Friday, March 30, 2007

"Lenços de namorados" revisited

My birthday has been recently.
In Portugal there was a tradition of woman offering their departing boyfriends- to war, to sea, etc - a kerchief with a naive love poem and embroidery. Today those are classic designs, often with spelling mistakes, that one can buy and eventually frame.
As a birthday present my husband gave me one of them. Also, over the years I have been embroidering "dating kerchiefs" (lenços de namorados) with my own designs and colours. He knew that I would love it.
For this post I have chosen two pictures: one of my own design and one of a traditional design
Web contact of a nice site for Portuguese "lenços de namorados":
The world of creation and textiles is endless
With embroidered love
Tita Costa

Monday, March 19, 2007

Early Spring

Here at home, nature is in full bloom. The weather has been very hot and the flowers in the trees are stunning.
I am posting two simple pictures of the aloes and the lemon tree with the magnolia in the background.

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Portuguese Spindle

The Portuguese spindle is completely different from all other spindles that I have tried or even have seen advertised in magazines. As a result the spinning method is also different. With common spindles, a spinner would let the spindle fall while standing up and, after getting spinning momentum,would draw the fiber while the spindle descends. One has to stand to do this well.
With the Portuguese spindle, the twist is made by the thumb and two fingers without ever letting it fall. This twist movement is given to the eye of the spindle that is shaped like a coarse screw. When the spinner is drawing the wool, this screw (and spindle) sits in the palm of the closed hand of the spinner. It is as "simple" as that. An experienced spinner never lets the spindle fall to the ground or even out of their hands. With this spindle and this method of spinning a spinner can be seated on a chair, sofa or even outside on the lawn and be comfortably spinning.