Friday, March 4, 2011

Long live the needlewomen and their needles

I haven't really been feeling much like blogging over the last week - the events in Christchurch have been far too distracting, or maybe that should be absorbing and upsetting. For some reason tonight though I remembered this rather odd photo I took a few weeks ago to show you. I've been doing some work over the last couple of months that has involved me in doing some stitching - my children find it almost unbelievable that I am being paid to stitch. Children are so leveling!

I've been learning how to wield these very fine curved needles. I'm far from an expert but am getting better at it. They are surgical needles (breathe now - I am not stitching in any medical theatres - no humans have been harmed in the making of this blog!) and you can see how small they are lying next to the betweens needle that I have also been using.

What I coincidentally discovered,while watching a rather odd documentary on the history of surgical developments (don't ask how I came to find this, let alone kept watching!) was that a French doctor pioneered stitching of blood vessels after watching a President of France be stabbed and bleed to death. It inspired him to look at ways to stitch up tears in blood vessels.

And who taught him? An expert French needlewoman, of course.

He went to her to learn how to stitch and after many,many months of practice he moved onto experimenting on dead animals and eventually people. This was over one hundred years ago. But isn't it good to know that the skills of wielding a small needle so effectively have helped save so many people over the last hundred years or so - and over the last week in Christchurch.

Long live the needlewomen and their needles!

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