Yarn Along

Every Wednesday I participate in “Yarn Along”, a link-up run by Ginny over at Small Things where we share what we are knitting and reading this week. Head over to the Small Things blog to see what other bloggers are sharing!

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I’m still working on my striped baby blanket, but it is mostly boring stockinette and garter and not much to look at right now. Yesterday I was inspired by a forum post in Ravelry to find a pattern to use up my oldest partial ball in my stash, this Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK that I bought in 2012 to knit Treads fingerless gloves. The yarn is super soft and has worn well given how much I wear those gloves! They are very comfortable. I searched through my favourites on Ravelry and found a pattern for Baby Uggs that are just so cute I had to cast on immediately. I’m almost finished the first boot and I’m a little worried I don’t have enough for the size I chose. It was only one evening of knitting, though, so I can always rip it out and knit the smaller size if necessary. The construction keeps it interesting so it’s way more fun than the blanket!

I picked up However Long the Night, a biography (of sorts) of Molly Melching, from the library recently. I read the whole thing in just a couple of days, it was so engaging. Molly moved to Senegal in her 20s and lived there for over a decade before founding the organization Tostan to improve education in Senegal. The teaching style Molly developed is very non-formal and very effective, and Tostan has had a lot of success increasing literacy and knowledge of health and hygiene in the country. One of their biggest successes is the part they’ve played in bringing the practice of female genital cutting to end (or nearly so) in Senegal. The book is about Molly’s life, but it branches off into perspectives of Senegalese Tostan members as well, and really shows how different Tostan’s approach is to many other NGOs in Africa. I’d heard about Tostan ages ago but this book really reinforced to me how well they have done at making sure the help they give comes from listening to the people they are trying to help. It is an approach more NGOs need to take and it is one that has proved very effective in Senegal and some other African countries as well. The prose in the book can get a little flowery but it is certainly worth a read for anyone interested in that part of the world, and in this unusual and determined woman.

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