Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Perfection and the quest for same

Last night I watched another episode of Time Team, a show in which an archeological team takes just three days to dig up a site and tell viewers all about its history.  I love this show not least because I get to knit while watching it - there is something peculiar going on that is sucking the knitting time out of my day, but I'll explore that another time.

It was especially great to sit down with my heating pad, no less, because I have yet another cold that is making my head all wonky and my eyelids half-mast.  Also: my hair keeps going flat.  Is this a rule with colds, that one must not only have a longer face from mouth-breathing and gloomy eyes from sinus saturation but also flat hair? As a kind of Ugly Code for people to stay back and not catch it, perhaps?

So yes. Knitting. I spent what little time I did knit working on a super easy project that goes on mindlessly for ages and then does something fussy for no time at all before going back to mindlessness which meant I could work on it while doing boring things like making supper and calling in to cancel a subscription you can't just stop paying the renewal fee for and have the publisher take the hint.  Note to self: never again subscribe to such a publication, even if the only alternative is bringing a copy purchased at the grocery store to your giftee every month for a year.

When I sat down with Time Team I was about half done the main part of the project, and by the time I got up again I was about three-quarters done. Bonus: one of the things the Time Team found, amidst the usual broken shards of stone that they can tell instantly are part of a pot imported from the Mediterranean in the 5th century A.D. - perfect sight and memory those people must have - was a perfectly round stone with  perfectly round hole drilled through it.

I didn't know what it was but I loved how untouched it was by all the things that had touched and crushed everything else.  I bet you know what it was, right?  Yep, a whorl from a drop spindle.  Yes for spinners and other yarny types!  We existed in history too!

About an hour after that I discovered that I had made a glaring mistake on a fussy bit, during my attempt to cancel the subscription.  Another note to self: do not attempt to knit while talking to a subscription service.  I had to rip out the entire day's work.

This morning though a more terrible thought struck me:

Why on earth did that whorl end up on the floor of that house for all those centuries?   I mean, who'd deliberately leave such an awesome drop spindle behind from a community that went on spinning for many a generation after the one who used it first?

I bet whoever dropped it was seriously ticked off about it when she noticed later.  And that makes me feel a lot better about only having to reknit for a couple of hours today.

1 comment:

Wormwood said...

Knitted garments are mentioned in the Bible book of Exodus. The ancient Israelites must have learned this in ancient Egypt. Exodus was written about 1500 BCE.