I am very excited to introduce a series of guest posts from David called 'Tuesday Tales'. These posts will explore sewing and needlework in Faerie Tales (or Fairytales :-)--especially those from Scotland and the British Isles. David is a great storyteller and I always love hearing him recount old Gaelic tales and I know you will love it as well!! Thanks so much, David for sharing your knowledge and love of Scotland with us!
Once upon a time...
Sewing, spinning, weaving, and clothes-making often figure in these stories; the spindle that brings on Sleeping Beauty's hundred-year slumber, the fashioning of clothes and shoes by helpful Elves, or the wool pulled over the eyes of the foolish Emperor by a pair of conniving weavers.
Illustrations clockwise from top left: The Princess and the Goblin by Charles Folkard, Sleeping Beauty by John Dickson Batten,
The Princess and Curdie by Charles Folkard, The Elves and the Shoemaker by Rie Kramer, The Emperor's New Clothes by Monro Scott Orr
There are many such tales woven into the cultural fabric of the British Isles, and stories of enchanted needles, spindles, magical articles of clothing, yarn, thread, and cloth often figure in local legends. For example, the Scottish Clan Macleod, the traditional keepers of Dunvegan Castle and hereditary owners of the Isle of Skye, possess a silk banner that they claim to have been a gift from the Faeries, and credit it for their excellent fortune over the centuries.
Dunvegan Castle in the Mist: Photo by Klaus with K, courtesy Wikimedia Commons
I'll begin my series of guest posts next week with one such sewing-themed story from Scotland, and will follow with others in the coming weeks, until Debi is able to resume her usual posting schedule. It will be a challenge to summarise these stories, for the joy is in the telling, and many hints of the "lives" of these tales can be found in the details they've accumulated over the years. I will, for the sake of space, keep it as brief as possible, and link to full versions of the tales where I can, for those who wish to discover these rich tales for themselves.
I hope you will join me next week for the first Tuesday Tale: The Sprightly Tailor.