Knit for Peace

Knit for peace on March 21

The price of rice is rising

Posted by knitforpeace on March 29, 2008

Food crises are an enormous threat to stability. Now, Asian rice exporting nations are reducing the amounts of rice exported. For me, that just means a relatively incremental increase in the price of rice, maybe enough that I’ll finally switch to locally produced spelt as my grain to soak up sauces and fill stuffed peppers. But rice is a staple for people throughout the world, and although people in the country can find a way to subsist, what will the poor who live in cities do? What can we do?

I’m not an economist and I don’t know how these things work, but perhaps if those of us who have a choice switched from rice to a locally produced grain the pressure would, in the aggregate, be relieved. Or, at the very least, we could be grateful for every grain of rice we eat and re-use last night’s leftover rice instead of just tossing it out.

Don’t forget to shut your lights for an hour tonight. Read in the paper this morning that even the King of Sweden will be turning off the lights in the palace.

Check out my sock–Cat Bordhi rocks!

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We knit for peace yesterday and look what happened!

Posted by knitforpeace on March 22, 2008

Good news today from Cyprus–a barrier that has run down the center of a main shopping street in Nicosia is going to be torn down. Next week Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political leaders will start a process that will hopefully lead to reunification talks.

Hope. Without hope, courage is impossible. Without courage, peace is impossible.

Here’s what I did yesterday:

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And here’s me doing it–Asta has now learned to sit in my lap while I knit without biting at the yarn. Most of the time.

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If you have any pics of yourself knitting for peace or your peace knitting let me know and we’ll post ’em!

Thanks everyone for putting yourself on the map. I’ll keep adding to it through the year.

This blog won’t stop just because March 21 is 364 days away–keep checking in!

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Today’s the day!

Posted by knitforpeace on March 21, 2008

Ok, here’s what I’ve been, and will be, meditating on as I knit today. I’ve been knitting in every possible spare moment.

As we lawyers are fond of saying, including but not limited to:

1. A lasting solution in Israel, whereby everyone can live in peace and dignity;

2. Religious freedom for Tibetans;

3. An end to the war in Iraq and an honest restructuring of the Iraqi infrastructure;

4. An end to the misery in Darfur;

5. Understanding within my family for different views and different ways of doing things.

What are you thinking about today?

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Let others talk of war

Posted by knitforpeace on March 19, 2008

I want to talk about peace. I want to imagine. Tomorrow, the 12 day Persian new year begins. Imagine if all nations could agree to not make war on another nation’s holiday. Given the diversity of the world, we could have war a couple of days in January, about a week in February, nothing at all really in March and April, and so on. And when you toss Ramadan into the pot, which floats around the Gregorian year like a big soap bubble on a sunny day, war would take the day off far more often than it worked. Pretty picture.

Speaking of Ramadan, I’m in the middle of Karen Armstrong’s Short History of Islam. I always wondered about why Muslims fast on Ramadan-now I know that it’s to experience what life is like for the poorest of the poor who have nothing to eat. Talk about food for thought.

No knitting today–too busy with work. Some days are like that.

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The newspaper has the most interesting news

Posted by knitforpeace on March 17, 2008

I’ve always liked reading the obituaries. It’s a great way to learn about contemporary history or the place where you live.

In Saturday’s New York Times, the obituary of a woman named Chiara Lubich.  She was a peace activist working within the framework of the Catholic church. She didn’t seem to be a rabble rouser, but rather started a lay community that had as its key word “unity” and focused on inter-religious dialog. She met with Buddhist monks and preached at a mosque.

Religion, for all its exploitation by governments and fear-mongers to acquire power and subdue other people, also has enormous potential to bring us together, across religious lines.

Today’s knitting-I’m in the Mary Thomas group on Ravelry, where we go through the Mary Thomas pattern books and knit swatches. Knitnerdy and fun. So far (just started this weekend) I’ve done something called Grecian Plait. I also did my own variation, (top of the swatch) where I alternated the twist on alternate knit rows.

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The real price of real estate

Posted by knitforpeace on March 14, 2008

China, which plans to take the Olympic torch over Mt. Everest in Tibet, is banning climbers from scaling Everest this spring for fear that Tibetan rights activists will disrupt the plans for the torch. Critics of this route say that it is a way for China to bolster its claim to Tibet.

The colonization/displacement/religious suppression of indigenous peoples and religious minorities lies at the root of much suffering and war in this world. From Native Americans to Tibetans, from the Palestinians to the Sami, the same history of oppression for the sake of real estate has been masked in the cloak of religion or political creed or modernisation (or all of the above). We can get past this–witness the progress in Northern Ireland, but it takes courage of people on all levels of society, the courage of the oppressed to say “no, we won’t accept this” and the courage of those in whose name the oppression is being practiced to say “no, you may not do this in my name”.

I lift my knitting needles today to the courageous monks of Tibet.

Today’s knitting–another sweater I made for B, in that wonderful Morjärv yarn. I can’t get enough of this soft, colorful, durable yarn. My tip on knitting for fussy men without boring yourself to death–cast on with color A, knit a row, rib in main color, do a border pattern in color A and then the rest of the sweater in main color. Cast on the sleeves in color A, knit one row and then continue in the main color.

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Would you beat your swords into plowshares already?

Posted by knitforpeace on March 13, 2008

The never-ending violence in Israel is crazy-making sometimes. The murder of Jewish students last week. Yesterday, an Israeli raid that threatens to halt truce talks. Sometimes it makes me too angry to write, to angry to pick up my camera and take a picture of my knitting.

Show some true courage, you Israeli and Palestinian politicians, and get out there and make some peace.

Knit for peace on March 21.

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Responsibility in Turkey

Posted by knitforpeace on March 11, 2008

A Turkish photographer has compiled a photo book on the various ethnic groups that make up the Turkish people and is travelling around the country with three other people to share it. Turkey’s official policy is one of monolithic patriotism (consider the denial of the Armenian genocide). The group has travelled throughout Turkey with their book, often encountering suspicion, to share the pictures and stories of the book with people around Turkey. Their goal is to show both the variety and the uniformity of the different cultures within Turkey, and they’re finding that people are astonished at the similarities.

Like I always say, folks is folks. Sometimes we all just need to be reminded.

Today’s knitted object – B’s socks, in Seawool. Super soft and warm. I think the stitch pattern is both interesting and masculine–K all on even rounds, K4, P4 on odd rounds.

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A sad anniversary

Posted by knitforpeace on March 10, 2008

Tibetans throughout the world marched today to mark the 49th anniversary of the Tibetan revolt that resulted in the exile of the Dalai Lama. Tibetans can’t hang a picture of the Dalai Lama in their homes; if you’re found with his picture, you’re forced to step on it. Monks in Tibet can’t mention the Dalai Lama’s name.

I can’t help but think of Marranos, who in 15th century Spain and Portugal were forced to convert to Catholicism and hide their Judaism underground. Or persecution by Protestants of Catholics during the English Reformation or vice versa during the Counter Reformation. Or the persecution of pagans in a multitude of cultures. And that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.

Close your eyes. Imagine universal religious freedom.

Knitting today–got my Options! Get Knitted in the UK always sends along a lollypop and a pen when you order. Both are now sitting in my desk drawer, waiting for tomorrow. The needles, however, need only wait until I’m done with this blog entry. Here I come……

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Singers taking a stand

Posted by knitforpeace on March 9, 2008

I love music. In our house, the stereo is in the living room and the tv is covered with a cloth in a corner of the bedroom. Even the dog has been known to sit in front of the stereo and whine if there’s no music on (her favorites seem to be Bryan Ferry and Tom Waits). Musicians have a unique platform for taking a stand on political, environmental, and social justice issues. In today’s Times of London, stories of two who have done so: Annie Lennox on aids and Bjork on Tibetan rights. I could make a long list here of singers who have used the stage to reach out on issues they care about (from Pete Seeger to Pink, and that’s just Americans) but I want to take advantage of the warm weather (by Swedish standards) and go for a walk on the beach.

Today’s knitted object – a love sweater, no curse attached. This is B’s, one of the first sweaters I made. I used EZ’s percentage system and based the pattern for the border on a design from an African basket. What makes it a love sweater? That the bottom curls up (I hadn’t yet learned what I needed to know about gauge and stitch patterns and color patterns) and B loves it, warts and all. The yarn is from Gunga Din, which used to be on Söder in Stockholm but is now mail-order only.

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