Monday, 24 June 2019

Radical knitters. Some interesting words.

Well, there was little evidence of last night’s San Juan celebrations this morning. Late last night we had to close our window because of the smell of smoke from outside but today there were just a few ashes on Bonfire Square. Nothing more! Oh, and a friend from Vigo posting about how tired he is after a midnight San Juan run with his running group.

Groups abound for all sorts of things. Some of the most apparently innocuous become surprisingly political. Here is a report about one group from this morning’s Guardian:-

“One of the biggest knitting websites in the world, which claims to have more than 8 million members, has announced that it will ban users from expressing support for Donald Trump, saying that to do so constitutes “white supremacy”.

On Sunday, administrators for Ravelry, a site for knitters, crocheters, designers and anyone dabbling in the fibre arts, said that they were making any expression of support for Trump and his administration in forum posts, patterns, on their personal profile pages or elsewhere permanently off limits.

“We cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is undeniably support for white supremacy,” the site’s administrators said in a post.

Users could also be permanently banned under the policy.

The Trump ban comes only months after political upheaval gripped the knitting and crochet community around issues of racial and cultural insensitivity.

That debate was sparked by popular knitwear designer and blogger Karen Templer, who wrote in January about a planned trip to India, likening it, in her excitement, to visiting Mars. Many in the craft community objected to the characterisation, calling it othering and reductive.”

As a lifelong knitter, I am quite pleased to discover I belong to such a radical, indeed revolutionary, community of craft workers!

My grandmother was a great crocheter, making those fine tray-cloths and antimacassars that adorned older people’s houses back in the 1950s, all crocheted from very thin cotton thread, using a crochet hook not quite thick as a darning needle. She must have had good eyesight.

I thought of her when I came across this set of photos.

In the article on knitters, the association accused knitwear designer and blogger Karen Templer of “othering”: an interesting use of language. I am always fascinated by words. Here is another, this time Spanish: el terraceo - spreading cafes onto pavements. After a couple of decades of pedestrianisation, I read, pretty soon in Pontevedra 299 establishments will have beeen granted licencses for pavement terraces. And 1893 will be dotted around the pavementsof thecity. The city charges for tables on the pavement and expects to make €204378 in a year. Not bad!

Then there is “ la startup”, clearly another English borrowing. I wonder how they decide on the gender of such borrowings.

And “el renting de la moda”. The latter is a bit of a new idea in Spain, an enterprise “still in nappies” as one report described it. People, particularly ladies, who want an outfit for a special occasion can rent one, with the option to buy the designer clothes if they feel a great attachment to them. It was described in yesterday’s Voz de Galicia as “Un negocio en auge, En España, es un tipo de nogocio que aún está en pañales, pero en otros países está siendo todo un bum.”

And lo and behold, there is another interesting word; the English “boom” has been Hispanified into “el bum”. You just have to love it!

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