A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, February 06, 2006

Product Review: Buy Danish

This week's Product Review is not really a review, as I will be telling you about products I haven't tried yet. The preface to this whole post is that we have been following the furor surrounding the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed for the past week and have been appalled at the huge escalation in violence that has taken place in the past few days. I have seen photos of all 12 original cartoons, and think it a shame that so much of the publicity has surrounded only two of them. There is even one cartoon, depicting a man, who could look like Mohammed, leading a donkey in the desert, that I actually thought was a very positive image. But then, I was raised a Catholic, surrounded by paintings and statues of Jesus and the saints, and that particular drawing reminds me of my childhood images of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey for Passover.

However, the mere thought of such an existence is blasphemous in the Muslim world, a culture vastly different than my own. The idea of rioting and killing, in order to seek revenge, that involves innocent people who had nothing to do with these drawings or their publication is also abhorrent to me, and antithetical to my culture, however defending one's honor and that of one's family is a paramount value in other parts of the world, right down to giving up one's own life. I was raised to believe in the rights of a free press and freedom of religion, and the resultant need to be tolerant of how and what others express, but those conditions are not part of absolute religion-based cultures. If you would like to read further about this controversy, check Michelle Malkin's detailed and well-researched blog.

Having said all that, I did decide that I would work to support the "anti-boycott", those in the US and Europe who are deliberately seeking out Danish products to support the Danes during this period where intense hatred is being aimed at them, as well as an economic boycott that may well drive Arla Foods, one of the largest Danish dairy products producers to bankruptcy. You can get a detailed list of Danish products here. They include Legos and Brio toys, Gevalia coffee and chocolates, and Tuborg beer, as well as Dansko clogs (of which I now own two pairs, and swear they are the best shoes ever).

What you won't find on those sites is the in-depth research that I have done for you in order to locate Danish yarn to purchase. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but it did take a bit to find any direct sources. You can order Faroese wool directly from the islands through Sirri. This wool is from the primitive Faroese sheep and comes only in natural colors, in three weights for all your needs - it felts very well, judging from the many fulled and finished clothing items offered for sale. The one-ply would make for a very authentic Faroese shawl if you have been hankering to knit one. The Faroe Islands are considered one of the Nordic nations, even though a tiny bit of Scotland lies between them and Denmark and Norway, the Isle of Lewis.

If you are feeling a bit sorry for the Norwegians, bearing lots of the fallout for their neighbors, you can turn to Dale of Norway for some of the finest sweater designs and accompanying yarns available.

I did find some kits featuring the creative work of Danish knit designer Hanne Falkenberg on Ebay; they are really cool, but not cheap, and offer Shetland wool yarn (the Shetlands are in there in the north Atlantic puzzle, too, for those of you who are geographically challenged). Hanne is a knitter who took her own path; read about her here, and look through her site to view her unique, geometric designs.

My last find to share is actually free, a pattern for dollies from Viv Hoxbro, who also has some incredible shadow knitting designs available on her website. She is also the author of Domino Knitting and Shadow Knitting, and works with a U.S. company, Harrisville, to put out a line of kits.

I wrote this post to help myself understand the chaos swirling around as cultures clash, and to look more deeply at what other bloggers are learning and sharing, whether I agreed with their viewpoints or not... we have a long way to go.


Blogger Cody said...

Mom, your compassion and open-mindedness is once again an inspiration to me to look at others in the most positive light. To continue to find the best in everyone and every situation. The ignorance of some and the blind commitment to an ideal such as revenge, is so violently opposed to what most of these fervent religious zealots claim to be supporting with their faith to a higher being. I don't and never will understand how these people, (or most other faiths, for that matter,) can claim that their God is the one true, right and just God and make the arguement that a higher power would support the suffering that has been afflicted on others. Sorry if that sounded like a rant, or if I went off on a tangent that didn't make sense.
I love you deeply for everything you have taught me and the values you instilled in all of us. Also, for those who may not know, she mentions the Isle of Lewis because it is the home of the clan that our ancestors came from in Scotland. Mom, we should make a trip there sometime, I love and miss you.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous suzann said...

Birdsong, you are right about Dansko clogs being wonderful shoes. I love mine, which I bought before all this cartoon violence broke out.

I have the Nourishing Traditions book, too! My mother gave it to me. We once made sour cream, butter, and buttermilk using her directions. I tried making sauerkraut, but wasn't thrilled with the result. Good book. Smart author.

Do you know about the Weston Price Foundation? Sally Fallon edits their newsletter. It is full of interesting and often appalling nutrition news.

9:29 PM  

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