Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

The meaning behind the many colors of India’s Holi Festival June 17, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 6:02 pm

Victoria Finlay

This article was originally published in The Smithsonian Journeys Quarterly in spring 2016. It looked amazing in its original print edition – incredible photos. But it’s nice to find it online just now.

If you land in India anytime in late February or March, it’s wise to check the dates of the annual Holi festival, and bring a spare set of clothes. That’s because for a few days in spring, people crowd the streets and splash brilliantly colored dyes on anyone walking by. It’s hard to avoid the fun—and paint—unless you stay inside or look menacing enough to discourage the custom.

“Watch out, madam!” said my taxi driver in Amritsar as we drove through a melee of young people pelting each other with powder.

“The colors never come out of your clothes,” he said. “And you might be having purple hair for many days. It is a complete liability.”

I did a…

View original post 1,865 more words

 

Interesting Facts about War Poets

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 2:15 pm

By Ana McLaughlin

As the hundred year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme approaches (1st July 2016), here’s a look at the most interesting biographies of our greatest war poets, and some surprising facts you might not know about them.

Lawrence Binyon (1869-1943) wrote ‘For The Fallen’, with its immortal fourth verse:

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’

View original post 1,157 more words

 

Revisited Myth #49: Early Americans used the blue wrappers from their sugar cones to dye fabric.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Janet @ 1:23 pm

History Myths Debunked

sugars2

A sweet story, but experts in historic crafts say that no actual instances of this practice are known in America’s colonial era. Apart from lack of evidence, it is illogical. Refined sugar was an expensive, imported luxury—think caviar—that only the wealthiest could afford. Not the sort who are scrimping and recycling their wrapping paper or dying their own fabric. (If the family budget couldn’t stretch to include sugar, what did folks back then use for sweeteners? Maple sugar, honey, molasses, or muscovado sugar. Or nothing.)

But lo and behold, several household management books published in the mid-nineteenth century do mention this practice. In one of them, The American Frugal Housewife (1835), author Lydia Childs tells how to make various cheap dyes, including “a fine purple slate color” by boiling sugar wrapping paper in vinegar with alum and boiling it in an iron kettle. In another, Eliza Leslie’s Lady’s Frugal House-Book; a…

View original post 182 more words