A page from the York Psalter (produced in the north of England c.1170 in a vigorous Romanesque style), showing Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden; and, below, Adam digging (delving) and Eve spinning.

A page from the York Psalter (produced in the north of England in a vigorous Romanesque style), showing Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden; and, below, Adam digging (delving) and Eve spinning.

Medieval Multi-tasking: she's minding her market stall and winding yarn from her spindle onto a niddy-noddy. Morgan Library The Hours of Catherine of Cleves http://www.themorgan.org/collections/works/cleves/manuscript.asp?page=63

MS M.917/945, ff. 47v–48r

Medieval Multi-tasking: she's minding her market stall and winding yarn from her spindle onto a niddy-noddy. Morgan Library The Hours of Catherine of Cleves.

This image is from an illuminated manuscript that dates to around the year 1310, about 700 years ago. With a bit of a wardrobe change it could be any spindler and her cat today.

They've ALWAYS been "helpful" - a cat holds wool for a woman winding thread - medieval illustration from the "Maastricht Hours" (Book of Hours) - British Library, Stowe MS Folio

Detail of a standing woman.

Detail of a standing woman. BL Sloane f. Treatise on Astrology by Albumazar. Southern Netherlands, or quarter of the century.

From Instructions for Kings  1330-35 (Note the 3 sideless surcoats along with the patterned sleeves on the center undergown.)

From Instructions for Kings (Note the 3 sideless surcoats along with the patterned sleeves on the center undergown. France, probably Paris, mid cent.

Stowe_ms_17_f034r

Detail of a miniature of a nun spinning thread, as her pet cat plays with the spindle; from the Maastricht Hours, the Netherlands (Liège), quarter of the century, Stowe MS f.

En la primera tabica superior se representa una mujer de pie que está hilando. Viste gonela y sobre ella cota amplia sin mangas. Toca rizada enrollada a la cabeza y barboquejo. Sujeta el huso con la mano izquierda en alto mientras pasa el hilo por la derecha.

En la primera tabica superior se representa una mujer de pie que está hilando. Viste gonela y sobre ella cota amplia sin mangas. Toca rizada enrollada a la cabeza y barboquejo. Sujeta el huso con la mano izquierda en alto mientras pasa el hilo por la derecha.

From the Luttrell psalter, p16 (ca. 1330): what I find interesting about this picture is the detail on the distaff: To me, it looks like a coiled roving wrapped spirally around the distaff

From the Luttrell psalter, (ca. what I find interesting about this picture is the detail on the distaff: To me, it looks like a coiled roving wrapped spirally around the distaff

Wool spinning and hoeing the soil, fresco from Stave Church. Norway, 13th century.

Wool spinning and hoeing the soil fresco from stave church norway century.

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