11 October 2020 – Harvest Festival of the Sea

I’m not going to lie, it was all going very badly even before I broke my netting shuttle. I didn’t mean to, but I’d bought one made out MDF because it looked pretty and old timey, rather than going for a modern plastic one which would have done the job and been much more pliable. Style over sodding substance.

Anyhow, I was making a fishing net because fishing nets are part of the traditional decorations for the Harvest Festival of the Sea held annually on the second Sunday of October at St Mary-at-Hill church, Billingsgate, London. Plus net making holds its own traditions and rituals as does every woven craft that’s handed down. However, given what a terrible knotter I am, it was only a matter of time before my own personal cocking it up ritual came into play. And to be fair, given I’d restarted my net several times, it wasn’t exactly the shuttle’s fault my prongwork got a little too vigorous. 

Saying that, there were parts of the process I enjoyed, like the calm winding to load the shuttle. And finding out that shuttles have anatomies. But even though I know I would have got the hang of it eventually, my need for a fishing net is so low that I’m fairly certain my enthusiasm wouldn’t have lasted much beyond the life of the shuttle anyway. So all’s well and so on.

But at least I counted seven stars again tonight. Just not last night, so I’m back on night one. Again.

And my wormwood has sprouted! Huzzah for moon juice


Resources

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

Filling Shuttle Handout

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0015587X.1939.9718196?journalCode=rfol20

https://www.instructables.com/Bind-Fishing-Nets/

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