Sunday 22 May 2011

The Sacred History of Knitting and Free Jigsaw Download

Many of us are already familiar with the knitting Buxtehude Madonna that was painted by Master Bertram of Minden around 1400, but here are some other images with which, perhaps, you are less familiar. The image above is totally wonderful and shows Mary knitting intarsia - the yarn she is using is probably silk since this is a Siennese painting by Ambrogio Lorenzetti of around 1345 - a time when nearby Lucca was an important European centre for silk. The wonder for me is how she is organizing her yarns to keep them from tangling. Having done intarsia work myself I know what a problem this can be. I used to put my balls of wool in separate little baskets - but here, having the yarn on free moving spools is just the best idea. And look at that carpet! Do any of you use the little finger rings for threading your wool through when you knit intarsia?

Here you can see the Buxtehude Madonna - so-called because the painting belonged to the altarpiece in Buxtehude, near Hamburg in Germany. Mary is knitting in the round as we were taught to knit socks at school - in this way there are no uncomfortable seams. So this fits in with Christ having a seamless garment that was rent and divided as spoil at His crucifixion. In The Sacred History of Knitting, Heinz Edgar Kiewe argues that sackcloth was really sprang - and also that Christ's seamless garment was wrought using a sprang technique.
Here is the subject of our miniature jigsaw this week for which I purchased special copyright. It is a painting by Tommaso da Modena who also painted around 1400, which shows an early Madonna with Christ at nurse. Behind you can see an open book of prayers and also the yarn spool organizer that we saw in the first image by Lorenzetti.
In this last panel painted a little later in 1465 by Nicolás and Martín Zahortiga which is in the Spanish Museo de la Colegiata de Borja, we can see female saints busy with their work.
In this detail of the panel above we can see the central figure also knitting in the round, while those seated on either side of her are making braid.

I hope you enjoy your jigsaw this week. However, sadly, this is not going to work for Mac users. Instructions: Click here next Click Open, then click the .EXE file name and click Run, when you see the jigsaw puzzle, click Play Too many pieces? Try clicking on Trays on the top tool bar to create any number of resizeable trays to sort your pieces ........ you can also click the Cheat button and watch the puzzle solve itself! The software is by David Gray designer of Jigsaws Galore - the powerful jigsaw player and creator for Windows.

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