There are dozens and dozens of paintings and engravings of the Lady of Shallot, but not nearly so many of knitters. Nineteenth-century English and French genre painters included knitters as a way of showing local color. A knitting woman allowed the painter to paint a domestic interior and to praise feminine industry.
Even earlier, we can find a number of medieval knitting madonnas as well. They're sort of odd, but if Jesus can have blond hair and blue eyes, I guess the Virgin Mary can pick up the knitting needles and cast on. Maybe it gave her a degree of serenity in her crazy world.
Which brings me to this book. I want it. It's definitely going on my wish list.
In other news, I finished the other sock. With the semester over and without a computer at home, I may be posting less frequently, but I'm aiming to do my best over the summer.