Traditionally the first Sunday after Epiphany is celebrated here as Plough Sunday and marks the beginning of the agricultural year. The ploughs have not been able to get to the ground because of the snow and so Plough Sunday celebrations have been postponed in some parishes until today. Ploughs bedecked with ribbons are taken along to church for blessing, after which follows Morris Dancing and a little light revelry - what we here like to call a regular old knees-up. And here you can see a very accurate illustration of what a regular old knees up looks like. These plates are from my copy of George Walker's The Costume of Yorkshire (as some of you know, that is the county of my birth). This is a fabulous book if you are able to get hold of a copy as it shows not only costumes but occupations - such as spinning with a great wheel.
Grandmother is skeining the spun yarn. The ladder to the left may go up to the bedroom or weaving garret, where the husband of the house would be working at his loom.
And the famous Wensley Dale knitters - men, women and children who knit all the while, whatever other task they may be performing, whether cooking or shepherding flocks. If you stopped for a chat, you would stop for six - the length of time taken to knit six rows. In the evenings, to save fuel, knitting, singing and story-telling by the light of a dying fire, the little community would gather turn by turn at each others' homes.