Knitting or Stitch ‘n Bitch

“Those of you who feel knitting has changed your life, welcome to the club. I can think of no better occupation to reveal your own creativity.”

Kaffe Fassett

Wikipedia defines knitting as “a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth. Knitting consists of loops called stitches pulled through each other. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them.”

We had to learn knitting at schools in Finland from very early ages it being compulsory; I do have to admit that my ’products’ at that time were the most sorry sights ever! Really. What I managed to produce after much sweat ’n toil was one mitten, one sock instead of pairs of the same as required, a whirly-twirly scarf that looked like waves, and so on; you get the picture, for I absolutely disliked handicrafts then. That we had a sour teacher on the subject who did not like me, did not help either, it must be said.

Then years later I moved to Sweden where the girls were very partial to knitting and sewing — surprise, surprise!! as the reputation of the Swedish females would bring to one’s mind something totally different interests, eh?! — I learned to love the knitting, sewing et al. And from then on I have been doing my own patterns and whatnot, I absolutely love knitting nowadays.

Ireland, had I in my mind’s eye painted as, THE land of great yarns with the numbers of sheep the land has grazing in the fields, but when I reached the shores of the Emerald Isle, the selection was minuscule and pitiful to the ultimate as far as a variety of yarn was concerned. Sure, the meat of the mutton et al was and is ab fab over there, but as I said…The Irish, of course, are spectacularly gifted at spinning the verbal yarn, that is well-known world over.

It is funny as in ha-ha! to see that when the males want to ‘beat’ the women in females’ own games aka in cooking, etc., and even knitting — even though, Ezer Weizman said this: ‘Honey, have you ever seen a man knitting socks? ’ — they quickly become super celebrities as is Kaffe Fassett. What a brilliant name for kaffe in Swedish means coffee, by the way, and the beverage of choice in knitting sessions many a time. Here is what I found about KF on the net:

”Kaffe Fassett is known as the U.K’s King of Colour and Design – for interior and garden decoration, needlepoint, knitting and mosaic designs; also for his award-winning 1998 Chelsea Flower Show garden. Now he is designing sets and costumes for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His books include magnificent examples of tapestry, knitwear, painting, patchwork, fabrics and the latest mosaics, but the emphasis has to be on his original and daring use of colour.
Born in San Francisco, Kaffe Fassett’s earliest influences were the beauty and colour of his mother’s garden. In 1964 he moved to England and gardens are still what he loves most.” (Radio National Australia)

Great chefs carry their sets of knives, able artists carry their brush sets, and serious knitters have their knitting needle cases!

Stitch ‘n Bitch is a brilliant book of 258 pages on all things as per title; seriously, it seems like a handy guide to everybody who wants to have a fun and comprehensive reference on this grand pastime.

This is an absolutely hysterically funny video about knitting made by sharp-witted Finns:

”No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”
Edvard Munch

Tis for now, Rii — who finds that knitting eases the frazzled nerves very much indeed!!

Fabulously in-vogue pages of knitting et al on Vogue online:
http://www.vogueknitting.com/vkm/?q=node/79
http://www.vogueknitting.com/vkm/

Victoria and Albert Museum great links:
http://www.vam.ac.uk/index.html

Other handy links:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/
http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/learn-to-knit
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knitting

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LITERACY or Love of Reading

“What I can think about, I can talk about. What I can say, I can write. What I can write, I can read.
I can read what I can write and what other people can write for me to read.”

Professor Roach Van Allen

The picture, – do click at it to make it clearer, please – that I used as the lead photo, is the list of countries by literacy rate as included in the United Nations Development Programme Report 2005. Four countries lead the chart of literacy world wide with 100 per cent literacy rates Georgia, Finland, Luxembourg and Norway. Both The USA and UK are on # 21 with 99 per cent; as are Australia, France, Ireland and Germany. India is # 145 with 61 per cent. China is # 67 with 93,5 per cent.

The UNESCO literacy estimates provide basic information on the number and percentage of adults (aged 15 years and older) and youth (aged 15 to 24 years old) who are literate and illiterate. They indicate the dimensions and patterns of illiteracy within each country according to gender and age-groups, so as to aid in policy- and decision-making with regard to measures to be taken to raise the literacy level of the population. These estimates in a way reflect the performance of the national education system, as well as the quality of the human resources within a country in relation to their potential for growth, contribution to development, and quality of life.

What constitutes literacy aka literacy as defined by UNESCO:

1. A literate person is one who can with understanding both read and write a short simple statement relevant to his everyday life.
2. Literacy is not the simple reading of a word or a set of associated symbols and sounds, but an act of critical understanding of men’s situation in the world.
3. Literacy is not an end in itself but a means of personal liberation and development and extending individuals educational efforts involving overall inter-disciplinary responses to concrete problems
4. A literate person is one who has acquired all the essential knowledge and skills which enable him to engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective functioning in his group and community and whose attaining in reading, writing and numeracy make it possible to use these skills towards his own and his community’s development.

The United Nations defines illiteracy as the inability to read and write a simple sentence in any language. So, these literacy rates refer only to basic, not advanced, literacy. UNESCO Portal for the International Literacy Day. September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated on 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies with celebrations taking place around the world.

An estimated 781 million adults live without basic literacy skills, of whom two-thirds are women. In addition, approximately 103 million children have no access to school and are therefore not learning to read, write or count. All these figures mentioned in the previous sentence total more or less one billion so to put in a way that it is easier to fathom: 1 in 6 in the world cannot read, write nor count! How very tragic that the wonderful pleasure of literacy is ’denied’ these folks, methinks.

This is an extract of an old article called ’Gestures not enough to teach the world’ on Guardian online site dated September 8, 2000, but still it is very relevant:

“We have been here before. The high-level conferences, the firm commitments, the hand-wringing, the international agreements that promise the earth and deliver next to nothing – all have been part of the backdrop to the campaign for debt relief. Now there is a threat that the campaign for universal primary education could go the same way.

One third of the world’s population — that is 2 billion people — live in countries which have fewer telephone lines in total than Italy — with a population of less than 60 million! Around 90% of telecommunications traffic takes place between rich countries, while 50% of the world’s population have never made a phone call. As the knowledge economy takes root in the coming years, this lack of access will take a heavy toll and widen the divide still further.

A computer is not much use to a child who cannot read. Out of a global population of 6 billion, 880m adults are illiterate, two thirds of them women, most of them in south Asia. All these figures underestimate the full extent of the literacy problem, perhaps by as much as half. They are based on school attendance figures, and ignore the problem of the numbers of children who leave school functionally illiterate. In Africa, where increasing numbers of children will be out of school unless there is emergency action by western institutions, a new generation of adult illiterates is set to create a dangerously marginalised section of society.

Even in the industrialised world illiteracy is a problem, with almost a quarter of young adults in the US having difficulty reading all but the simplest of texts. In the developed as in the undeveloped world low literacy invariably means poverty and the spiralling problems of drugs, violence and insecurity which go with it.”

Debunking myths about the “Third World” (This video has most fabulous graphics)

“If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children’s mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives.” (Danny Glover)

Tis for now from Rii – who loves to read & write. xx

These are some of the great links that I used in this article and for further reading:

http://www.literaturepage.com/
http://www.uis.unesco.org/en/stats/statistics/literacy2000.htm
http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/Literacy/
http://www.literacyconnections.com/InTheirOwnWords.php
http://www.literacyconnections.com/
http://www.vocabvitamins.com/

Literacy Exchange: World Resources on Literacy
Nation Master site that has all kinds statistics on all kinds of things!

SONNET of Chaucer: Legende of Goode Wimmen

For thy trespas, and understond hit here:
Thou shalt, whyl that thou livest, yeer by yere,
The moste party of thy tyme spende
In making of a glorious Legende Of Goode Wimmen, maidenes and wyves,
That weren trewe in lovinge al hir lyves;
And telle of false men that hem bitrayen, That al hir lyf ne doon nat but assayen

(Legend of Good Women or as he wrote: Legende of Goode Wimmen)

Isn’t it just wonderful? I do love the way the words are so recognizeable even today when one considers that these lines were written sometime between 1385-1386! As you know, I do love words and the beauty of languages  is in the expressions and the use of words, and this is no exception, for it really appeals to me very much indeed.

Chaucer wrote in continental accentual-syllabic metre, a style which had developed since around the twelfth century as an alternative to the alliterative Anglo-Saxon metre. Chaucer is known for metrical innovation, inventing the rhyme royal, and he was one of the first English poets to use the five-stress line, the iambic pentameter, in his work. The arrangement of these five-stress lines into rhyming couplets, first seen in his Legend of Good Women, was used in much of his later work and became one of the standard poetic forms in English. His early influence as a satirist is also important, with the common humorous device, the funny accent of a regional dialect, apparently making its first appearance in The Reeve’s Tale.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343 – October 25, 1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, bureaucrat courtier, and diplomat. Although he wrote many works, he is best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes called the father of English literature, Chaucer is credited by some scholars with being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language, rather than French or Latin. His name is derived from the French chausseur, meaning shoemaker.

The Prologe of IX Goode Wimmen

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A thousand tymes have I herd men telle,

That ther is Ioye in heven, and peyne in helle;
And I acorde wel that hit is so;
But natheles, yit wot I wel also,
That ther nis noon dwelling in this contree,
That either hath in heven or helle y-be,
Ne may of hit non other weyes witen,
But as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen;
For by assay ther may no man hit preve.
10 But god forbede but men should leve
Wel more thing then men han seen with ye!
Men shal nat wenen every-thing a lye
But-if him-self hit seeth, or elles dooth;
For, god wot, thing is never the lasse sooth,
Thogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see.
Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde!

A possible indication that his career as a writer was appreciated came when Edward III granted Chaucer a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life for some unspecified task. This was an unusual grant, apparently, according to Wikipedia where this information comes from. Chaucer had a very interesting career as a diplomat, author, poet et al so there is so much what one could write on him but this is it for now.

Rii xx

Source: Wikipedia

RAZOR SHARP: FISH


I read in a newspaper here in Finland the other week and found a good few very interesting articles, one of them being this:

School children in Sweden were asked to name the most common fish they knew.


Guess what the answer was for the most of the children?!

FISH FINGERS !!

Yes, that is right, ’em ones in this link.

Oh vey, the edumacation in Sweden has a loooong way to go.

This is not a joke, but absolutely true. Tried to find the links but no luck online for ye to see it with yer own eyes like. lol

Which ones could you name off-hand?

Tis for now, Rii :))

I had great fun here in the MY FREE COLOURING PAGES where I found the picture of the fish to colour-it-in aka of a real thing to refresh the memory of how they look like!

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NOTE:

I did find this very amusing, for Sweden is a vast country with huge rivers, large lakes and the sea shore lining it nearly entirely and to children to say this is just too hilarious, methinks. Very particular and so proud they were of the wonderful fish they have/had. I am puzzled as to reasons for these answers, you see.

They are or at least were big into eating fish of all kinds when i lived there for six years!

Or it could be that the mums have stopped cooking the real thing and are only doing fish fingers as a fish dish that is supposedly good for one…

NOTHING beats the real fish like Salmon, Trout and the like in me mind. In Ireland the most common fish one eats is Cod, Plaice, Hake, Haddock et al. Finland’s huge rivers have most fabulous fish.

Keep so well and keep eating fish — tis good for ye. Fish is my preferred meal while eating out or doing a meal at home as well, more so than meat of any kind.