Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China Prepares for the Beijing Olympics

"Our great trading partner" is preparing for this summer's Olympics.

IOC is flogging the illusion that the Olympics will help bring civility and democracy to China.

They are idiots.

If Cuba's government is considered so awful that the US continues its economic sanctions against that country, then can someone explain to me why the world isn't boycotting EVERYTHING Chinese?

As much as I want to cheer for all Canadian athletes, and particularly for Port Alberni wrestler Travis Cross, I think the toll taken on the Chinese population, at the hands of its own military and police, is too high to justify supporting anything less than total economic sanctions, and boycotts of, anything Chinese-made.

Before anyone accuses me of wanting less for the people of China than I'd want for anyone else, let's be realistic. The Chinese government and a handful of factory owners are the real winners in the Chinese economic boom. Wal*Mart (which I actively boycott) compounds the issues of poverty and worker rights, and anyone who buys from that store supports the stockholders of that store, and NOT the people who make the goods.

The ecology and workers are the losers. Yes, I believe everyone has the right to a standard of living that affords dignity, education and health care. If anyone really believes that's what the workers in China are getting, they're only fooling themselves.

I know many hundreds of athletes have been working hard for this Olympics. It may not be too late to relocate many of the events to countries which do not censor and abuse its citizens.

If you don't openly object, then you passively accept. Condonation, it's called. No one will get that from me.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

The inherent problem with religion ...

... is that divine entities have to rely on humans to make it work.

Quite a conundrum.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Look Out, Nanaimo, It's Cyndi and Rosemarie on the Loose!

There needs to be some kind of celebration when two people connected by lace knitting actually get to meet, face-to-face.

Cyndi emailed me a while back, saying she was going to be on Vancouver Island for a weekend conference, and would it be possible to get together for a while?

I jumped at the chance, having frequently emailed Cyndi, and being on Facebook and finding out that we have much more in common than just lace knitting!

I met Cyndi and her man at the Coast Bastion hotel, close to the waterfront and within walking distance of Mad About Ewe, (I'd post the link, if they had a website!), a Nanaimo LYS. Of c
ourse we knew who each other was right away, as Cyndi and I both own a unique set of wheels; hers immediately under her, much newer and worth way more, and mine, well, my Chev Blazer is 17 years old now and has 400,000 km on her original motor (and she was new when I first brought her home!). I figure if I'm ever needing a tow, I'll call Cyndi!!

We did a little show and tell, too. If you check out her blog, you'll see these wonderful socks on the sticks. Well, I'm one up on all of you, because I saw them in real life, and being modelled by the knitter herself!

We did visit Mad About Ewe, and discovered that it's not just the yarn of the ewe they have. I have never seen, ergo, never touched Kidsilk Haze until last Monday. This is an experience not soon to be forgotten, and if the stuff weren't so expensive, I might have come home with some. Whew ... I'd have to get a second job in order to afford to knit one item with Kidsilk Haze!

Cyndi and I both were groping the copious quantities of wools and yarns, we stopped by the button wall and she picked out a seashell button for her toque, to remind her of her trip to the Island, and of course, we both spent money there (it is clearly very important to support the local economy!!). We lingered for nea
rly an hour, chatting with the store owners and (ahem), I shared my belly button start for circular projects with a woman who had stopped in for some help with her circular start. Modesty does not become me one bit!

One of the owners even agreed to take our picture with, I know this is hard to believe, but there is an entire wall of wool behind us. Imagine!!

Thanks to Mad About Ewe for indulging us. I did overhear one of the owners saying they are developing a website, and as soon as I see that, I'll post a link!

Cyndi and I also found out that sock knitting legend Nancy Bush had been to Nanaimo a few months earlier. Now if Mad About Ewe had a website, or even a monthly newsletter, I'd have known about that!!

(I will get over it!). (maybe)

One of the many things about which Cyndi and I agreed was that we need to go to a knitting retreat on one of the Gulf Islands. Apparently Quadra Island has a place that does just such a thing, so we'll have to dig more deeply and find out.

We had a great lunch together, talked up a storm, and then it was time to say goodbye. Cyndi and John were facing a many-hour bus trip back to northern BC, where they live.

I had a blast, and it was wonderful to meet a laceknitting comrade. I'm glad Cyndi survived the day with me (I can be somewhat challenging, you know!).

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Meeting Cyndi

I have been remiss in not blogging for two months. My humblest apologies.

As if!

Tomorrow I drive to Nanaimo to meet a laceknitting comrade, Cyndi. Don't tell her, but I'm bringing her a few little gifts of thread and wool ... silk, linen, cotton and laceweight wool. Shhhhh!!!

Nanaimo's just over an hou
r away, a nice drive through Cathedral Grove and around Cameron Lake, past Coombs and the Old Country Market with the goats on the roof (really!). The pictures were taken July 2007.

We will be visiting a couple of LYS (Local Yarn Stores, for the uninitiated) and having lunch somewhere. Nanaimo has some fabulous restaurants ... hmmm
... Thai? Mexican? Organic? Hmmmm ....

On the sticks: Pho
enixPalme, or Phonixpalme, as it's otherwise known. This is the shawl I'm knitting for my son's wedding in August. I'm using high-twist silk thread in "natural" colour, and am doing a 3/4 circular shawl.

This means knitting back and forth and doing a little fudging with a bit of the pattern, especially along the front edges. I started on Round (or in this case, Row) 49. None of this makes sense unless you've converted a circular knitting project into a shawl, and in a couple of weeks I'll have pictures!

We're loving the springtime here on the West Coast. The fish in the pond are coming out of dormancy, and are eagerly awaiting the first mosquito eggs to be deposited into the pond. Today I tossed an earthworm into the pond, and there was a feeding frenzy. The fish mortality rate over the winter wasn't too bad ... I think we lost about 1/2 dozen, out of more than 40. Remember, the pond was rebuilt last summer, so the mere fact that we have any surviving fish is wonderful! That's Eric, tweaking the lining of the pond last July, as it was being filled (this is the young man who will be a groom this summer!).

Now tell me, what self-respecting Malamute wouldn't lounge on the new pond liner and drink the water as the pond is being filled? Malamutes don't like water, remember? (ya, right!).

And this is a view of the rebuilt pond, taken from the kitchen roof. This year we will be covering any exposed liner with more HUGE rocks around the edge of the pond, and small, round rocks in the shallow ends of the pond.

Life is racing towards the Aug. 23 wedding date for my son and his fiancee. We have so much to do here at home, as we are having family visit for a few days after the wedding. Our Freecycle motorhome will be completely redecorated and refurbished inside; the house will (fingers crossed) be completely repainted, exterior; two bedrooms inside painted and tiddled up; attic cleaned out and organized; a deck will be built beside the pond; the pool needs to be drained and cleaned and filled; flower boxes need to be built and put up and filled with plants; lawn needs to be replanted where the bobcat skimmed it off while removing the old shingles off the property last summer, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (to quote the King of Siam). Almost makes a person tired just thinking of it all!

My belly button start for circular projects has had a phenomenal number of hits in the last few months. Many bloggers have posted links to it, and it's a hit on Ravelry, too. So glad to see so much positive feedback!!

Keep your eyes peeled for the PP Shawl updates, as well as pictures and a story or two of the time Cyndi and I have together tomorrow!

Goodnight, Mother!

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