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Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Smashing Time - Luddites

Luddites Smashing a loom, 1812. (Artist Unknown)

I got this quote in my Word of the Day email today:

After the Luddites, name taken by textile workers in England during 1811-1816 who destroyed machinery that was displacing them. They took the name after one Ned Ludd, whose identity is not clear. Ned Ludd is said to have destroyed, in a fit of insanity, a knitting frame in 1779. In response to the Luddites, the British parliament passed the Frame Breaking Act which made the destroying of knitting frames punishable by death. 

 I learned a lot about this when I visited the Ruddington Framework Knitter's Museum in Enland a few years ago.  Lots of us balk at change, I think back to the day my husband brought home a Mac (back when they were beige too) and I told him to have fun and walked away...... then a graphic artist friend of mine, Tracy Carefoot, showed me how to make my own business cards, and a computer learning centre in the Beach area of Toronto where I lived showed me how to write a letter and save, save, save....and I haven't looked back.

Me on a Knitting Frame at the RFKM. 
Eight movements involving hands, knees and feet for one row!

I'm so glad that knitting machines survived Ned Ludd!

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