spin-Off Magazine - Spring 2014
The theme of this issue is all about colour: dyeing, plying, blending etc. I'm really looking forward to the read, although I haven't tried any dye-work yet. I'd like to in the future though. At the moment, however, I'm more focused on finding the best way to clean up my first sheep fleece and preparing it for spinning. A definite challenge, given that I had to pick a ram's fleece.

Individual articles include a couple on dyeing with natural dyes - one of which is about using weeds from the writer's back yard. There's also an amazing shawl pattern - the waterfall shawl that I hope to one day attempt now that I'm slowly teaching myself to knit.

The other item is a book:

Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years - Elizabeth Wayland Barber
Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years
Elizabeth W. Barber
W. W. Norton and Company
Copyright: 2005

The product description:
New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies.

Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women.

Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture.

Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods—methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.
One thing I need to make clear about this book - which is highly recommended - is that it only covers as far forward as the Mycenaeans according to the table of contents. I'd like now to find something similar for Classical Greece on forward into the Medieval times.

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