Tuesday, March 13, 2012

something significant

today, i started working on Something Significant - one of my very best friends is getting married this summer, & i offered to knit her a wedding shawl.

wedding shawl border

part of the impetus behind this huge project is because my friend is a caring, kind, intelligent, endearingly neurotic, wonderful person who i'm lucky to know, and i wanted a way to mark this important event in her life - so, as a knitter, a wedding shawl was the obvious answer.  but partly, it was for slightly selfish reasons - i've always wanted to knit a traditional shetland wedding shawl, and was just waiting for a good reason.
& as i started this Very Important Project, i started thinking about this "good reason".  because in my mind, a wedding shawl needs a wedding.  & although i knitted myself a shawl years ago for my civil partnership ceremony, i didn't knit a wedding shawl, because i wasn't getting married.  to make a long story short: since 2004, same-sex couples in the UK can register for a civil "partnership", while opposite-sex couples have a civil "marriage". 
since last fall, the UK government has been consulting on extending "marriage" to same-sex couples as well, conceding that the current policy of "separate-but-equal" is discriminatory. & although the government has been careful to state that no religious institution will be compelled to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies, there was an immediate and quite horrible backlash from various senior religious figures.
as someone in a civil partnership, of course i'm taking these kinds of comments personally - it's hard not to, when your relationship is being described as a “grotesque subversion” (thanks a bunch, Cardinal O'Brien!).  & although i've never really been a big-white-wedding kind of girl, it would be nice to think that my relationship was recognised as having the same importance as that of my brother & his wife, or my friend & her soon-to-be husband. 
i don't mean this in any way to take away from the Very Important Event of my friend's wedding - i'm so excited & happy for her, and am so honoured that i get to be a little part of the Very Important Event, and show how much i care about her life, by knitting her a wedding shawl. 
but, someday, it might be nice to be knitting a wedding shawl for myself too.


doviejay said...

Can't wait to see the finished shawl!

Don't let the bastards get you down - the world is moving in one direction and they can get in line or stand aside.

Garter Snake said...

I was listening to Any Questions at the weekend. It really is quite pathetic how people don't Listen To The Question, and can't see beyond their own dogmatism. The religious folk just can't seem to bear the fact that this does not involve them or their churches. And anyway, where are they getting this 'perversion' stuff from anyway? Do they want us to take instruction from Leviticus, go back to stoning and bizarre pre-refrigeration rules about food?! Don't get me started!!

Nic said...

I love shetland lace shawls. I have the yarn queued up for some already. No wedding planned, I just want to knit them. I'll worry about what I do with them later :). Which one wre you making?

As to the same-sex marriage debate. Personally I think it has nothing to do with the church (any one of them) and they should butt the hell out. Besides, if there really is a puppet-master, like they want us to believe, then he or she intended for you to be in a same-sex relationship so how can it be wrong. But hypocrisy as always abounded in religion.... A topic on which I really shouldn't get started.

Flavaknits said...

What a lovely thing to do - knitting a Shetland Wedding Shawl! And I love the description of E - although I haven't seen her for a while , it brings her image back perfectly. As for taking the comments of Senior Religious folk personally , don't , as the song says , "after all he's just a man!!" Oh , and start knitting yourself a Wedding Shawl , after this one. Mx

Lynette said...

Very eloquently put on so many levels. I'm so proud to be your friend.

soCherry said...

aww - thank you so much again! I can't tell you how touched I am (am full of blushing and a bit teary-eyed too) and so lucky to have you as my friend! And excited to see a starting photo - squeee!

I remember your day too - wasn't your shawl still a bit damp from blocking, lol!?

We just in the transitional period - one day people will look back at these years and say 'can you believe they didn't let people get married because they were the same sex!?'

Our humanist ceremony has no religion at all but is still classed as 'getting married' so I just don't understand ...

Nicki said...

I'm waiting for your Shetland lace to come out to knit a huge shawl. No wedding planned, but why not just do it anyway? :)

As for same-sex marriage, as a friend said when I was ranting about a particularly stupid religious statement - they are silly silly men who have very little idea about the issues they are pontificating about. Not that that helps you or anyone else in the same situation, but hopefully one day things will be equal.

Unknown said...

Here in the States we have the same type of backward thinking, with only a few states allowing same-sex marriage. I was speaking with a lovely 70 year-old woman in California about this a couple of years ago and she said that she just can't understand the line against same sex marriage when the divorce rate is 50% or more in hetero couples. The rhetoric here is about "protection" of marriage and I can't fathom what it's being protect from! Ruling from fear just never goes anywhere good! Times are changing though and I have high hopes that you (and my gay/lesbian friends here) will have lovely weddings in the future!