For Mary Goldstein

I finished the armband! Actually, it’s been finished for a while, but getting to the post office is rough. I decided that I had enough remnants of these two colors to make a go of two-color knitting for the armband. I chose the number, 88, because 1) it was still available on the list, and 2) it used to be my favorite number back when I was in elementary school.

It was originally just going to be basic numbers, but on a whim I thought I’d add some cables to make them really look like crossed figure-eights. It pulled the center of the armband in a lot, but I added a small extra piece on the other side, consisting of brioche ribbing to give it a lot of nice stretch.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. It’s already in the mail at the time of me posting this, and I hope that the event goes off without a hitch. I also hope that it even gets there in time. Any Chicagoans familiar with the Lawrence Branch of the Post Office probably knows that you can’t always count on that. (Seriously, check out those reviews for a good laugh. “Hell mouth”, haha. I only wish they were kidding, though.)

Now, who is #88?

88 represents Ms. Mary Goldstein, as the post title indicates, who was only 18 years old at the time of the fire. It was ages ago, but that doesn’t make this less tragic. 18 years is still incredibly young to have your life cut short, no matter what the life expectancy is of your generation.

Let’s get a little sappy and quote John Donne, eh?

Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

We’ve all heard it, I’m sure. But as we approach the centennial of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, I’d just ask that you consider that many, if not all the deaths in this event were completely avoidable. Probably all of you who read this live in a First World country, and for us, we’ve come a nice long way from the kinds of working conditions; for one thing, fire exits are not locked to keep us from playing hooky. But these sorts of things are not privileges that workers elsewhere can claim as their own, at least not at present.

I’m not well-versed in activism. I wouldn’t know the first thing about where to go to become involved, or what organization does the most with your time and/or money; it’s something I want to improve on. But maybe even taking the time to think beyond our immediate (and incredibly fortunate, though taken for granted too often) vicinity is worth something. Get the ball rolling a little, maybe?

Happy St. Pat’s!

  1. Nice work. I like the cable effect of the 8’s and also the sentiment of your post.

  2. Adding a cable to the 8 really made this one unique.

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