idle musings
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idle musings

Classicists Crochet Things

Eidolon Crafting Special

When we asked our readers to share classical crafts they’ve made to feature in an Eidolon Crafting Special, we never could have expected such a huge turnout! We’ve compiled creative pieces from our tight-knit (pun intended) community in a series of posts. In this post, we highlight fiber works; photos and blurbs feature here, along with links to the full texts of artists’ descriptions. We hope these inspire others to go out and create some classical masterpieces of their own!

Know Thyself Hooked Rug, by Grant Hussong

My recreation of the mosaic was made using a technique called Oxford Punch Needle, a less esoteric form of rug hooking. An infamous “hooker” herself, my grandmother is the one who handed down this skill to me. Oxford Punch Needle involves punching yarn through a loosely-woven piece of fabric, called “Monk’s Cloth”…

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Crocheted Cerberus, Cupid & Psyche, by Regine May

The Cerberus also got used as a prop for the Classics at Leeds public and interactive performance of Cupid and Psyche in 2016 during the Light Night arts event which takes over the city of Leeds for one night only, so it even managed to support my research and outreach work. Crochet and Classics can go together in the weirdest of ways. Click here to read more

Antigone Mice by Harry Derbyshire

Making them wasn’t a laborious process, and in fact was a good way to think about the text I was studying in a different way: Ismene is more conservative than Antigone, so perhaps it is suited that her cloak more closely mirrors Creon, Ismene and Antigone often refer to themselves in the dual: so they are both grey, whereas Creon is white. Ultimately, though, the mice are a woolly reminder that Classics can be made whimsical and enjoyed, even if it means zoomorphising tragic characters for a gift. Click here to read more

Minimus the Mouse by Helen Forte

I’ve had a lot of fun making clothes and props for Minimus, usually based on Roman artefacts and focusing on objects mentioned in the books. After I started a social media series of ‘Latin verbs with Minimus,’ I ended up making huge number of accessories — his belongings now fill a sizeable wicker hamper … Click here to read more

Medusa Hair by Judith Richter

My original idea was making an actual wig, which would basically be a beanie with lots of snakes attached, but as that would be a lot of work and very warm to wear to a party, I decided to make a hair band with a single row of snakes in stead. I love to make cute versions of scary things, so I decided to make friendly little snakes with little black eyes like my amigurumi usually have and bright red tongues sticking out. Click here to read more

Loeb Dress by Cecily Bateman

Having the dress at the school was really lovely; I had been nervous going as I had never properly studied Latin before, and was also studying history at university at the time rather than classics; as silly as it sounds, having something classical that I’d made myself gave me the confidence to say I was a real classicist, despite language proficiency being emphasised so much in the discipline. Click here to read more

Knitting by Molly Jones-Lewis

Poseidon sweater (with inspiration from the Warrior Vase), tallit inspired by ceiling fresco from the Jewish Catacombs at Vigna Randanini,

I’ve been really lucky to land in a department where my colleagues do really interesting work and are wonderful human beings. This has provided the perfect excuse to make some interesting fiber art inspired by their work … Michael Lane is a Mycaenologist who runs a field school at Glas in Boeotia and is an all-around great guy. We co-taught a course in 2018 preparing students for a study trip to Greece, which gave me an opportunity to see him in action. One bit of new-to-me information that kept coming up in his lectures was the relevant prominence of Poseidon in Linear B tablets and Bronze Age Greek religion, and I know he spends every January tromping through chilly, damp Boeotia setting up for next year’s excavations. So of course the logical tribute knit was a Poseidon sweater… Melissa Bailey Kutner is our Roman Archaeologist who works on Roman numeracy culture. She teaches the bulk of our Roman art history units, and she’s in the process of converting to Judaism. Much of what I know about incorporating material culture into my research, I learned from her work, and she’s one of the best friends a person could have. So I decided to make her a tallit. This ceiling fresco from the Jewish Catacombs at Vigna Randanini provided inspiration. Click here to read more

Weaving by Erin Briggs

About a year ago I started weaving for the simple reason that it is traditionally a women’s craft, and undervalued in society, and hoped that by the small act of picking up the art I might be able to bring more attention to it. For thousands of years women — real and fictional — have been weaving and embroidering intricate patterns into fabric, from the shroud of Laertes by Penelope to the Bayeux Tapestry to Erin M. Riley’s erotic portraits of women. To do my part in bringing the art of weaving the recognition it deserves, I created an Instagram page called @tactile_textiles to showcase my processes and hopefully one day show the work of other women. Click here to read more

Polychrome Pants by Molly Hutt

Archer from the western pediment of the Temple of Aphaia on Aigina (Wikimedia Commons), detail of fabric, leggings

I can’t recall exactly when I first saw the polychrome Archer, but I remember that when I saw him, I immediately fell in love with his totally fab leggings and Phrygian cap. What a snappy dresser, I thought — he shall be my new fashion icon! All throughout college, post-bacc, and grad school, I searched for a pair of pants that approximated his. Alas, no luck. I would have to take charge of my own stretchy pants destiny … These leggings and my “Pockets Against the Patriarchy” scarves will all be available in my online shop at as they are finished, or I can take orders directly via social media (@mollybeestudio) or email ( Click here to read more

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