The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I Have Won Another One to the Wooly Side

This lovely young lady:

is Amy. I work with her, and she is every bit as charming and lovely as she appears--more so, if the truth be known. Note the dimple you could sharpen a pencil in. I am deeply envious of that dimple. She pretty much always seems to exude as much joy as she does in this photo, which I think is an awesome quality, and which almost makes me feel badly for what I've done to her. Almost.

I was knitting during my lunch break the other day and she asked me what I was making. (See? I can't be held responsible for natural curiousity, now can I?) So I told her about the blankie project and, true to form, Amy didn't even hesitate before saying: "I want to make a square!" followed shortly by "I want to learn to knit!", which should probably come before the square, I admit. But you have to love her enthusiasm.

So, at lunch yesterday I met her in the waiting room (we close at lunch time--honestly, we didn't go out and shove patients off the chairs or anything) and cast some stitches on with half a ball of yarn I had in my bag (here little girl, come try it--the first one's free....) and showed her how to make a knit stitch. I worked for a minute on my own square, looked up and--she was at the end of the row. Just like that. The girl was born to it. I taught her how to cast on so she could practice at home--that took her just about as long. Today she came in with about 3 inches of garter stitch, at least 6 inches wide with perfect tension and only one hole. The girl is clearly a knitting prodigy...and it's worse than that.

Amy not only knit like crazy last night, is not only planning a foray to the LYS this Saturday, has not only commandeered one of my stitch pattern books (with my blessing--one must offer temptations to win the soul of an undiscovered knitter), has not only planned a project for tonight, her second day of being a discovered knitter, she said she got ready for work this morning, realized she didn't have to leave right away and so.....yup. She sat down to knit.

Oh, she's ours now. I'm excited--I think if I bring about two more over to the dark side, I'll finally get that toaster. 10 more and I get a patio umbrella and a set of matching plastic tumblers. In fairness, I did warn her that the LYS might start sucking down a startling amount of her paycheck. You can't say I didn't tell her.

Speaking of the blankie project, which I sort of was, please take note in the sidebar of the absolutely wonderful button that Monica pdx made for me, and that Marianne kindly put into my blog because I am a dumbass and can only make the computer do what I tell it to--not what I actually want it to. These two ladies completely rock my world, in more ways than I can tell you. If you look close at the button, you'll note that it has a map of Utah, and that the background is knit stitches. Also that there is copper on it, because copper is Utah's state mineral. I totally love it. Please, all of you helping out on this project, feel free to put it on your own blog (just make sure to save it to your own server). I'd love for you to have it.

Further speaking of the blankie project, I am alternating between joyous bursts of complete confidence that this thing will go like gangbusters and that I'll be happily stitching together one of about a gazillion lovely squares that magically arrived in my mailbox while little cartoon birdies sing in the windowsills a la Snow White(we'll forget for the moment the fact that even cartoon birdies would probably be taking a big risk coming that close to Ed--in this fantasy he's a vegetarian with no fondness for frogs or lizards or still-living snakes, which really is a fantasy), and staring in horrified wonder at the three squares I've managed to turn out while imagining how long it's going to take me to make the necessary 172 squares after only receiving 8. Not that I doubt you guys in the slightest--rather, I doubt my own ability to organize even a sexual encounter in a brothel, much less a worldwide knitalong, so these moments of terror are probably somewhat inevitable. This is what I've done thus far (besides chewing my nails to the quick, waking up in a cold sweat when I realize how many people I could disappoint, and willing my hands to knit FASTER, FOR WOOL'S SAKE!!:

You can't tell, but the one on the bottom (which needs blocking really badly) is a pattern of knits and purls that forms rows of hearts. I'm hoping to put one in each blanket to represent all the heart that went into them. The others are different patterns for texture--one garter diagonals against a stockinette background, and the other a moss stitch variant. No. 4 is in progress.

Now, it occured to me to offer some small thanks by having a drawing or two with the names of everyone who sends me at least one square. Problem is, I don't spin or dye wool, and I don't make stitch what to give people? Got it--the lucky winners get a batch of Ms. K's finest baked goodies, from scratch, mailed to their home. You even get to choose your favorite from caramel brownies, cookie-dough brownies, white chocolate macadamia bars, and chocolate raspberry bars. If you don't like any of those, name your favorite. I can probably find a way to do it, and without even getting chocolate on the yarn. Much. (I make no promises, however, about little wool fuzzies in the chocolate, however.)

Happy knitting to all, and thank you about a million more times. You're making my dream come completely doesn't get better than that.


  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Amy, you are a true Beauty! oh, and welcome to the dark side, darlin' least we know in our hearts in won't take long if you're not already here but I feel that you's about knittin' a pair of socks? yeah, baby, you can do it..come on...(you get extra points for getting them started on socks, eh, Dana? Dianne? yeah?)

    You are MORE than welcome...whappin the button on your blog...had some cobweb in the brain dusting to do first but got it up there...

  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Lilly said…

    Dear Ms. K -
    I think you will appreciate help putting those squares together when this all gets rolling. Wish I was planning a trip to your neck of the woods, but I think Oregon is as close as I can get. How else can we help (besides making squares)?

  • At 8:58 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Whee, lookit Amy go! Hi, Amy! Welcome to the dark side, oh yes. Congrats! Congrats to you too, Flo. Yeah, I think with enough new sock knitters, you get several best-selling knitting books written, and fame. [vbg] Your squares are lovely! I'm dancing with impatience for my Cascade 220 superwash to arrive, but it should be here tomorrow so I can finally start. It's coming from...wait for eBay seller in WA. Then will get to go back to WA. I find this hilarious. Simple minds, simple pleasures. In fact, I think I'm gonna do my first square in simple simon stitch, aka fleck stitch. Nice and mindless. Heh.

    And oh, I think some of us could come up with some other prizes, y'know? [veg] Just so you don't get worn out with knitting, joining and baking. (Maybe when the time comes, you could see if some regional knitters would come to a blanket-sewing party to help you out on that? Put up a note at your LYS's or such? Might mention the MBP to the stores, too...)

    Let's hear it for Marianne and her Blogger button skilz! Yay, Marianne! I'm so glad you like it, and very proud to see it up there. I had great fun making it, too. Woohoo, I got to make a project button! I'm all verklempt. ::does the happy-dance::

  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    found this link to making squares with states (and provinces) in them. am sharing for anyone interested. got 2 girls at work making at least one square, they are both excited.

  • At 11:53 PM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    What a lovely face , she is a natural. I know this because several young ladies have expressed a desire to knit but when I start to explain that work is involved their eyes glaze over .You Sister Florence have your first convert and deserve congratulations.You are an inspiration.

  • At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Jean from Cornwall said…

    Well my first square should justabout be clearing customs & immigration by now - I airmailed from the UK on Monday.
    Regard this as the lull before the storm. I think you will be surprised at the response.

  • At 9:02 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha...we got you my pretty and your little dog, too! Only two more for a toaster? Keep it up!

  • At 9:54 AM, Blogger Sarah said…

    Good work on the converting :)

    2 squares in the mail to you today from me.

  • At 10:57 AM, Anonymous debbi said…

    I have some hand dyed (by me) yarn that I would be willing to give to you to give away, if you are interested. Leave a message on my blog and I will get back to you.

  • At 11:54 AM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    Well congrats on the convert. I am sure that she is going to wonder really soon what happens to a pay check when one knits. LOL

    How great that she wanted to learn and is a natural knitter at that.

    The squares are looking wonderful. I am sure that the recipiants will be so happy with them.

  • At 2:40 AM, Blogger Sueby said…

    Hi Ms Knitingale,

    I love your blanket project, and I'd love to take part, but I'm going to display my ignorance (and newby status) Please could someone tell me what wieght wool I should be looking for in the UK, so that any square that I mange sucessfully is the right size and weight?



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