When a male friend said he would like to learn to knit he was greeted by hoots of laughter. It seems that it is all right for women to learn 'men’s skills' such as carpentry and metalwork but why would a man want to learn women’s work! It was like it was not important.
I grew up with my mum knitting clothes she could not afford to buy the family. If that is not important I don’t know what is.
I first became fascinated by the idea of knitting and weaving when I heard the story of Arachne as a child. She was a mortal girl who was better at weaving than the goddess Athena. Now I like Athena, I really do, but she was one heck of a sore loser and turned the poor girl into a spider - the ultimate weaver.
Then there was Penelope the faithful wife of Odysseus. She refused to believe her husband was dead, even though it took him ten long years to return from the Trojan War. Forced into agreeing to remarry when her tapestry was complete, she spent every night unpicking the threads she wove during the day.
The idea of weaving somehow controlling your life is in lots of cultures.
In Greek mythology there are the Fates, personifications of destiny. These three sisters doled out the thread of your lifespan, wove
your destiny and in the end cut you dead.
Their names were
Clotho, the spinner
Larchesis, the measurer
Atropos, the cutter
Inca Quipu courtesy of Wikipedia
The idea of tapestry knots
holding memories came from something half-remembered about how the
Incas used knots to write.
These are called Quipu or talking knots. Lengths of knotted strings we are still unable to read.
It seemed only logical that a culture as ancient & global as the fairy race - largely ruled by women - would choose traditional weaving skills to keep memories alive & to make maps.
The last map of Fairyland
Learn about the history of the Fairy Race from