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Distaff and Distaves

 
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A distaff is like a third hand for holding fibre when spinning yarn.  A distaff can be anything like a stick, or a nail on a wall, to even a towel.  Often purpose-built distaves (the plural of distaff) are really pretty.

Here's a video about dressing a distaff with wool with some close-up footage on how drafting works one-handed.


(and if you enjoyed this, pop over to youtube and give it a like.  It really helps me out.)

Any questions about distaffs?  Have you used one and if so, what's your favourite?  
 
r ranson
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Possibly the darker side of Distaff
We have some great images from around the world of people using distaves in medieval times.  One of my favourites is the image (I can't find it now, but I saw it in art history class) where this bloke in or near Bagdad was sitting on the side of a tall building with his distaff and the drop spindle was hanging several stories below him.  

Sometimes in England, we see the distaff being used as a weapon.  





These are often cited as women beating her henpecked husband, but there's another interpretation.  Maybe the woman is resisting unwanted interest from a suiter?  Over a thousand years later, it's easy to put our own bias on these pictures.  

Here's one YouTuber who shows how a distaff can be used to fend off unwanted attacks.





They've got more videos about self-defence and other medieval lifestyle issues.  Love this channel but they don't make videos very often.  




 
r ranson
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Today, January 7th, is Distaff Day.  

Traditionally, this is the first day back at work after the Christmas Holidays.  

As spinners in the modern world, we use this day to celebrate our craft.  Quite often there would be gatherings and games.  It's a hugely social event and it feels weird to be spending this day alone.  



I love that she uses a Luna Lovegood wand for a distaff.
 
r ranson
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And another great video about distaff day.



Love the luscious flax fibre
 
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