Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coyote Socks

My knitting muse is back!

Oh, how I’ve missed her.  And now that she’s back I’m reveling – raveling?! – in the delightful imagery that is romping through the meadows in my mind.  Colours and textures are popping up like spring time blooms and I’m sketching my heart out trying to record as many of them as I can before they fade away. 

This is my latest project…
The concept for these socks has been floating around in my head for a couple of years already.  Not sure why it’s taken me so long to get them out of my head, onto paper, into my computer and onto – and off – my needles.  But here they are.

Contrary to what the pictures show, they are the same length.  I just didn’t notice that the right one had slipped down a little when I was taking the pictures.  I’ll have to get my fabulous model, David M, back for some more action shots one of these days and pay closer attention to such details.

I have to say that I’m pretty proud of how well they turned out.  There are a couple of adjustments that I could make to the pattern, but all-in-all, they aren’t too bad. 

On my needles now are pair of socks that look like corsets.  I’m quite excited about this new design.  They are fun and whimsical; a bit of silliness that should put smiles on the faces of anyone who wears them. 

On my design board is another pair of socks that look like snakes.  The body of the snake appears to be coiled around the leg and the head of the snake is the foot of the sock.   I’ve been struggling with the layout and graphing, but I’m determined to make them happen.  I love a challenge. 

Also in the design queue are two sweaters and a shawl/scarf thing.   Early days for these yet, though.

I’m just so happy to have my knitting muse back with me.   The sketching and graphing and the ever-so-cheerful clicking of knitting needles fills me with joy.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

What Colour is Peace, Anyway?

Controversy alert!  If white poppies offend you, please do not continue reading...

So, I’m having a little trouble understanding the controversy over the white poppy thing.  I do not get why people are choosing to be so offended by it.   Throughout my life I’ve been told that all those soldiers fought and died for my freedom.  Does that not mean that I have the freedom to choose what colour poppy I wear?

For the record, I’m not wearing a poppy at all this year.  Red or white.   Let me explain…

Every year I go out and buy a poppy.  And every year as I pin it to my jacket I wonder why I do this.  Now before anyone gets all bent out of shape and starts telling me that it’s to remember the fallen soldiers who fought and died for my freedom, I do not remember.  WWII ended nearly two decades before I was born.  I am aware.  But I don’t remember. 

And before anyone starts getting all freaky-deaky about that wee fact, let me state for the record that I truly am ever so grateful to be living in a country where I can and do enjoy the freedoms that I do. 

It is not my intention to minimize the impact that the great wars have had on my life in any way.  I do, however, defend the right of any Canadian to choose how they symbolize that impact, particularly if it is in a way that is relevant to their own experience and perception.  I dare say that none of the Ottawa students who adopted the white poppy remember either.

Change is inevitable.  The veterans of WWI and II are nearly all gone.  A new generation of remembrance is upon us and I think it’s important to listen to the youth and try, at least, to understand where they are coming from.  It isn’t the first half of the 20th century.  And they have, as we all have, including the remaining WW veterans, been impacted by many other wars as well. 

Yes, the red poppy is a symbol of peace.  Is it so terrible that – like all things  – it evolve?  Is it really a bad thing that a new generation injects its own flavor into remembrance?  They are not being disrespectful at all.  They are merely saying, “I love the freedom I enjoy and I wish to express it this way.”  What is the harm in that?

So I’m not wearing a poppy this year.  Not because I don’t feel any gratitude for the life I have because of the sacrifices made nearly a hundred years ago, but because I’m grateful every day for the freedom I have.  The freedom to express myself and to symbolize that gratitude the way that suits me because of those same sacrifices. 
This controversy has been referred to as “The War of the Poppies” and I’m conscientiously objecting to it.  I’m actually toying with idea of cutting out an orange poppy and wearing that because while the poppy itself represents peace – which I’m all for, by the way – orange, to me, represents creativity and I think we can come up with much more creative ways of dealing with our differences than fighting about it.  Or judging each other for not complying with our way of thinking. 

I, for one, want to hear what these young students think – why they chose the white poppy and what it means to them.  I’m proud of any youth who feels they have something to contribute, who feels they have a voice and uses it to express how they feel, who is willing to – just like everyone of us did in our own way during our youths – stand up for and exercise their rights and freedoms.  Isn't the fact that these young people are bothering to "remember" at all, the most important thing?

Do we not all have a right to our own opinions?  Do we not have the right to enjoy the freedoms those soldiers fought and died for?  It really does seem to me that telling white poppy wearers they are being disrespectful is basically negating the whole point of remembrance and limiting the freedoms that those soldiers fought and died for. 

By all means, if you prefer the red poppy, that okay with me.  Red poppy wearers are entitled to their opinions, too.  I merely hope that this white poppy/red poppy thing can, rather than be the source of resentment and argument, become an opportunity for cooperation, dialogue, respect, and acceptance between the generations that have such a wide range of experience to draw on.    A real inspiration for real peace!