NOvember Labours of the month

november labours

November panel from the labours of the months, split stitch wool on wool

The handspun sheep coloured stuff worked quite well, even the herdwick, which did disintegrate a bit, but not nearly as much as I expected it to (herdwick is very hairy, not exactly the ideal embroidery wool). Sheep cow and pig are all done with the stuff i spun.

Also, further proof, should any be required, that my cat has absolutely no dignity

pothead branny

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~ by opusanglicanum on April 8, 2013.

13 Responses to “NOvember Labours of the month”

  1. It’s very nice, but why is he beating a sheep with an ax turned backwards?

    Your embroidery, btw, awes me. I’ve been following for I guess a year now, and the amount you do, and how well done it is, blows me away.

    • I agree with Laurie on this. You are prolific and amazing.

    • honestly, I have no clue why his axe is the wrong way round. I’m basing these on a set of stained glass windowws and the axe is that way in the original. perhaps someone who knows more about sheep slaughtering than me would know, or perhaps it’s some kind of draughting error in the original stained glass

      • As far as I’ve seen, all of the labours of the month with this scene have the axe the wrong way around. From 12th C through to 16th C (though the victim is usually a pig). I think it’s because you want a heavy, BLUNT object (so you don’t ruin the meat, but quickly destroy the brainstem) but maybe you couldn’t afford a dedicated tool when the wrong side of your woodcutting axe did the job well enough.

        A more “modern” option would be a large cudgel. More modern still is a fixed-bolt gun.

        (Lovely embroidery, btw. I particularly like the natural sheep threads and the texture on the tree stump.)

      • is that why my eldest stepbrother’s pheasant poaching technique was to sneak up behind the bird and whack it over the head with a ruddy great stick? I always thought it was because no one in thier right mind would have trusted him with a gun

  2. It might be not so much not being able to afford a separate tool, as being comfortable with that one – although wouldn’t turning the axe-head upside down alter the balance of it?

    • considering the date of this, your average peasant probably only had the one tool,s o it had to be multi-purpose

      Did you listen to niel macgregors history of the world in 100 objects on bbc radio 4 – he compared the stone hand axe to the neolithic version of a swiss army knife. i think an axe in the middle ages perhaps wasn’t quite as mulit functional, but things weren’t as specialised as they are now

  3. Masterful!

  4. Is this good old St Martin slaughtering his pigs?

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