The Threads of Trade

Today I went into town and went shopping, as per my regular MO.  I am looking into work and moving, and rather than have to bring boxes in and out of my rather cramped space more than once, I decided instead to buy another trunk to put my things in, which ran me $30.00 at One Man’s Treasure.  Just for fun, I also bought a whip for $15.00; why not for fun, since I am the cartoon character Doctrine Dominatrix, right?  Sure.  I also bought a leatherbound notebook with a clasp filled with heavy grade handmade? paper and a luxury pen, for $59.00, and a scarf and shawl combo for $54.00.  I feel really happy with my purchases and will have to admit that I will really miss that store when I move.  I wonder if they do shipping?

They have gift baskets they are offering to the people who donate to the Kinsmen Christmas hamper program which includes an antique tea set, which I think is delightful.  I think actually before I move that I should check the store for a proper tea service.  I also picked up a pair of carding combs to brush Da Vinci with, which sparked an interesting train of thought actually.

My scarf and shawl set cost me $54.00, I believe, which means that between the store and the actual designer and creator of the set, the split likely favours the store rather than the vendor; however, the lady who runs the store front seems to see a very lively business which allows her to keep an active stock in shop and she is able to act as a physical present on what I’ve come to think of as High Street just off of Main for many different vendors.

Her store allows women to sustain themselves by making these things, which I think is utterly amazing, and in stark contrast to outlets like H&M or Forever 21 or wherever it is that regular people do their shopping.

A few weeks ago I bought myself a pair of deep wine coloured knit knee-high leg warmers for $35.00 from a store called Bling ‘N’ Things on Main Street.  I love them because they keep my busted up shin warm and generally out of pain and they keep me covered for Remember Everyone Deployed Fridays and cover the lace patches on the uppers of my camel coloured booties….  but I wonder about how much they actually cost the manufacture to make and move to the store and how much return they actually received.  Not that I am complaining at all; I adore them and they were made locally by a woman here in Cochrane.  But rather, I started thinking about the price of thread and the cost of garments in general today after I bought my things, particularly after I brushed Da Vinci’s hair with the carding combs.

He has very thick black highly reflective hair and when he blows coat it feels like dandelion fluff floating around.  I was entertaining the idea of making a scarf or something out of it but I gave up.  I looked into the actual equipment required to make thread properly and the weights and the balances and the spindle and wheel and impressed at the whole industry behind the making of a single piece of cloth.

While I was shopping I thought a lot about the present situation with the refugee crisis and how in conflict zones you frequently find groups like the Red Cross or the Red Crescent, who work with people on humanitarian or empowerment missions, and thought about how we could create a similar society here in Canada to help with the oncoming refugee crisis and the veteran’s issues through trade and networking within the national boundaries between communities.

It occurred to me that if we were going to have  a similar organization here in Canada, it might be best to adopt the symbol of a red veil or red scarf.  The scarf is a universal symbol among the People of the Book or Abrahamic religions, and in Masonic tradition the red or scarlet scarf or shawl grants a woman safe passage in dangerous times.



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