The Norwegian folk song Margjit Hjukse is the story of a woman taken captive by a mountain king (in Norwegian the word for this kind of kidnapping, as it were, is “bergtatt” – literally, mountain-taken). It contains a reference to spindle-spinning, starting at approximately 2:04.
An English translation of the lyrics and a brief history of the song can be found here.
I remember reading once how much the last Russian imperial family loved Easter because it marked the lengthening of days and the coming of spring, but growing up on the left coast, where spring comes early and winters are mild, I never appreciated that reverence.
Norway has dispelled that blissful ignorance. When spring comes, we shake off the torpor instilled in us by the dark and cold, we turn our faces towards the sun, and its rays banish even the memory of the long winter nights. In the autumn and winter I knit with a certain utilitarian streak: to keep us warm (all those damn socks!). Spring allows me to indulge the idea of knitting for sheer beauty (summer, especially from August onwards, is usually taken up with planning for winter knitting as I think I’ve mentioned in earlier posts). And today I just got word from Adrian that his wife has said yes to the offer of a shawl, so maybe I’ll indulge my desire to knit lilies again…