Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Catherine Wheel

I was concentrating so much on the novel challenge that I forgot to post for two of my favourite days. Nov 25 and Nov 30.  Here is a re-post for Nov 25.

Catherine Wheel Crochet Stitch as Worked
November 25 is the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria. In Christian lore, St. Catherine was martyred upon a flaming wheel for her beliefs. The story, not only stuck; it flourished, to the extent that many common things that we use today are named after St. Catherine and her "wheel."

Catherine Wheel Crochet Stitch Reversed
The "Catherine Wheel"  lends it's name to: a firecracker, a rock band, a medieval torture machine, a ballet, a window design, a move in gymnastics, a film, a crime novel and a very lovely stitch in crochet. St. Catherine is the patron saint of anyone who works upon a wheel - spinners, sewers, potters, machinist and I am going to add knitters with circular needles. Bus and taxi drivers are late additions and, strictly speaking, do not come under her patronage - but, you can always ask!

I have a soft spot in my heart for St. Catherine and for Alexandria. Alexandria housed the first library, which was destroyed by invading armies, sometime in late BC or early AD. Information about this is sketchy. There are some who think that a lot of learning is a dangerous thing. A great loss - I'm not sure that anything was gained.

I named my daughter after St. Catherine (also spelled Katherine). Since, her older brother is Alexander, I felt that I had to chose a name of Greek origin for the third child. Well, I happen to like Christmas and the feast of St. Nicholas, Dec 6, is not that far away, so Nicholas it was. Also, and I just found this while researching for my post, as St. Catherine is the patron saint of young girls, so too, is St. Nicholas the patron saint of young boys. Serendipity is my co-pilot!

St. Catherine, doesn't have a lot to do with knitting - more with needlework. In France, she enjoys a real cult following among young women in the needle trade - seamstresses, milliners, maybe knitters. These would be mainly unmarried women, called Catherinettes, who send each other cards on this day.

All this folklore aside, St. Catherine was an amazing marketer. Her brand was not only cool (err hot) it had staying power. To die around 307AD and then to be the namesake of so many exciting things today, including a British rock group (1990-2000), how cool is that?

You might consider using St. Catherine in your marketing plans. Catherinettes made hats in her honour - think of a "hat day", serve anything round and enjoy.

Sagittarius is coming along.  We are now under the sign of Sagittarius and the pinwheel motif, that I am using, is another one of the symbols of St Catherine - remember the firecracker - it's a flaming pinwheel - how serendipitous is that?

Dinner? OK something round and Greek. How about Pitas? Here is a site with 19 recipes for Pita dips and sandwiches etc.

When I used to work downtown, I would hop over to Fit For Life every once in a while and get one of their stuffed pitas. I know that they lined it with Hummus and then added shredded lettuce, diced tomato, some slivered green pepper, sweet onion, hot peppers. Crumbled Feta would be good. You could also add some thinly sliced meat.  They had some killer sauces that went in too - sorry I can't help you there.

Enjoy - Carol

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