Sojourner Truth (26 November 1883)Sojourner Truth, originally known as Isabella, was born a slave in New York in about 1798. In 1826 she escaped with the aid of Quaker Abolitionists, and became a street-corner evangelist and the founder of a shelter for homeless women. When she was travelling, and someone asked her name, she said “Sojourner,” meaning that she was a citizen of heaven, and a wanderer on earth. She then gave her surname as “Truth,” on the grounds that God was her Father, and His name was Truth. She spoke at numerous church gatherings, both black and white, quoting the Bible extensively from memory, and speaking against slavery and for an improved legal status for women. The speech for which she is best known is called, “Ain’t I a Woman?” It was delivered in response to a male speaker who had been arguing that the refusal of votes for women was grounded in a wish to shelter women from the harsh realities of political life. She replied, with great effect, that she was a woman, and that society had not sheltered her. She became known as “the Miriam of the Latter Exodus.”Harriet Ross Tubman (10 March 1913)Harriet Ross was born in 1820 in Maryland. She was deeply impressed by the Bible narrative of God’s deliverance of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and it became the basis of her belief that it was God’s will to deliver slaves in America out of their bondage, and that it was her duty to help accomplish this. In 1844, she escaped to Canada, but returned to help others escape. Working with other Abolitionists, chiefly white Quakers, she made at least nineteen excursions into Maryland in the 1850’s, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom. During the War of 1861-5, she joined the Northern Army as a cook and a nurse and a spy, and on one occasion led a raid that freed over 750 slaves. After the war, she worked to shelter orphans and elderly poor persons, and to advance the status of women and blacks. She became known as “the Moses of her People.”Elizabeth Cady Stanton (26 October 1902)Mrs. Stanton was born in 1815 and reared in the Presbyterian Church. She found the Calvinist doctrine of predestination dismaying, and rebelled against it. She denounced the clergy of her day for not upholding women’s rights, but as she travelled giving speeches on the subject, she found no lack of pulpits available to her. She undertook to write what she called a Women’s Bible. It never got beyond a series of notes on selected Biblical passages. For example, she quotes the passage in Genesis where we are told that Noah’s Ark had only one window, and remarks that if a woman had been consulted, the Ark would have been better designed.Reading Mrs. Stanton’s life and works, I have an uncomfortable feeling that she was interested in “religion” only as a potential ally or opponent in her campaign for women’s political equality. I once spent some time in a congregation where the preacher never mentioned God or Christ except when they could be quoted in support of the preacher’s political agenda. It was not a good experience. For me, reading about Mrs Stanton moves me, not to say, “Lord, give me the grace to follow you, as you did to Mrs. Stanton,” but rather, “Lord do I do that? Do I think of you as there to carry out my agenda? If so, then help me to recognize it and to stop it.” Meanwhile, if we think that the abolition of slavery and the recognition of women’s right to own property are in accordance with justice, and are accordingly good things, then we can thank God for accomplishing good through Mrs Stanton and others. “It is enough to be sure of the deed. Our courteous Lord will deign to redeem the motive.” (Julian of Norwich)Amelia Jenks Bloomer (30 December 1894)Amelia Jenks was born in New York in 1818, reared as a Presbyterian, and as a young woman became an activist for the anti-slavery, anti- alcohol, and women’s votes movements. One of her concerns has made her name a part of the language. In her day, women’s fashions encouraged tightly laced waists, involving severe health problems. (The fashions were denounced in 1728 by William Law (9 April).) The fashion also called for skirts trailing the ground, an arrangement that made it difficult to keep the skirts reasonably clean, especially since the streets were full of horses. Mrs. Bloomer designed a women’s costume featuring what are known as Turkish pants, or harem pants (remember the television show I Dream of Jeannie), loose baggy trousers gathered into tight bands at the ankles and waist. Over these she wore a mid-calf-length skirt. It seems a thoroughly modest garb, but it excited indignation and ridicule. (At least well into the 1940’s, women’s underpants, and women’s baggy outer pants worn for athletics, were known as “bloomers.”)Mrs. Bloomer and her husband eventually settled in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she worked to promote churches, schools, libraries, and progressive and reform movements. On one occasion she said:”The same Power that brought the slave out of bondage will, in His own good time and way, bring about the emancipation of women, and make her the equal in power and dominion that she was in the beginning.”
Seeing if I can upload some pictures of works in progress:
First, here's the beginning of a sweater for Ruby that I hope will fit her when the weather gets cool. It's in a totally washable acrylic yarn and I think the colors will look good on her. Madison's is next (I already knit her a sweater last winter – it's probably shrunk in the wash by now, LOL:)
It's fun having grandchildren to knit for – the knitting goes faster because the sizes are smaller and they are so forgiving of my errors!
This is my first attempt at crocheting a vest. It is out of Egyptian cotton I scored at a LYS in Rockville Centre, NY while visiting there this summer. I loved the color. There probably won't be enough to finish it, so I may have to hold off until I find more of the same her at home or try to redo as a striped vest. But it's been a good learning experience.
The next two are of a cotton sweater I'm knitting from one of Elsebeth Lavold's pattern books. I just love this pattern. I'm hoping the fit is right. Am using larger needles and the largest pattern size. Hopefully it won't accentuate the negative, LOL:)
Finally, here's a scarf that just needs the fringe. It's a recycled silk yarn from saris spun by women in Nepal – a Fair Trade item or I would like to think I wouldn't have bought it. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase while I was at the Sheep and Wool Festival in May. It is a good thing to venture outside of the usual from time to time.
I'm embarassed to say that these are not the only WIPs I have, but they're the ones I'm going to finish this month or bust:)
Well, back to work……
In one of his poems, the late, great Charles Olson praised “lovers of the difficult.” He didn’t mean that in some sadomasochistic sense; he wasn’t cheering on people who perversely enjoy suffering. Rather, he meant to express his admiration for those whose lust for life drives them to seek answers to the knottiest questions. He was recommending that we wrestle with intractable problems whose solutions unleash blessings on the world. In the coming week, Aquarius, I encourage you to be one of these lovers of the difficult.
This comes from Free Will Astrology Horoscopes – http://freewillastrology.com/horoscopes
something I have always had trouble believing in – even at a time when people would ask “what’s your sign?” It used to bother me – because that time was supposedly the “Age of Aquarius” (am I giving away my age again – oh wait, it’s on my profile, LOL).
But I really like what this one says – not because it is really a predictor of anything, but because I really really like the sentiment it expresses. Now on to living up to it!
Work has been a matter of catching up the last 2 weeks. Not that I’ve let that get in the way of my knitting, LOL:) Well, maybe a little bit – I still do get more tired at night than usual getting rid of the poisons in my system, so I hit the hay a little earlier, so the knitting suffers.
I feel so badly that I have YET to cast on for the FLAK! I think I’m just more willing to knit little baby things and/or cotton in the summer – and right now we’re in the middle of one hellish heat wave – as are many throughout the US.
Well, must keep this short – have a staff meeting at work this evening and before that am meeting with my boss to discuss adding a new member to our group (I hope).
Tried to upload more pics – but only got the one of the scarf out of recycled silk saris. Still waiting for recycled burkas, but somehow I doubt they’re made of silk. What an awful thought!
Got out of the hospital Saturday. After a week of feeling like crap. Had cellulitis in my left leg – yuck! I don’t think I’ve ever been this sick in my whole life – nor have I ever been in the hospital that long – unless you stayed in longer than five days in the ’50s when I was born, LOL! Thank God for antibiotics, friends (especially Ann M. (our parish nurse and fellow alto) who told me to get my butt to the ER), Nancy S., Diane L., Linda K., Donna H., Kathy R., Alison C. (who visited me on a particularly bad day), Connie and Ellen) and colleagues – esPECially Ann S., who covered my cases two weeks in a row! Thank God especially for holiday weekends and a relatively quiet court docket:)
I’m reading a bunch of mystery novels I wouldn’t have the time to finish normally – and of course I now do have the energy to knit. I’ve discovered Elsebeth Lavold. What beautiful patterns! A nice challenge, but not too difficult so well designed! The office knows how to find me (I’m not going anywhere soon – the leg hurts if I put it vertical for too long), so I’m hanging out at home until next week, when please God, I aim to be back in the saddle again…….
Will have pics up as soon as I’m able.
Did I tell you I’m very grateful?