Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Pirates and Pirate Hats.
Domestic Piracy has been heavy on the domestic and light on the piracy lately so today I’m going to pay tribute to another bad ass female pirate. Ching Shih, also known as Ching (or Cheng) I Sao. She took over her husband’s pirate fleet when he died in 1807, marrying their adopted son Cheng Pao as a way of cementing her leadership. She commanded a fleet of ships that at one point numbered in the thousands, with hundreds of thousands of pirates under her command. She regularly increased the size of her fleet by commandeering the government vessels that were sent to subdue her. She was not a happy go lucky, hangin’ out on the quarter deck drinkin’ rum sort of pirate. She was more like a ruthless dictator pirate. Her fleet was run under a code of laws, and the punishment for pretty much any infraction was death. Steal from a town that’s helped our fleet? Death. Hold back loot from a raid? Death. Questioning orders? Death. Rape a female captive? Death. Well what if it was consensual? Death for you, and the woman in question gets thrown over board with a weight tied to her feet. Not a very nice lady. There is also a story that she used to steep her enemy’s hearts in rice wine, drink the wine and eat the heart, but since that information came from a magazine called “Modern Drunkard” I think you can probably discard it. When the pressure got to be too much, she made a deal with the government and got herself a pardon, retiring to run a brothel, and living to the ripe old age of 64.
“We Call Them Pirates” hat update: I’m halfway through my last row of skulls, then reductions, and knitting the lining (from the provisional cast on, did I tell you that I learned how to do provisional cast on? Well I did, and it’s not even too fucked up or anything). I would post a picture of it, but I don’t have a camera so go check it out at Hello Yarn, because it looks EXACTLY like that one. ‘Cause I’m following the pattern. And after it’s done I am done with pirates….well after the skull shrug is done. And after Evil Step-daughter’s Pink and Skull scarf is done. Then really, no more knitting with skulls on it for at least…a month. A week? A couple of days anyway. I was thinking some nice lacey socks…although today I had a little brain storm: I should knit some argyle socks with little skulls on them…’cause what’s a pirate’s favorite kind of socks? That’s right kiddies, they’re Aaarrrrgyle!
Four more days until the Fiber Festival. Whoo Hoo! And I might even have two nickels to spend on fluff before then…maybe.
Yours in ratiness...
PS: a late addition for those of you who don't read the knitting blogs. Knitting Curmudgeon posted this on her site today and it is the best! Look I made one.