Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bald Is Beautiful

By now I'm sure you have all heard about the campaign Beautiful and Bald Barbie, which was launched around Christmas time to try and convince Mattel - the makers of Barbie to manufacture a Bald Barbie doll.

Two incredible women came up with this idea.  Jane Bingham, who herself is going through cancer treatment, and Beckie Sypin - who's daughter has leukemia, were the originators of this idea.  They launched their idea on Facebook, and the idea has spread to millions.

Barbie who is 53 yr old this year, as been an icon for every little girl since the 1950's.  She has had every conceivable career, hair-style, clothing style and shoe style.  She even has a friend in a wheelchair!  So why not this?

In this time of increased cancers all over the world, involving every ethic origin and every age group,  it makes perfect sense to have a Beautiful and Bald Barbie, and yet so many object to the idea.

There have been many arguments against this - people have said things like  - just shave the hair off a Barbie doll, if you need to be sympathetic to cancer!

Have you ever tried to do this to a manufactured doll? 

I haven't but I have seen the results of such action on dolls at the thrift store.  When you cut or shave the hair off a manufactured doll you get a mess that is not pretty - not beautiful - it sort of resembles what a cancer patients hair looks like when it is falling out - clumps here and there - not pretty - not beautiful!

Other's have said - just forget about making the doll, instead donate to cancer more.  I wonder if these people who say this actually DO donate to cancer?  Do you?

What is wrong with having a doll without hair - one who has wigs, bandanna's, chemo caps and hats?  What wrong with a little girl wanting a doll she can identify with?  What's wrong with a Barbie who is less perfect to the fashion world, but most perfect to a bald child?

Of  late The Beautiful and Bald Barbie movement has created a "Warriors" album.  In this album are little girls of all ages.  If you are on Facebook, you should have a look at this album.  All the "Warriors" are bald, and every one of them are beautiful.  If the powers that be at Mattel have seen this album, surely by now they should be getting the importance of this proposed doll.  How could they not?

Physicians and counsellors of these children agree that such a doll would be a positive thing in these little girls lives. 

And there is more.   Cancer doesn't just make little girls bald - boys loose their hair too.  So now the movement has grown to include not only Barbie, but Bald G. I. Joe as well!

If you are on Facebook - please visit and befriend Beautiful and Bald Barbie.

Mattel has made billions of dollars promoting this one doll over 50 some years - just think how much money Barbie and her family and friends and all their accessories have generated for this toy company!   We have all grown up with Barbie as our friend, and she continues to befriend girls the world over.  I think Barbie would agree...

It's time to give back....

Come on Mattel - put your heart in front of your pocketbook!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Do you Knook?

Have you heard of Knook?  Of late, the in-basket of my Erndales email has been filled with Knook.  Because it wasn't high on my priorities in the past month to open Knook emails - I didn't.  But I didn't blow them away either.

So after my 13 hrs sleep yesterday, I decided it was time to open these emails and see what all the big hullabaloo was about.

Turns out Knook is a new way of knitting using a crochet hook - guess that's where the name came from...
A special crochet hook is used that has a hole in the opposite side of the hook end.  In this hole is threaded a cord, which holds the work row by row. Apparently Knook was designed to make learning to knit easier.

When I watched the video I thought Knook much resembled working the afghan stitch with an afghan hook - the difference being that the stitches are held on the cord, but it is very much like this stitch.

You can garter stitch or stockinette stitch - just like knitting, and it looks like a finished piece of knitting when it's done.

But it's not knitting!

Knitting is done with two needles and should and always will be.  I'm sure that Knook is great, but why not just learn to knit, if you want to knit?  If you learn to knit - you will never be limited as to how many patterns and how many different things you can make.  You will be able to pick up a pattern book from any era, and create something special for yourself or anyone you please.

Will you be able to do this with Knook?  I highly doubt it.

I don't mean to insult the creators of Knook - someone took some time to figure this new method of knitting out - to develop the needle or hook, and write the new patterns to go along with the craft.  But all you will have available to you, will be what you can purchase now and in the future.  And as Knookers realize the limited patterns available will Knook have much of a future?

Time will tell.

Here is some information and a video showing you how to Knook.   Form your own conclusions - it certainly bears watching over the next few years.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Missing in Action!

You might have noticed that it's been about 14 days since I last posted.  Truly this was not a planned thing.  In fact when I was on vacation over Christmas I actually made an outline of blog posts for the entire month of January!  Best intentions, and all that!!

Well no matter - I haven't been slouching or vacationing anywhere... life has been just a bit to overwhelming and hectic these past couple of weeks.  Work has been incredibly busy with year-end proceedings (always a fun activity).  My Molly has been really sick requiring some vet visits and medication and a lot of TLC, and I had a recent ER visit too which is resulting in some eye surgery next week - so all in all  - I've been busy!

In all this mess, I have been trying to keep up with the choir, and somehow even managed to get my name nominated for the Vestry (board) at church.  I have 2 prayer shawls started, still haven't finished the baby blanket, and really need to complete Molly's warm coat - because in the last few days we have gone from a beautifully mild winter to a typical Manitoba winter.

This morning the temps are in the -40's and we are not expected to warm up much above that, all day long.

So I will revamp that outline of posts and work on some upcoming material over the weekend, and hopefully by Monday be back on track here.

It is a great time to be doing handwork - so hunker down, make yourself some hot coco or tea, grab your needles or a really good book, and enjoy the winter doldrums....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Special Olympic Scarf Project

I was thinking about yesterday's post about male angels and something was nagging at me about the subject.  Try as I might, I could not think what it was.  So I put it out of my mind and went to the saved photos on my computer looking for pictures to go along with today's post.  For some reason I ended up going through a couple of years of photos, and I found this.

 Imagine my surprise!  I have already designed a tiny wee male/boy angel.  I did this a couple of years ago with the intention of making some to sell at my Christmas sale.  I never made any more than the 1 model, but I did take it to the sale, thinking I could take orders if anyone wanted any.  A lady came along and pretty much talked me into selling her both the boy and girl angel... in fact they were my first sale of the day.  Over the course of the day I was asked many times if I had any little angels, and I kicked myself for not making more of these like I had originally intended.

I completely forgot about these little guys, so now I'll have to search my journals and see if I wrote the pattern for the boy down somewhere....

The Scarf project for the Special Olympics is quickly coming to a close.  The Special Winter Olympics are next month.  My girlfriend inspired me and several other friends of hers to get busy and make scarves for this project.  I intended to make 10 - but alas 4 was all I managed to get done.  On the instructions it was suggested to weave a piece of red yarn somewhere on the scarf showing our Canadian Colour... red.  I decided to go one better and actually make little red maple leafs.
My friend organized her friends superbly, and ended up with 17 scarves to send to Alberta for the Special Olympics.  She is also going to go and watch another friend's daughter compete in the games in  February.  Thank you Denise for including me in your scarf project.  You are a amazing caring woman, and any time you need help with such a project - I am here to help.

Here are my 4 scarves....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Angel Dilemma

You all know that I love to make angels.  Over the years I have made various kinds of angels but the past couple of years I have pretty much concentrated on the ceramic head and hands and the rest crochet, kind of angel.

One Sunday morning before Christmas I was sitting in the choir loft at Church listening to the sermon one of our Rectors was giving.  He was talking about angels - I perked up - now here was something most interesting!  One of the first things he mentioned was that while he didn't know of anyone who had actually seen a real angel, for some reason most people were under the impression that angels were musicians.  He was right  of course.  How many times have you seen angel figurines or pictures depicting angels holding or playing some sort of instrument - a harp, a violin, a lute?

Then he mentioned that in the bible all the angels were male -  Gabriel, Michael, Raphael!  Again he was right - and this would be another thing that I have never really thought about.  So then how is it that we have come to think of angels as female?  The ones you buy for your tree are female.  The ones I make are female.  It got me to thinking...

I should make some male angels.

I think I could, but I am having a hard time finding female ceramic heads - wherever would I find male ceramic heads?  Next question - how does one dress a male angel?  Would they wear robes or trousers?  What would they hold in their arms - instruments or hockey sticks?  Would anyone buy them?

You see my dilemma?  This is going to take some careful consideration.  I'll need to do some drawings and see what I can come up with.  This might just be the design challenge of 2012!

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year to all my readers.  I hope your Christmas was beautiful and your New Years Eve was safe and fun.

My 10 days vacation is coming to an end.  Tomorrow it's back to getting up at 5:45; heading out while it's still dark; eating a bagged lunch; and using brain cells that have lain dormant for over a week.  Because we will be catching up on the last of 2011 billing and starting our year end proceedings, I am anticipating it will also be stressful.

While on one hand I might be telling myself that I'd rather laze around just a little longer - it all is as it should be.  Christmas is over, the New Year has started and now it's time to get back to the routine of daily living.

My house is almost de-Christmased.  I was going to leave the tree up until Epiphany - a custom my mother always observed, but once I started taking things down, I just wanted everything cleaned up and put away.

Our beautiful fresh tree was still fresh.  Hardly a needle had dropped in the 3 weeks we had it up.  It still was fragrant and soft, and already I miss it gracing my living room.  I am taking it to the recycle place where they grind it up and then give it back to you in wood chips - that way I can spread it in my garden and enjoy it some more.  It's the tree that just keeps on giving.... it's wonderful!

Now if I can just get rid of all the snacks, chocolate and junk food in the house without eating it, I will be a very happy woman.  I have indulged far to well this past week, and I am not very happy with myself at all.

So while there is still daylight left, I will return to my cleaning project.

Happy New Year - I wish everyone good health, prosperity and much happiness for 2012.