The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Sunday, October 22, 2006


In which it becomes apparent that Ms. K has the self-control and dignity of a small child when it comes to giving and getting presents....

By now those of you who signed up for our way cool exchange are not only the coolest kids on the block but should be receiving e-mails I sent you regarding the person you’ll be gifting. You won’t have the same person who has you—so it’s all wonderfully mysterious (play along with me, here…I don’t get out much). Here’s what you need to do next:

I’ll put the questionnaire at the end of this post with my own answers in it. Copy it to your own blog and put your answers in it for the mystery person who has your name. I sent you all the blog address of the person you have, so you should be able to find all the info you need on them as soon as they get it on there (I initially wrote “as soon as they get it up”…but that would be a whole other kind of exchange and I really don’t think I want to run that one….). If you do not have a blog, send your info to me so I can get it where it’s going. If you have a person without a blog, I’ll have told you that in your e-mail and you will get the info directly from me via e-mail. There aren’t any hard and fast rules other than:

Have fun
Send the stuff out no later than the fourth Thursday in November.
Please post a photo of your loot on your blog once you get it, so we can all assuage our severe nosiness disorders.
We’re looking for a care package sort of thing here—comfort stuff. And we’re really NOT looking to add stress to your life. Do what you can and don’t sweat what you can’t. There is no expectation that you will knit anything for your pal, because that would actually add to your stress which is kind of opposite of the idea.
That should do it. I’m way excited about this—I love buying people presents!

The questions:

1. What is your favorite color? (Mine has always been red but, oddly enough, I find myself drawn very strongly to teal and that family of colors lately. Go figure.)
2. Is there a color you dislike? (I’m not overly fond of 70’s appliance colors—gold, avocado, orange…although I might be if I were a stove….)
3. Do you have any pets? What kind? (I have two indoor cats, and three outdoor stepcats whom I adore beyond all reason. I think cats totally rule. No, really. They rule the entire house. I’m only grateful they haven’t thrown me out yet.)
4. Is there any knitting-related item you’re longing to have? (I’m very into lace patterns lately, although this may change once I really start trying to do them and possibly discover that what was supposed to be a stunning shawl is actually something resembling a hole-y fishnet…but for now, lace patterns.)
5. Are you a sock knitter? (I am, roughly.)
6. Do you have any online wish lists? (I do not….I get out of control far too easily without the encouragement of dream shopping online…’s a sickness.)
7. Do you collect anything that isn’t terribly expensive? (I collect almost anything to do with cows, especially stuffed ones. But, for some reason, they have to be black and white. They’re funnier than the other colors, although I can’t, for the life of me, say why.)
8. What would make you smile or giggle with delight to find it in your gift box? (Anything that someone chose with the intent of making me smile, to be honest. But a cow something or other wouldn’t hurt a bit.)
9. Is there anything that would make you cringe if you found it in your gift box? (Nope, not unless I thought it caused you stress--emotional, financial, whatever--to give it to me. Oh, and I probably wouldn’t love a set of burnt orange washcloths…..but I’d get over it.)
10. Do you have a favorite edible treat? (I have a terrible sweet tooth and I think chocolate should be a food group all by itself. However, I actually don’t care for chocolates withfruit-flavored cream centers, or for chocolate covered cherries. I have no explanation for this aberration.)
11. Do you drink coffee, tea, cocoa, or….? (I drink all of the above, but I can’t have caffeine. Those observant folk among you are probably already pointing out that there is caffeine in chocolate, to which I say, “Don’t you have something you should be doing right about now?” No, seriously, I know that it does. I don’t gorge on it and I accept that small amount. I definitely don’t drink anything with caffeine, however.)
12. Are there any dietary restrictions your pal should know about? (Just the caffeine thing. I can’t stand seafood, but I somehow don’t imagine that you’d post me a pound of clams. The mailman would certainly be appreciative if you didn’t.)
13. Do you celebrate a winter holiday of any kind and, if so, would you like to receive anything holiday themed? (We do have a tree and decorate for Christmas. However, I tend not to like receiving themed gifts because then I only get to enjoy them once a year. When someone is kind enough to give me something, I want to be able to enjoy it all the time rather than putting it away after the holiday.)

That’s all I can think of. If there’s something else you want to know, e-mail it to me and I’ll ask your pal for you and let you know ASAP.

In the “I just can’t believe how darned clever I am” department, I finished the Samus waistband today and was angsting a bit over picking up 192 stitches evenly across the long edge of the braid. I don’t know about you, but I think those designers who toss that phrase off so airily (evenly across the braid, indeed) are really just trying to mess with my head. It’s quite possible you are more talented than I in such matters, but my attempts invariably have closely spaced stitches at one end and stitches with whacking great holes between them on the other as I try and fail miserably to get the spacing right for the number. Often I simply don’t count but put in as many as I want…but that probably won’t work so well for this, seeing as how the stitches I pick up now will need to be divided later for the fronts and the back. But (here’s the clever part, so pay close attention and pretend to be impressed) I got this terribly bright idea of dividing the braid into 8 segments, mark them with stitch markers, and pick up just 24 stitches between every two of them. Viola! 192 stitches! I amaze myself, I truly do. (Yeah, yeah, I know—you all have known about this for years…but allow me my moment in the sun. It’s so rare I get to be clever….).


  • At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Yippeeeee. This will be fun.
    Now Flo, I want you to enjoy your moment in the sun to the fullest, k?

  • At 8:10 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    Well, damn, apparently my last email did not get to you either, since I have no email in response... I'll just buy myself something and wrap it up :)

  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    Opps! Guess what! Your email got sent to my spam filter too! Yay! I'm so glad I'm in, I was so bummed that I missed my chance, but didn't want to seem to broken hearted in my comment!
    Now, to go stalk my exchangie and post my questionaire. Thanks!

  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    Hi Ms K not received any emails from you and have sent you 2 about the exchange
    my email is amberdotmoggie at glenkensbbdotcodotuk

  • At 2:16 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Yo, someone else who HATES that phrase, 'now pick up eleventyseven stitches EVENLY across the entire length of everything you've just knitted...' No matter how hard I try, I can NEVER get the right number, let alone evenly. Who invented this idea? Why can't we find an easier way? Let's do it!

  • At 2:30 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    192! Woo Hoo! I would resort to stitch markers, too.

    So looking forward to this fun exchange! Yay!

  • At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    coming from an old A&P student I enjoyed your dissection stories. Mine was a fetal pig named Lord Whattabotttom. He was a pickled pig but I loved him just the same.


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