I was in Birmingham earlier this week and revisited the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum. My sister and I visited there last month but only had time to quickly whizz around the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition and the Staffordshire Hoard. This time I had a bit longer to explore so was able to really enjoy the displays. Tal and I spent some time in the Egyptian, Greek and near Eastern rooms before they had to go back to college lectures and then I spent a few hours wandering.
Of course, I went in search of yarn related artefacts and was well rewarded in the Egyptian room with a display of spinning implements -- spindle, whorls and loom weights. There was no date given, just 'various dates' but Egyptian archaeological finds show that that women and men have been spinning at least since the time of the Middle Kingdom 4,000 years ago.
I was searching for my great grandmother's lace bobbins which I know are in the museum collection but while I didn't find them, I did find a beautiful boxwood lace bobbin from 16th century France or Spain. It's quite a heavy bobbin so would probably have been used for silver or gold thread. In the same part of the museum were three knitting sheathes on display. These exquisitely carved items were probably love tokens and were used to hold one needle attached to a belt and enabled the knitter to have one hand free to do other chores. I've added a picture of a knitter using a sheath. Maybe women multi-task so well because we've always had to!
I finished my visit with lunch in the museum's Edwardian tea-room and then to make the day complete was able to collect our renegade cat on the way home!
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.