Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Way Knit Was

Today's page from Stephanie Pearl McPhee's Never Not Knitting page-per-day calendar (the one I went on a ridiculous trip to get) was a 'The Way Knit Was' page and it amused me greatly:

"I have too much love for my poor people who obtain their bread by the employment of knitting, to...forward an invention that will tend to their ruin."

- Queen Elizabeth I, explaining why she wouldn't grant William Lee a patent for his knitting machine in 1589.

The 'Darnley Portrait' of Elizabeth I of England,
oil on panel, 113 x 78.7 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London

Of course it's not amusing that there were/are 'poor' people or that William Lee's battle to get a patent for the knitting machine made his life so horrible, but the tone of Queen Elizabeth is just so haughty - 'my poor people'!

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