How embroidery is helping women in Pakistan stand up to honor killings and inequality

Originally posted on ideas.ted.com:

Khalida Brohi (TED Talk: How I work to protect women from honor killings) grew up traveling between two very different parts of Pakistan: the bustling city of Karachi, where her parents moved so that she and her sisters could go to school, and a small village in Balochistan, where her family has its roots. Brohi got a modern education, and also developed a deep reverence for her tribal traditions. Those two threads often tangled — especially when it came to the treatment of women.

As a teenager, Brohi watched as, one by one, her childhood friends entered arranged marriages, sometimes against their will. When she was 16, she received word that a close friend had been murdered by her family in an “honor killing.” She set her mind on starting a movement to stop these practices. But as it gained momentum, it also spurred a backlash.

“We were challenging centuries-old customs in…

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I Might Have Caught Startitupitis

CityofLeedsRose:

One of my rules this year for knitting was not to start anything else till the wips were done. However I needed a travelling project and oops a sock was on the pins. :)

Originally posted on Roving Crafters:

Startitupitis – a condition that strikes knitters and crocheters when they least expected it and results in the starting of multiple projects in a very short period of time.

I’m pretty sure I have that. I’m pretty sure there is no cure. I’m pretty sure I don’t much care.

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On loosing my reading mojo

Today I came across this article here

It spoke to me an awful lot as I can sympathise with the author.  I used to be that reader who ate books and it was the norm for me to regularly read a book in 24 hours. However a few years ago when my husband’s health took a bit of a turn I lost my reading mojo.

My head space also became not so good. I spent much time deep in thought and worry. If I tried to take my mind off things by reading I found that I couldn’t concentrate.  I would spend ages re – reading the same line over and over again, with nothing being absorbed. 

It didn’t matter what I tried to read.
Even reading my Bible became difficult. My favourite authors also couldn’t break through this fog that I was going through.  Whatever was suggested to read I struggled to finish a book.

Although that was a strange time and it’s going back awhile,  my appetite for reading has changed. No longer am I ravenous for a book.  A book has to be really gripping to hold my attention, to keep me entertained and enthralled to the end. It’s a rare thing for me to read a book within a couple of days.  If I do, you know it must be a good one.

I know that there’s many health benefits associated with reading and it is supposed to be a way of elevating depression.  My advice through the dark days is keep trying,  and if you can’t , don’t beat yourself up over it. Find something else that will assist in lifting you up. For me knitting became a lifeline.

The other thing I recommend is don’t be afraid to seek out help and speak about how you feel.  I know the road is hard and long. There will be good days and bad days. Eventually things will get better – just keep believing this and show yourself some love.
Blessings x

Friday FO: Little House Shawl

CityofLeedsRose:

Another one to add to the queue ;)

Originally posted on :

This week’s Friday FO is a mini shawl that I made for a friends daughter. This is a free pattern on ravelry called the Little House Shawl created by Joanna Johnson who says the design was inspired by the books of Laura Ingalls Walder in Little House on the Praire.

The shawl itself comes in sizes child and adult so you could make a matching mother-daughter set if you wished. The matchy-matchy look is very on trend this season.

Its a good pattern to try as a first shawl. I really enjoyed making it and here’s the finished object…

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I used lots of leftover yarn to do the feather and fan edging. You can have great fun playing around with the colours but it would work in a solid yarn just as well.

The shawl forms a half-crescent shape which wraps neatly over the shoulders. What a pretty gift to…

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Knitting as Decluttering

CityofLeedsRose:

When I have a few days off at the beginning of March I will be clearing out my craft cupboard and yes it will take a whole day :)

Originally posted on Being Invisible:

Over the Christmas holidays, I started knitting again.  YAY!  It had been a while, probably several months, since I’d done any crafting at all.  It helped that I had the flu and THEN a cold during January, so I was home from work A LOT.

I’ve finished two afghans since Christmas!  One I started just after Christmas and finished near the end of January, while the other one is a crocheted work that I all-but-finished last spring and then put down because the finishing part is pretty tedious.  They both look really nice, I think!

Here are pics:

Rambling Rows afghan Rambling Rows afghan

Babette Blanket Babette Blanket

If you’d like to see more, check out my page on Ravelry.com at http://www.ravelry.com/projects/tfoz. For a funny story, look at the Knot Shoes to see my mistake when I made a pair that fit my giant cat’s feet, rather than itty-bitty baby feet.

Regarding decluttering yarn…

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Knitivity

Finally a bit later but here are some pictures:

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The last two Shepherds

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Donkey who I love and think is rather cute!

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Ox who was a bit fiddly to sew up.

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The Wise Men’s gifts.  I’ve decided not to add anything else to them.

I did try making the star but found the gold tinsel thread hard to knit with and when I tried to make a pom pom with it…….Well it didn’t work and I had tiny bits of gold thread all over the lounge.  This amused hubby no end!

Since then as part of my year of making I decided to brighten up an old coat by making some trimmings using the glowworm yarn. I had pink and orange but when I put up the finish pieces up to the coat I realised that the pink looked better.

Here is the finished product:

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I was a bit unsure what to make next. I was trying not to cast on another project but focus on the wips. Two of the wips are shawls – a bit complicated to take to Knit Night.  The other is a jumper and currently I’m not sure what I’ve done with the needles that I need for the ribbing.  Hmm going to have to hunt for those.

The decision has been taken out of my hands. This year is becoming the year of the baby. A friend’s daughter gave birth today to a baby girl. :)  Also four of my friends are pregnant.   I’ve been asked to make something a little special for one of them.  Since the pins will be out I might as well make a few bits for the other babies – and the best bit booties are a good project to take along to Knit Night as they are small and not complicated. Win :)

Blessings :)

I have to pay attention

Dear Reader

As you know I’m a Christian.  I don’t often blog about my beliefs for various reasons but I want to share with you something that I believe God is doing in my life. It does all tie in with my theme of #yearofmaking.

This weekend in the lectionary the Old Testament reading is taken from Samuel.  It’s a well known reading when God keeps waking Samuel up in the middle of the night. Samuel thinks it’s Eli his master calling him and so goes and wakes up Eli saying “Here I am”.  Eventually after the third time of being woken up, Eli twigs that it is God speaking to Samuel.  He tells Samuel that if it happens again for him to say “Speak Lord, Your servant is listening”.

So why is this passage speaking to me at the moment?  Well God isn’t waking me up in the middle of the night but he is putting people in my path who are telling me to listen. Twice this week I’ve been told “we have one mouth and two ears so we need to listen twice as much as we talk”.

With the passage being heard twice at two different services and churches the light bulb has gone off in my brain. This is something I need to pay attention to.  What do you learn from taking time to listen to God? Direction.  Where you need to go. What you need to do. How you go about doing it.

What do you learn from listening to yourself?  Answers.

What do you learn from listening to others? LOTS!

So as part of my #yearofmaking I’m going to make time to listen.

Blessings :)