The World is Spinning: some folklore and history of spinning and weaving

Before cloth was made on looms and spinning wheels were made redundant by machines which spin hundreds of metres of thread in a day, all thread and cloth had to be made by hand.

Archaeologically, the first understanding of twisting fibres to make thread is thought to be from using a rock to weight the end of the fibres so they could be rolled together.  The rock developed into a spindle, a weighted stick which the user could spin and allow gravity and the weight to help spin the fibres together.

Ths innovation spread across the ancient world, with the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all placing a high importance on spinning.

In Egypt, the goddess Neith was responsible for war and weaving (especially linen used for mummy wrappings).  Her identifying headdress was that of a weaving shuttle:



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Tree Identification Walk, Calke Abbey

Join the Calke Abbey Ranger for a winter tree identification walk, looking at tree shapes in the landscape as well as buds and branches close up.
Easy grade walk with some steps and gentle gradients. Sturdy shoes and warm clothes needed.

On: 18th January 2015 10.30 – 12.30

Calke Abbey,
DE73 7LE
Cost:  Normal admission charges apply.
For further information, go HERE

January Moot: Hand spinning workshop

Lovely folks, just a gentle reminder that next moot this coming Tuesday (13th January 2015)  is a workshop on hand spinning led by Liz and Suzanne.  Have a go at spinning your own wool from fibres by using a drop spindle or spinning wheel, and have a listen to some of the history and folklore to boot.

There’ll be plenty of fibres of different colours, some high tec* drop spindles for you to have a go with, and you’re welcome to take home your woolen efforts :)  It’s not a difficult skill to learn, and you’ll end up with a new appreciation of your jumpers and knitwear!

All welcome, see you all on Tuesday!


*  for high tec read made from a piece of wood, cardboard, a paper clip and some electricians tape… no expense spared ;p

Street View: Bronze Age style

Looking at an archaeological site and interpreting it can sometimes be tough, even for the professionals.  It’s not so bad if your site happens to look like this:

Ness of Brodgar

Ness of Brodgar

But a little more challenging if it looks like this:

Roundhouse under Excavation,  Home Farm Development, Cranfield

Roundhouse under Excavation, Home Farm Development, Cranfield

If you’ve ever been to a dig site, and your archaeological guide has pointed to a patch of dirt and said ‘that, right there is the most exciting thing we’ve ever found, it revolutionises the way we look at this period’ and you’ve been baffled, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us ;)

However help is on the horizon: there’s a new programme which could help everyone currently being developed for a Bronze Age site in Cyprus.  The programme is called KAD-AR, and it should turn your smartphone into a viewer for the past.  The developers are hoping that a user can point their phone at archaeological remains and see the original on their screen.  It would also volunteer archaeological information about the interpretation of the site and any notable finds made within the area.

You can read more about it HERE

What do you think?  Would you like to see a smartphone app for archaeological sites in Britain which help you understand the site, allowing you to see what the site would have looked like?  What considerations would you want for  sites that you consider sacred?

Yule Reminder

Fab folks, just a gentle reminder that our Yule celebrations are fast approaching! If you haven’t quite got your pagan time in gear yet, then here are the details:

On: 19th December

Arrive: 6.30pm for a 7pm prompt ritual start. (on account of we don’t want to delay the good celebratin’ time :))  Mind you, if you arrive at 6.30 prompt, you might get roped into putting chairs out and helping set up.  Just sayin’.

At: Eyre Chapel, Newbold Chesterfield.

Bring: Yourselves, friends, family – it’s all good, any variety of pagan, or not, all are welcome :)  – and a spot of food for the foodshare.  If it’s homemade, please be sure to mark if it’s veggie friendly or not.

Dress code: not that we have much of one, but… clothes.  They would be good.  Actually: it’s Yule – Bring out your Bling, Slap on your Sparkle and Muster up a bit of Magic!

A word about beer: You may have gathered – we’re not licenced and there isn’t a bar, so if you’d like a wee drinkie to enhance your evening, please bring your own.  There will be recycling bags set up in the kitchen for your empties :)  Also, there may be bairns about, so watch where you put your bottles and cans.


For those who have not been before, there is a car park on site (and a loo!) and a small kitchen with a kettle (which we have use of for the night)
Entertainment-wise, we have the following confirmed and raring to go: *deepbreath, puts compere’s voice on*

Tony Keeton – you might have caught his performance at our Yule do last year – a performance poet who writes on everything from Dating Medusa to Faux Fur, to a nuclear power station supplying a radioactive Rudolph to a grateful Santa…  a trip inside his head is a thought provoking, if beautifully weird experience.

A lovely nordic/balfolk musical duo hailing all the way from deepest darkest Sheffield.  They’re new (to us), be nice ;p

The fabulous Blackheart Belles Belly Dancers :)  ’nuff said.

Before Jays Cheesy Wheels of Steel Disco to take us to the close :)

There may even be a short film of photographs (if I can get my pagan time in gear…)   and may be additional entertainment on the night, you never know :)

Any questions, queries, comments, write them on a piece of batter pudding and send to the usual address.  Or just leave us a comment :)
Looking forward to seeing you all there!

A walk on Stanton Moor

Hello lovely peeps, a couple of days ago your webteam got let out and decided to go for a walk across Stanton Moor to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle.  Usually there is sight of at least one other human being at the site itself, which is seperated from the moor by a grove of trees. However, we saw only a couple of walkers on the moor itself, the circle was lovely and peaceful in the lunchtime December sunshine.   As y’all didn’t go with us, here are a few piccies showing the seasons turn towards the cold.  As usual, you can clicky to embiggen any of the pictures below.

Firstly, we passed the cork stone:
cork stone

Crossing over the moor:

stanton moor1
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Now we are five :)

Break out the party hats and candles!

This post marks the fifth anniversary of the creation of this site, and we’ve been steadily growing since we started.  To give you an idea, the views for December 2009 were 326 for the month, December 2010 the site was viewed 1,495 times.  In November of this year, we had 3,124 views.

To date, there are 78 pages, and 442  posts available for you to read and comment on, (including this one).  Our busiest month was in June 2012 of 6,279 views.  In total, we’ve had 175,199 views since the site started in December 2009.


That’s a lot of people.

So, all we really wanted to say was Hail and Welcome to all our lovely readers, Twitter followers, commenters and those who find us looking for information and decide to stay.

We hope you stay with us in the future,

from your friendly website admin team,

Tiro and Amalasuntha :)