In which I am already a day behind. Sigh.
For several years now I have seen the Wovember posts on my Instagram feed, celebrating all things wool and wool related. I love reading about other people’s relationship to sheep, wool, and wool craft, and I love the writing prompts that make me examine my own relationship to wool, yarn, and sheep. I’ve never actually done the actual writing part before though. This is going to be the year!
Wool means too many things to me to encapsulate it all in an Instagram post. To the archaeologist I meant to be, wool is probably the result of a random mutation in the genome of feral sheep and became one of the major (often overlooked) elements in the toolkit that got us to where we are today. Wool is wealth and trade routes, an economically valuable crop that changed the landscape of Europe (literally, among other places, I‘m just most familiar with the European context). Wool is a display of wealth and prestige, but also a utilitarian comfort. Personally wool is a feeling of connection to the six or seven or eight millennia of wool workers, and also a feeling of home and safely.
Which doesn’t really capture it all. Hmm.
Anyway, my inner archaeologist found this fascinating paper about the history and development of wool, published on eTopoi:Journal for Ancient Studies. The Textile Revolution. Reasearch into the Origin and Spread of Wool Production between the Near East and Central Europe
For the archaeology/history of wool production and craft I also reccomend many of the books by Elizabeth Wayland Barber , Women’s Work- the First 20,000 Years especially.