Ok, I admit it, I am officially fascinated and on the trail of this story now. Having read in Nordicfibregirl’s profile on Ravelry that “I grew up in Denmark, where King Christian IV once outlawed knitting. It made women too â€˜dreamyâ€™! His own mother would sneak out of the castle with only 1 of her ladies in waiting — imagine the hardship! — and row to her private island to knit in secret.” I need to know more! It’s the former history major in me.
Who was Christian IV of Denmark’s mother? She was Sophie of Mecklenburg-GÃ¼strow, quite an educated woman for her time, and rich to boot!
She was engaged in a power struggle with the Regents of Denmark and The Council of State, which had Christian declared of age in 1593. Sophie only gave up her position the following year, 1594. As such, she came into conflict with the government, which expelled her to the palace of NykÃ¸bing Slot on the island of Falster. She spent her time there in the study of chemistry, astronomy and other sciences.
The Dowager Queen Sophie managed her estates in Lolland-Falster so well that her son had to borrow money from her on several occasions for his warfares. She was also engaged in large-scale trade and money-lending.
Her daughter Anne went on to become the queen consort of England. Anyone have a source for the knitting story? I know how she felt, sometimes I want to row to an island somewhere and do nothing but knit, too.