Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wooly Cornwall

I've recently returned from a trip to England, Cornwall mostly, and wanted to share a couple of knitterly things.

First is a wonderful story from a visit to, of all things, an old jail.

Bodmin Jail, abandoned from its original purpose in the 1920s has been converted into a tourist attraction. It's spooky; it's depressing; it's disheartening to see how badly people were treated in those early times. Capital punishment for property crimes, exile for stealing a chicken, the treadmill, oakum-picking, dark cold damp cells without a ray of daylight. The stories of various prisoners are posted around the place and make for very unhappy reading either for the meanness of punishment for minor crimes, or the terrible evil of some of the criminals.

One story stands out a bit more cheerfully from the rest, and it concerns a knitter. Two women were sentenced to the stocks. One spent her time in hysterical weeping and wailing misery. The other was provided (by her family? friends? knitting group?) with a bale of straw to sit on and her knitting. She proceeded to pass her allotted time contentedly knitting. And finished that second sock? In the immortal words of Elizabeth Zimmermann, "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises."

The day we hiked to the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor,

we stopped for lunch at a nearby village pub.

The weather was uncharacteristically fine, and while dining outdoors we were visited by free-roaming sheep and their new lambs that had the run of the place.

 All just as squeee-inspiring and Olde Englishe as you could possibly ask for.

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