Industry and virtue

My industriousness has led to the production of a lot of socks recently. The sock yarn stash is steadily decreasing!

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Also on the industriousness point, Dad helped me build a lightbox, pictures of which I will not regale you with here; suffice it to say that we were both surprised to discover that a contraption made of wax paper, cardboard, and a kilometer of packing tape works as well as it does. I’m still trying to get the hang of it, as the sock pictures attest, but here are some better pics of old projects in a new light (literally!).

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Virtuousness has been rather more difficult, as this episode of the January blues has seen me window-shopping all over the Internet for BFL lace yarn — which might as well be a unicorn for all the success I’ve had in finding it. I have, however, thus far managed to abstain from any actual purchases.

Anyway, on a completely different note: back in the day, “industry” didn’t contain allusions to “CEO of a socially irresponsible company worth billions of ill-gotten dollars” and could be mentioned in the same breath as “virtue” without any irony. In medieval manuscripts, virtue and industry often went hand in hand with the spinning of yarn.

From the Royal Dutch Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek):

Clockwise from the top:

Annunciation of Christ’s Birth, KB, 76 F 14 fol. 36r
Adam and Eve, MMW, 10 B 34 fol. 3r
Spinning monkey, MMW, 10 F 50 fol. 46r
Woman winding wool, MMW, 10 A 11 fol. 235r
Calendar, October, KB, 76 F 13 fol. 10v
Woman spinning while riding a pig, MMW, 10 F 50 fol. 108v
Group of women spinning, MMW, 10 A 11 fol. 69v

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