Mar 30, 2009

My Goodbye Scarf

I finished this scarf a week or so ago, but haven't been able to bring myself to post it or to give it to it's recipient, Linda. Her birthday even came and went but I couldn't bring myself to call. She will be leaving the state next month. Earlier than I thought. I am grieving. She was my matron of honor, my best friend in high school and my stalwart sister in the Lord. I have missed her for 13 (?) years when she moved out of SoCal to the midwest. Then finally, I managed to be in the same place as she is...for a short time. She'll need this warm scarf in Maine.

I wish her all the best and do not grudge her this wonderful move. But I am sad.

Irish Hiking Scarf by Adrian Bizilia .
Size 8 needles, Knitpicks Decadence yarn in Tide colorway, 3 skeins.

Mar 11, 2009

Grappling with the World

I often struggle to understand the world around me. I cannot be everywhere and understand everything. What must it be like to live under Islamic law as a woman in Saudi? What is really going on with Tibet and China? Why does the gov't in Cambodia evict people with no recompense? I really have no clue. But I want to know.

Books are a good way to get an idea of something previously unfathomable.

"The Translator" gives a good idea of Darfur. It is written by Daoud Hari and is subtitled, "A Memoir ". It is the story of one man whose village was burned and killed and what he did after that. Because he was schooled in English and Arabic, he was able to be of use to journalists and researchers as a translator.

The picture which began for me as a blurry and confusing situation was focused with this book. I certainly don't understand all the situation, but I have a clue now. The book was a very easy read, exciting and engrossing.
The introduction by the author begins,

"If God must break your leg He will at least teach you to limp" - so it is said in Africa. This book is my poor limping, a modest account that cannot tell every story that deserves telling. I have seen and heard many things in Darfur that have broken my heart. I bring the stories to you because I know most people want other to have goo lives and, when they understand the situaiton, they will do what they can to steer the world back toward kindness. This is when human beings, I believe, are most admirable.

His purpose in writing is clear.

I like the way Daoud (David in English) brings us into an understanding of his world. He says of an airplane trip home to Darfur after a stay in jail in Egypt,

Altitude itself is a powerful thing. When travelers are in space, looking at our small planet from a distance where borders and flags cannot be seen or imagined..... ...... bends one toward a peaceful view. That is what I wanted, really, just peace. I was sad and anxious for my poeple but not angry. I didn't want to kill any human person. I didn't even hate the man who was organizing all these crimes, the president of Sudan, though I wished deeply to take him for a long walk through the villages of my childhood and perhaps change his way of thinking about how best to serve the people, which is surely his job.

Well, Daoud took me for walks through his village and other villages as well. It was sobering. I am glad I went, just as he hoped the reader would be.

Of the great Sahara desert crossing, he speaks of how to know directions.

All trails are erased with each wind. You can note the stars at night, if it is clear, or see where the sun rises or sets, also if it is clear, but it is not always clear and the tilted horizon provided by the great dunes disorients you even under a cloudless sky. ....
....You are modern and think your compass and your GPS will keep you from trouble. But the batteries will give out in your GPS, or the sand will ruin it. Your compass may break or become lost as you try to put away your bedding one morning in a hard sandstorm. So yo will want to know the ways that have worked for thousand of years...
...Be careful: some people die because they look to a distant mountain as their guide, but the wind moves these mountains around; you might travel in circles until your eyes close and your heart withers.
It says everything about this land to know that even the mountains are not to be trusted, and that the crunching sound under your camel's hooves are usually human bones, hidden and revealed as the wind pleases.

I love the way he speaks to the Western reader:

Everyone knows the family of everyone else among the Zaghawa [his people group]. If you live in a small town, you know a great deal about the families who live there. If your town had no television or other things to take you away from visiting all the time, your town could be very large and you would still know something about everyone. So it is like that.

Often we read those words, "It is like that". Daoud paints good word pictures.

The Translator is not readily available. If you want to read it and cannot get a hold of it, comment here and I will email you and send it to you.
**editted to add: It is readily available, although it has a different subtitle. still....I'll send it to you...!

This is one good yarn.

Mar 9, 2009

Some Finished Socks and more Important stuff too

Sometimes finished knits get posted here right away...sometimes not. These three pair of socks have been neglected and have been crying out for their moment of glory...such as it is.

These are made with Noro Kureyon Sock yarn with a US1 needle. They are Long!
These are warm and wool, made with KnitPicks Wool of The Andes with US 4 needle, ribbed 6 X2 with a little baby cable in the inside two stitches every four rows.
And Last, Socks for DH in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Hand Dyed...super warm and thick.
Far more importantly is the tragedy which happened near us. A church nearby (Maryville First Baptist) was attacked by a lone gunman shooting the pastor as he preached. They don't yet know why. The pastor has two girls and a wife who are stunned. The whole church is stunned. Still, they give testimony to the love of God, even in the midst of tragedy. Please join me in prayer for the family, the heroes who stopped the gunman and are hurt, all the people in church who witnessed this tragedy (including teens and young children) and for the gunman and his family.