The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Not of the body snatchers, but rather, the Ms. Knitingale's dignity snatchers. Because all dignity flies right out the window when I stride obliviously into one of these:

See, I got up this morning in one of those happy, Pollyanna, the world is great, "hey kids, let's put on a show!" kinds of moods, in the throes of which I am wont to do strange things like schlep outside just after dawn in my Seahawks fleece pants, my bright red fleece jacket from Victoria (if you don't think THAT'S a color palette to melt the mind--Seahawks colors are gray-blue and white with a lime green accent), and Mr. K's giant slippers which I hold on my feet in the dewy damp grass by curling my toes into a collection of ten tiny, little white knuckles, with the giddy plan of taking artsy shots of ordinary things because I apparently am deluded into believing that I just missed a career taking pictures for National Geographic by thiiiiiiiis much.

Really, I should just lie down until this sort of mood goes away. My neighbors probably wish I would.

Anyhow, I looked toward the gnarly tree in the front yard which isn't all that old but has a sort of "old tree" personality (at least, at dawn in a crazy-person outfit, viewing the world through a camera lens and ten layers of bizarro vision, it does), thinking there might be a lovely picture there. And that was when I noticed all the spider webs.

Marianne, I know you like the spiders and I'm sorry for thinking them soulless little beasts who have meetings each fall on how to rotate taking turns clattering up to me on their little spider hooves for the sheer pleasure of watching me scream and dance around and try in vain to see the top of my head, certain that one of the little monsters is probably perched up there, plotting how to get me back to its web where it and all its spidery hooved buddies will eat for the next month. But there you are. I am probably on some black list created by Mother Nature for this.

This morning, though, with the sun glinting off the dew caught in the spiderwebs, and my brain tripping on some sort of giddiness thing, even I saw the beauty of it and thought to clench Mr. K's slippers further onto my toe knuckles and wander closer to the tree to take the above photos. Pretty, no? (Try not to notice that the bottom one is in there sideways--the program I use to manage photos and I had a terrible falling out. Frankly, it's a wonder this was the only casualty. It's best not to talk about it.)

So there I was, clicking away, thinking how proud Marianne would be when she saw that I had sort of seen the light (I still wasn't ready to go pet the little horrors or anything, but I was at least seeing them as less than completely evil in that moment) when I happened to look down. Which was when I saw that another enterprising spider had built another web extending from the tree in front of me, to the ground, also in front of me. And right about crotch level (mine, not the tree's) was a glaring, pulsating, nasty spider, sharpening up its teeth and reading a teeny tiny cookbook entitled, no doubt, "To Serve Man." Or something like that.

If I'd moved an inch forward (which I had been about to do in order to get a few more pictures) I'd have been wearing him like an 8-legged bikini bottom and the whole neighborhood would've been awakened by my screaming like a banshee, tearing off my pants, and stomping frantically on them while simultaneously batting at my head, all while gloriously bare-tushied in the bright new dawn.

Mr. K apparently has some feelings about my displaying my tushie to the neighbors, bright new dawn or no, because he spent much of the afternoon sucking up spiders around the house with a shop vac. He does this frequently, which leads to my repeated nightmare in which one of those sucked-up critters survives by eating the others, growing to the size of a volkswagon before picking the lock and marching upstairs while I sleep to smack me around for having it condemned to suckage.

It was not a good start to the day.

This, however, made it all better:

These five squares were mailed to me by Tola, but made by several people. The diagonally striped one has a note that indicates that it is reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz movie, in which things start out sepia, become black and white, and eventually become brightly colored. Nicely done. I can't wait to put it in a blanket.

Now, unless I miss my guess (and quite frankly, it's more than a little bit possible that the spider thing has cost me a number of exploded brain cells...a good spider dance can do that to you), that means I have 155 squares of the 180 needed. You guys are beyond amazing. Just 25 more to go. Two of the blankets are completely finished and ready to go, and I'm about to lay out a third. I can hardly believe we did this. When they're all done, I'll have Mr. K take a picture of me in the middle of them all. Wish I had pictures of all the talented artists who made them.

Tomorrow I'll get Ed or someone to pick out some more prize recipients. I located some Monarch sock yarn in the Redmond Ruby colorway which I had purchased for myself but which I have opted to donate to this cause. Someone will be making Ruby Redmond socks soon. You may want to kiss up to Ed if you're a Ruby Redmond fan. He particularly likes Friskies tuna and egg....and also mice. In no particular order. (But please don't mail mice to my nerves are still shot from Mr. Crotch Spider.)


  • At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Lilly said…

    Oh, my dear friend -
    You really must look up Robert Fulghum's book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten", and see page 15, about the lady and the spider.
    At the time he was living in your neck of the woods and knows about dew on spider webs.

  • At 7:24 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Those spider webs are gorgeous, although very sticky to walk into. I'm a pro at it (might help if I paid more attention to where I was going).

    I am coming to the sad reality that my two little squares, sent from Vancouver Island on Sept 10, must have come to some misfortune in their little border adventure. It is now over a month later, and they haven't appeared, nor have they been returned to me by the posties. I'm so sorry. Perhaps I'll try one more time, and send it registered this time.

  • At 8:22 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    *snort* I'd like to see someone try to mail an egg! And boiled would be cheating! The squares are beautiful and so are the spiderwebs as long as they stay away from me too!

  • At 9:55 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    glad our small contribution made it, hope they are useful. now please, will you email me so that i can invite you to view my blog??

  • At 1:54 AM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ngahhhh!! Yes, beautiful webs, but holy cow - spiders on steroids! What are those suckers, I wonder; Golden Orb spiders? I had a regrettably close encounter with one of those as a pre-adolescent. Fortunately - or not, depending how you look on the fact that it rode me inside, and I'd stayed at least 2 feet away from the webs at all times (what, it jumped???!!) - I'd gotten back to my bedroom when I noticed it comfortably resting on my sorta-bosomish area like some Goth brooch. I never knew I could do a movie-horror-screech and rip off a blouse that fast until that moment. At least I didn't do it outside! Total sympathies with your near miss!

    More lovely squares; good luck to everyone! Tell Ed I'm still plodding along. [g] Almost done with the 2nd garter diagonal square, and still looking suspiciously at the ball of black and a crochet hook while the first keeps waiting impatiently at me.

  • At 5:20 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    HEEEE! Oh honey, when I opened the post and saw those beautiful webs, how very proud...'proud mama proud'.... I felt... and see, although I don't mind spiders so much, in fact, some of them I clearly like... I still do NOT want to walk into their webs, I DO have my own little version of the spider dance... when I walk out in the morning to get the paper I've learned to hold my hands above and slightly in front of me, and I'm sure if any neighbor is looking... well, I really don't want to know what they might be thinking... :^) the photos are gorgeous! but dude, Mr.K sucked them up in the shop vac? and yeah, I WOULD SO be having the nightmares same as yours... sheesh. (that's serious shudder material!)
    'To Serve Man'... classic.

    The squares are fabulous.

  • At 6:50 AM, Blogger Ms. Knitingale said…

    Tola, did you give me your e-mail address and I did something astoundingly typical for me and failed to write it down? I could scroll through all my comments and find it....but maybe you'd forgive me and send it again?

  • At 7:18 AM, Blogger ~Tonia~ said…

    Lilly- I love that book, heck I love all his books. Yes if you heve never read them you should they are great and the spider one was priceless.

    The pictures are beautiful. Glad that there wasn't an incodent in the yard. ;)

  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    Woohoo, so glad that two of my e-friends have become friends through the MPB. Ms. K, I'll take on your spiders if you'll come here and smoosh this cricket for me.

  • At 8:57 PM, Blogger Tola said…

    i thought id included my contact card in with the squares. just shoot me an email: tola (dot) faery (at) gmail (dot) com . anyone else is welcome too. i just have to check and make sure youre not my fiance's ex-wife first! but she is a muggle of the highest order, so i doubt that anyone who reads Ms K is her!

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Angela Cox said…

    Oh yes I saw a huge one Friday .They build them from my washing line the beasties. I have walked into many putting out washing , my arms flail about like a loon trying to wipe of a spider that isn't neccesarily there !


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