The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Optimism: It's in the Genes

I have oft times been accused of being a pessimist. I don't completely understand that. Just because my first thought upon noticing the scent of roast turkey in the air when I come to help unload my spouse's truck is not "How lovely--he purchased dinner!" but rather "Oh, Lord. He ran over a turkey." , is hardly a reason to label me. (How a roast turkey came to be in the middle of the road in the first place...well, I haven't yet worked that out.) Now, the fact that I am of Dutch descent, and further that I am of Dutch Calvin descent, with a slew of ancestors to whom nothing whatsoever came easy--that might be a better reason to label me. Then again, I'm also half Irish (precisely 50/50--one set of grandparents born in each country) and, while I absolutely know the Irish in general to be delightful, charming, hardworking people, it is nevertheless true that MY Irish ancestors were a heavy drinking lot who honestly believed that all good things would come to them, regardless of whether they were sober or even upright to receive it. They hoped that the good things would present themselves horizontally for this very reason...but they figured the stuff would find them either way. This has led me to believe that, given the two sides of my family, any children I'd have had would probably have been heavy drinkers...but would have sternly disapproved of themselves for it. However, I once again digress.
The truth is, while I can slide a bit into the ways of my Dutch grandparents ("it will all go horribly wrong and that's just the way it is and don't come running to me when a piano falls on your head."), I have absolute proof now that I do possess some sort of optimistic gene. To wit:
This is the gown that I am planning to wear for an evening out on June 23rd (I can't tell you what it is because it is a birthday surprise for Mr. K, and he does read the blog from time to time...quite possibly in self-defense):

And this is the evening wrap that I'm planning to wear with it, since Seattle evenings tend to be chilly this time of year, and since wifesicle wasn't the look I was going for:

Yeah, it's a little skimpy. I would say that I had several inches of it actually knit up earlier today, but that would be less "optimistic", and more "lying". In truth, I had several rows that added up to about 2 inches before I realized that I needed bigger needles and I needed to learn to count. Still, even faced with the task of unravelling 107 stitches x several rows of mohair clinging desperately to metallic yarn, I did not even consider that I might not be wearing it in a week and a half. My Dutch family would be rolling in their graves.

The yarn is further proof of my slippage to my wild side--it is Trendsetter Dune in the Rose Butterscotch colorway (way prettier than it photographs)....and I bought it on sale for $3 a a store halfway across the state...a year ago....and I have only six balls. I'd like to think I'll learn something from this experience, but it is exceedingly unlikely that it will be anything terribly useful, to tell the truth. I'll either learn that my Irish half was right all along and the world brings good endings to even the most idiotic of plans, or I'll learn some swear words that would cause a round of fainting in my Dutch family. Okay, so that last would have been useful at family reunions....but still.

Adding up the available knitting hours between now and 6:00 pm on June 23rd, I think it not unlikely that I'll end up slinging three balls of yarn around my neck, having joined them quickly with a length of yarn, and telling people that pom-pom shawls are the new rage. Or that I'll go into the event with a four foot wrap and emerge with a six foot wrap, having told everyone within glaring distance that no, I do not hear an annoying clicking sound and I really wish they'd be quiet and let me enjoy the event.

See? Optimistic to the end. I actually think I'll even get 4 feet done. It's cute, in a terrifyingly horrible sort of way.

In happier news, Gussie has opted to share some pictures with you, largely because I keep telling her how wonderful you all are. These were taken upon my arrival home, beginning with

"Hold still. I need to smell where you've been"

"Hmmm....not that roast turkey?"

"Who cares? Just pet the heck out of my head, would you?"

Knit on...and wish me luck. Or sit back and laugh at my metallic facecloth. I'm good either way.


  • At 8:17 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Hi Sweetheart Gussie! So good to see you! You're becoming quite the camera butterfly aren't you...

    As for you, missy, you have 11 more days to make this lovely bit of......shawl? stole? You have plenty of time! heeee. seriously, put the sock down...keep this project in your hands...did you hear me? put that sock down, you know you're not planning on wearing those socks with that dress...alright..

  • At 8:43 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    More gorgeous yarn - mmm, yarn... 3 words: Even bigger needles. [g] Well, considering how mohair fluffs up, especially after washing, y'know. And 6 more words, if you're gonna be frogging mohair: Stick it in the freezer first. No, it doesn't eliminate all the cussing, but a few hours in the freezer does help, for some reason. Whatever, it's going to be lovely, and I'm with your Irish side! (Despite my Slavic side, which is muttering dark forebodings and doing it profanely.)

    Plus awwwwww, we finally get to see more of Gussie! Pretty girl!

    As to the turkey? Well, duh. It was trying to cross the road. You know how hard that is when you just have drumsticks and no head? ::runs like hell::

  • At 10:05 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    Because it will be my birthday, I am blessing you with Midsummer magic and thus you will be able to at LEAST have a suitable scarf to wear out with your fancy dress. :)

  • At 5:28 AM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    "Hold still. I need to smell where you've been"

    Pan does that to me and everyone else who comes in. I have to explain to people that he *does* love to be petted, but only *after* he has smelled them, and he might dislocate his neck if they keep trying to pat his head while he is trying to smell their hands.

    If you're only working on the knitting in the evenings, and you're still going to be working and such, you'll have no time for blogging, which would make me sad...

  • At 5:37 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Well my Dad never believed in being sober ! He was part Gypsy and the rest English we think . I love the idea of a family gathering some 200 years ago . I see very upright Calvinists staring stuffily at your rollicking Irish side who are trying to toast them ( with drink that is ) ...although that could have been a dreadful mix if the Irish were Catholic ..the toasting might have been by the Calvinists . Isn't it great that there places in the World where such families can marry and produce Florences .

  • At 6:15 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    Cinders you shall go to the ball in your new knitted whatsit:)
    A few hours here and there away from socks. You can do it, we will be there encouraging you.
    And of course you could teach Gussie??

  • At 3:25 PM, Blogger Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns said…

    If all else fails, grab the huge crochet hook you had been saving for just such an emergency, and hook several miles of pretty loops. These can then be coiled around your neck, a-la-Medusa.

    Totally with your Irish side (well I would be, wouldn't I?) Everything will go fine. Nothing can go wrong/can go wrong/can go wrong...


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