Posts Tagged ‘outlander’

24
Oct

Further Reading 10/24/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading, Uncategorized

rhinebeck ladies

I’m always forgetting to take photos with people at Rhinebeck. Forgetting to or too shy to ask? I never have proof of what I was wearing and who I was hanging out with! Well, Erin snapped a great photo of Ashpags, Amander, and me! Thanks, girl! I didn’t have time to make a Rhinebeck sweater (I never have and that bums me out!) so I wore my Hurrication sweater. Nothing starts your morning off better than walking into the kitchen in a house full of knitters and getting those “oohs” and “ahhs!”

>> Someone ought to revoke my nerd card because I only just discovered the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast. This episode about the invention of the sewing machine was very interesting. I imagine that the 19th century was full of patent frauds, curly mustaches, and tricky con artists/serial killers.

>> I’m loving this commercial with knitting Ashton Kutcher.

>> The (very brief) history of sheep at the White House. They’ve got bees now, maybe they ought to bring these guys back! Let’s start a petition.

>> Threadpanda’s Rhinebeck recap. Those photos. Yum.

>> The Stashbot app is out and already in the top 25 apps in the App Store! Very excited to have this tool on hand!

>> This article’s made the rounds but it’s worth sharing again. The true cost of a knitting pattern.

>> Missing Outlander? Buzzfeed’s got your Outlander wardrobe knitting fix.

>> Looks like this sheep was trying to follow me home from Rhinebeck. Sorry for the delays, everyone! (Imagine Homeward Bound but with a sheep, alpaca, and goat?! Let’s make this movie.)

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22
Sep

Famous Knits: Outlander

Written by Sarah. Posted in famous knits

This post contains some mild spoilers, of course, so continue at your own risk! Also, I haven’t read the books!

I resisted at first but it wasn’t long before I became one of the many knitters that was devouring Starz’s new series Outlander. I love historical fiction especially of this period but I’m not into historical romance so I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon. But the early reviews all outlined how cool the protagonist, Claire, is and how the show is not your ordinary premium cable television show. I have to say, those reviews were on point (except, Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ, that voice over is maddening!) and the show has stuck with me between viewings.

In case you missed the buzz, Claire, a British army nurse, is reconnecting with her husband on a  genealogy-themed vacation when she is transported from post-WWII Scotland to the 18th century. Kilts! Brogue! That theme song!

While there’s tons of really adorable knitwear (that I would actually wear in my 21st century life), I’m going to save all of that for another post. I really want to talk about the fifth episode because it really tickled me! While Claire is on the road with Dougal and co, she stumbles on a group of women that are waulking wool.

outlander waulking woolvia Outlander TV News

Waulking (or fulling) is a process of cleaning and thickening new wool cloth. Sure, there was the gross-out, thank-god-I-don’t-live-in-the-olden-days fact that they are using boiled urine (yum!) to clean the oils out of the fabric and then beating it with their hands. (The smell of wet wool alone is bad enough, I can’t even!) But, considering wool is just about everywhere in the daily life of a highlander (tartan short gowns and berets and just the most beautiful blankets), this was an important common chore of the time.

Besides the whole pee blanket thing, it does seem like a pretty fun job and I’m kind of enamored by the community aspect of it. There are some great female characters in Outlander but they don’t really get to bro-out like the dudes do (telling dirty jokes, hunting, playing oldey timey sports, etc). I loved hearing these women sing and enjoy their work together.

Waulking songs are much like folk songs. Different lyrics are set to the same tunes and there is a call and response or a leader sings a verse while everyone else joins in for the chorus. The waulking songs are set to a beat suitable for pounding on the wool. I love old drinking songs and this feels like an especially female version since women were generally the waulkers.

I’m having a lot of fun finding waulking songs and exploring this tradition! Are you watching Outlander?

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