Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Reading, Knitting, Learning

A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

I love it when I find books that touch my life in many different ways. This book did just that. I'm a fan of well written history and historical fiction. This book, set in occupied Italy from 1943-1945 was fabulous. One of the reasons I loved it was that it portrayed women during World War II going about their permanently altered lives spinning and knitting. It was a way of life to carry a drop spindle in one's apron pocket and pull it out at a moments notice to spin. Time was never wasted - especially not by women in occupied Italy. We sometimes find it hard to believe, being the hobbyists that we are, that there was time when knitting was the main way many were able to cloth themselves. Folks wore only hand knitted socks, stockings, sweaters and jackets. These items were made from wool women spun themselves.
The book was also a wonderful portrayal of the struggle of Jews fleeing Hitler. This novel, while it is fiction, gave me a view of World War II that I never had before. Many Italian Catholic peasants, priests and nuns helped to hide, harbour, feed and cloth thousands of Jews who had been forced out of surrounding countries. They fled to Italy thinking it would be a safe place. But Italy Musoluni capitulated and the country was occupied by Germans. It was under fire by the Allies. At the same time the country was had internal political factions who often threatened their own population (Does any of this sound just a little familiar?). The writing challenged me to re-evaluate the concept of sacrifice and forgiveness. It also got me thinking about how easy it is to be so totally unaware of the suffering of others - even though we know it exists - see it on TV and read about it in our newspapers. This novel is well worth the read - and don't worry it's not your typical World War II story - in fact it is anything but.
On other notes...both my camera batteries need to be recharged, but when they are I will update you on my progress with the Sokota socks and the Thorn and Thistle shell. There is certainly something to be said for finally making a pattern that is shaped well. I can't wait to have a finished knitted garment that is actually finely tailored - a first for me.
Stay tuned...Kate

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home