The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Well....For Heaven's Sake...

Or so my mother would have said, and I'll borrow it because it makes a sort of oddly interesting title and because it seems a tad more ladylike then "Well, I'll be go to hell" which was another of her expressions. (It's worth pointing out here that my mother also said things like "You can't wear that until you iron it. It looks like it's been in a dog's butt all night" and so can not rightfully be called an oracle of good taste in such matters.) I was astounded to find my name and blog on the readersandwriters blog, and in such esteemed company as well. Truthfully, I met this news with a mixture of elation (Hey, someone thinks I can write!) and terror (Oh my God--someone thinks I can write--how did THAT happen??). Such is the peril of living in the mind of Ms. Knitingale, an experience that cannot adequately be described. Well, it's sort of like living in a huge yarn stash where you have lots and lots and lots of brightly colored yarn, only very little of it actually goes with anything else. And a lot of it is kind of fuzzy. You get the picture.

ANYWAY, Marianne suggested that perhaps I should consider writing a book, a thought that again fills me with pleasure and terror. Mostly, though, I fear that I don't have a book's worth of anything to say. I mean, let's say I was going to write a knitting book. And let's say it's news to you that I am something of a perfectionist (in the same way that Paris Hilton is something of a spoiled twit with the IQ of a hot water bottle). And let's say that I OCCASIONALLY am so much of a perfectionist that I get paralyzed by indecision and spend more time trying to find the perfect thing to make than actually making it. Let's just say. Oh, and let's also say that I choose colors like a three-year-old at a birthday party when it comes to choosing yarn, but generally prefer to wear simple knitted items, usually in one color. Can you imagine the list of patterns?

1) Purple variegated sweater with many cables, one sleeve, and no collar. Materials: several skeins of brightly colored yarn that "look lovely and cheery in the package!", numerous knitting patterns (it is essential to start and reject at least three of them prior to embarking on this one), second, third, and fourth thoughts upon realizing that this sweater could double as a warning light on airplane runways, attention span of a husband having just learned that it is raining tools 50 miles from here. Guilt at leaving it unfinished is optional.

2) Hat that will fit no human head (which does beg the question of how many non-humans I knit's only a few, and the hat won't fit them, either).

3) Scarf knit in-the-round, so long it could serve as a tree condom, largely because "I wanted to be sure it was long enough".
4) Socks made of yarn that has been frogged so many times it's starting to ribbit, and a French chef is waiting outside the door with a cleaver in case this time isn't the charm.

5) Shawl of a thousand excuses--should take at least 18 years to complete, if you're truly adept at excuses.

This book would come with labels for your stash drawers, with notations such as : "Too nice to knit with" and "Unravelled so frequently that it is officially fuzzless". Also "There wasn't quite enough to do anything with...but it's so PRETTY!", and "Nope, in this light it's perfectly hideous, too."

See what I mean? They say you should write about what you know, but I'm not so sure there'd be a demand for

"How to Shout at Your Cats So They Are Fascinated By That Thing Bouncing in Your Throat, But Not Remotely Interesed in Stopping the Behavior"

"Recipes To Slam Your Arteries Shut--With Really Vague Directions"

"Thrift Stores I Have Loved"

"Gardening the Desperate Way" (A note here--I could never be on Desperate Housewives. See, the gardener could look like Johnny Depp and, while I'd definitely ogle, I'd never be willing to slow his work down enough to actually get up to naughtiness with him. Hey, I've got a GARDEN to get finished here.)
"I've Learned to Knit on the Orbital, and Other Compulsive Behaviors"

"Why I Think Tom Cruise Sucks"

"Things You Can Do at Work With Paper Clips--Besides Holding Papers Together"
Then again, I remember reading somewhere that books are more likely to sell if they are how-to books, have sex in the title, have some sort of conspiracy, are about animals, have an inspiring story about something life-changing like massive weight loss, promise to make you money, and feature real people. Or some combination of the above. So, perhaps this, then, for my great american literary exercise: "How I Boinked A Wombat for the CIA and Lost 127 Pounds for Extra Cash in My Spare Time--With Intro By Monica Lewinsky"
Yeah, it's sad. But I love writing here and I love that you're willing to read it. So we're good.
Speaking of compulsive behaviors (which we were, at some point here):

The Wine Country sock, now with heel. I love it again, so this is good. For the next half hour, I will still love it.
For my fellow feline fanciers, a rare treat:

The elusive Gussie. It is rare, indeed, to get a picture of this end of her as opposed to the Bush button she is usually inclined to display. She is quite proud of it, and the concerned look on her face in this picture is no doubt due to the fact that she does not feel I've captured her best side.
Gracie, on the other hand, is just hoping I don't finish the doors and pick up all the rags and dropcloths and suchlike:
Cause, you know, we have nowhere else in the house for the poor thing to sleep, but an old rag on a dropcloth.

Knit on, friends. And consider that CIA/wombat gig. I got rich, and so can you!


  • At 6:49 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Oooh, hello sweet little puss, you.

    Ok, now to the business at hand, The Life and Times of Florence dear darling...a book of humour, knitting and the nursing...the passion of which, the classes, everything..the Kittingales...the husband...the arterie clogging vague direction recipes..the spiders with little hoofs who live in the shed...yes, the trees and the gardening..(and I'll tell you what, if Johnny is over there doing garden duty, I am so there...)..have I forgotten anything..I'm sure I have...but you see, Stephanie has her Harlotty yarn and knitting thing going, with husband and 3 girls, Laurie has the whole divorced, cats, drunken, knitting thing going, you know what you have (as described above), seriously, every person who comes through here reading your posts would buy your book, even though we've read most of (ok, I've read them all) the posts, and think of all the other knitterly, nurserly (?) types who would buy your book, we all love good many times do I need to say this? write the book. please. write the book. you know I love you. :^)

  • At 7:22 PM, Anonymous Lilly said…

    "And speaking of compulsive behaviors..." We read your blog, don't we?

    As for the paper clips - duck calls are great, but the sound is a little ... large... for a clinic.

  • At 7:35 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    LMSO once again..and I'm with Marianne in that..YES, you should write..not just blogs.
    You write stuff that sells my dear knitster..and you also knit like someone that knows how to knit.A GORGEOUS is!!

  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger beckie said…

    I am amused by other uses for paper clips at the office, besides holding papers.. Please indulge. :) You always have a way with words, Mrs. K.

  • At 10:36 PM, Blogger Kit said…

    Well, you could always just title the book NIPPLES and it'll encompass everything you're going for.

    You make me laugh, I love you. In a purely platonic fashion that has nothing to do with nipples of any sort. ;)

  • At 10:59 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Oh come on "a hot-water bottle" don't insult my hottie...snort ! I'm with Marianne , trouble is you probably have to have a name first to get a book published as publishers hate un-solicited work. Okay obviously you have a name ...but we gotta think up one that sounds like you got connections ...Windsor ? We'll all work on that cos Bill Bryson was an unknown when we first started to read him . Is there a local radio station where you could talk about your blog? Now anyone out there not adding a comment after reading this gem ..bad person ! I want those figures up cos I.M.H.O I find your blog a lot better than a certain Wool Tart and I am not being rude to the lovely lady how come she has worshippers at the shrine?

  • At 11:38 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    I can just imagine a real live (well, you know what I mean) paper book filled with your lists and insights. Too fun! :0)

  • At 6:29 AM, Blogger Faren said…

    I think that is a darn good idea too.
    You always make me laugh! Congrats!
    I love the pic of Gussie, I have a soft spot for black cats.

  • At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Gretch said…

    Yes, of course a book. It can be about knitting in the way that The Great Gatsby was about clothes (it wasn't?). You write at least as good as the Harlot, sometimes better. She just has a wonder-publicist which of course comes from having published, which comes of having written. Just organize your posts and see what happens. A little editing here and there, and a lot of the Ms. K we love (and the vague recipes and cats and more scrubs than can possibly be imagined outside a uniform supply store). I'm telling you, you have the rough drafts done...

  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    Hey I've got an idea, let Marianne ghost write it for you...only joking, but she is right, see even Mr Freestylefibre has been buying me knitting novels lately, what's the worst that can happen she says digging around for that company over there that does the self publishing thing! Gorgeous sock too! and puddy tats!

  • At 11:20 AM, Blogger Kim said…

    Well, you know I've always said your writing is excellent: clear, descriptive, funny, and moving. As for the wide variety of topics (i.e. not just knitting), look at Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry, both brilliant humorists who wrote about whatever they darn well pleased.

    I do understand about the stress a project like this could entail, however. I say, if you really want to go for it, do it! I would buy it! And if you're not sure, don't -- it's a lot of energy and effort and emotion to put into something you're not absolutely yearning for and needing to do.

  • At 12:46 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Oh yeah, definitely a book. C'mon, this post alone is a good basis for a chapter! Who said it'd have to include knitting patterns? I mean, c'mon; how many peopole would think to juxtapose the CIA and wombats? (Much less the boinking.) You just can't buy that. (Yet.) We can bribe with chocolate and yarn. Or just come and sit in your yard and beg, if we have to. After enough of us knocking at the door to ask if we could traipse through your place to use the bathroom, I'll bet you'd cave. [g] Or maybe it'd be the damage to the yard from people camping all over it, although we'd be careful - even we black thumbers. (Hi Dana!)

    Although you might have to watch out for me - I'd probably be trying to snuggle up to Ed on the sly. Maybe distracting you by yelling, "Look! Yarn!", then running for the rug or the couch. How much hiding room is there behind your couch for a distinctly fluffy woman, btw?

    And Gussie - oh, that look! Wonderful. Glad to meet you at last, Gussie. As for Gracie, LOL. Maybe she likes the paint fumes?

  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    PS - Two additional points:

    1) You've already got the title. This head start cannot be underestimated.

    2) Betty MacDonald did it with The Egg and I and it had no knitting whatsoever, that I can recall; it was just hilarious. So why not you?

  • At 5:49 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    I'd buy copy #14.

  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Awwww...poor Gracie, so deprived! And smooches to Gussie...I grew up with two black cats.


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