Monday, April 28, 2008

Wonderful Things

Gee, I should ask for household hints every day. I get more comments that way.

Before all the (much-appreciated) suggestions to use vinegar came pouring in, my Depression-era neighbor advised me to add baking soda to the wash. Being primarily acquainted with baking soda's fire-extinguishing qualities, I was puzzled; but I complied. Wow! You know, I've never really cared much about how I do the laundry, just so long as it gets done; I have never even used fabric softener or dryer sheets. But today, sniffing my sweet-smelling, baking-soda-ed clothes released my inner laundress from whatever dark dungeon she has been cowering in all these years. The formerly funky-smelling laundry smelled so good, I was almost inspired to line-dry it in the sweet spring air. Almost. Fortunately, it's raining today, so I was saved from acting on this rash impulse. And line-drying is outlawed in my 'burb, anyway.

Yes, we are that plastic here.

What astonishes me is that I had such a great weekend, and here I am posting about laundry. Sad, really.

As Amy has already written, one thousand knitters is a sight to behold. And one thousand knitters marching across a small New England college town trying to be first back to the yarn store is almost surreal. And one very funny, very articulate knitter (aka the Yarn Harlot) attempting to sign copies of her book for all these avid fans/knitters is...well...awe-inspiring. And I'm not just saying that because she told me she likes my blog. Ahem. She probably says that to everyone. But, being pathetically needy, I chose to believe her.

And, of course, she may have said that because I once wrote that she is the rock star of the knitting world...

I met many bloggy friends. There was MadMad, of course, who admitted at one point that I was nothing like she pictured me. This confession of hers made me wonder if I were projecting some sort of false persona in my blog. But then Amy, of Live,Learn,Knit, insisted that I was exactly as she had always pictured me (and the feeling was mutual), which just goes to show something profound about blogging, if I could just figure out what it is. Persnickety Knitter was there, as was Newton's Knitting (whose hand-knitted vest was really cool) and Lily Potter Knits, both of whom carpooled with Amy...the list goes on. I felt as though I was having some weird sort of dream where all my imaginary friends were meeting each other.

Amy, I must say, demonstrated remarkable aplomb while speaking with the Yarn Harlot. Her poised performance was in marked contrast to my stuttering and giggling when brought face to face with the reigning queen of knitting. It was all I could do not to genuflect and kiss her book-signing pen. MadMad generously included me in her dinner plans on Saturday night, which included dining with some other knitting royalty (Melissa Morgan of Melissa-Knits). That just added to the weird dream-like quality of the weekend.

I met my first male knitter, who was very personable and urged me to listen to his knitting podcast. He obviously doesn't read my blog, or he would know that I am not yet technologically advanced enough for podcasts. Someday, though...

And I haven't even mentioned WEBS yet. Where to start? The shelves full of patterns and books? The room full of looms? The piles and piles of yarn all begging to be stroked and touched? I was reminded of the archaeologist who first gazed into King Tut's tomb, opened after thousands of years. The person with him asked, "What do you see?" and all he could say was an awestruck "Wonderful things!"

Yes - wonderful things, indeed. And wonderful people. And a hotel room all to myself on Saturday night. I sat and knit in the blessed quiet, interrupted only by MadMad calling at 10 PM to report that she had just shared an elevator at her hotel with the Yarn Harlot herself. I was beside myself with jealousy.

I got up early the next morning (why? I don't know). It was so peaceful to shower, dress, and dry my hair without having to talk to anyone, or settle fights, or tell people to do things. I ate a yogurt and nobody cried. I sat down and knit for half an hour, just because I could. I enjoyed my solitude so much, I started to think about running away from home and joining a convent (preferably one that supported itself on the sale of handknitted items); but then I remembered that, alas, I am not Catholic. Do you think affirmative action might require the sisters to take a few Jews?

Anyway, I got a lot of knitting done over the weekend. I was proud of the progress I was making on Rachel's little vest, and I decided to finish up the back of it during the Yarn Harlot's talk Sunday afternoon. There was just enough light in the theater to knit by. There was also just enough light to realize that, somehow, I had totally messed up my knitting the night before (and I couldn't even blame the kids for distracting me). So, while Stephanie Pearl-McPhee waxed rhapsodic on the joys of knitting, I was busy ripping out every single bit of the work I had accomplished during the weekend. But I did it cheerfully, secure in the knowledge that I was sitting among a thousand other people who all, at one time or another, had had to do the same exact thing. Misery does love company, you know.


  1. Wow. I feel so out of it. I crochet and I don't think there is a crochet harlot. Sounds like you had a wonderful time - good for you!

  2. Come to think of it, you weren't how I pictured you, either. But I assumed that's just because Larry has you so well-trained in the art of subterfuge; you know how to project a voice that doesn't match your physical appearance.

    Both of which are delightful, by the way, so I personally put my bet on the Yarn Harlot's sincerity.

    So how much baking soda did you use? I'd rather do that than two more loads.

  3. As someone who loses muscle control when confronted with anything remotely related to sewing -- yarn, needles, thread, string -- you name it, this post escapes me entirely. Even as I appreciate (very much!) all of the beautiful sweaters and scarves that people have knitted me over the years. So the image of a thousand knitters altogether is sorta like Pluto, out there outta my grasp.

  4. I'm glad you had a good time and nobody needled you. Sorry. I went there.

    Seriously, how wonderful to shower and eat yogurt and knit in peace. Have you ever seen the children's book, "Five Minutes' Peace" by Jill Murphy? It's a must-have.

  5. Sounds like a weekend in knitter's heaven. And a male knitter nonetheless. He must surely have been in a heaven of sorts.

    Baking soda, huh? I'll have to give it a whirl. I'm thinking my inner laundress could use a good waking up.

  6. I am domestically challenged. I can cook and like to. I can clean, but hate to. I can't sew or knit or create at all.

    We also have a No Line Dry Rule in our Stepford neighborhood.


  7. minnesota matron - I think it is hard for anyone to imagine one thousand knitters. Even the Yarn Harlot was taken aback.

    kalynne - I'll just assume I project "tall."

  8. Glad you had a good time. The laundry talk was good for me too.

  9. Sounds like a fab weekend. I am curious, though as to what MadMad thought you'd be like, and how you differed...


  10. Pathetically needy or not, I do like your blog, and I do read it. (Here is the proof.)

    It was pretty awesome, and I just finished ripping out the work I apparently sleep-knit on the plane this morning. We have all been there.
    That is, indeed, the beauty of it.

  11. glad you had a nice weekend. I must not get out of my 4 walls much. I didnt know some neighborhoods had a no clothes line rule, now that I think about, I am sure they do, they have alot of rules, I just never thought about it. I wonder what would happen if there electricity went out for a week? probably laudromats? or the dry cleaners huh!

  12. Sounds like a great, relaxing weekend.

    You can't dry your clothes in your garden by law? How funny! And what a great excuse to always use the dryer.

    Baking soda? I have to try that too. Thanks for the tip!

  13. How cool to click on that link and get the Harlot! Smart woman, that Harlot. Knows a good blog when she reads one.

    I am so amen-sister with you on the joys of privacy. My beloved child will be bounding out of bed any second now, screeching to a halt by the side of my desk so we can have morning prayers together, and then heading out for early morning seminary, school, and her way-better-than-mine social life.

    Six weeks, and the nest is empty. Six weeks, after 30 years of momming.

    Glad you were able to get away. Sometimes a day or two away from the people you love best is all that it takes to remind you why you loved them in the first place :)

  14. I wanna hang out with anyone that calls themself a Yarn Harlot.

  15. Wonderful things, indeed! Love that blog title. It does sound like you had a glorious time. Too funny about feeling like your invisible friends were playing together. I love your blog, too. Glad you got some time for yourself.

    I,myself, do not knit, but am quite the admiration society.

    Now, I'm off to read about baking soda on your blog. I have a very bad feeling it was used for the same reason I need to. Deep confessions to towels smelling like mildew...from leaving in the washer too long...

  16. Great post! This is exactly what happened. I may just send people over here to read it! It would be much easier. On me.

  17. madmad - no, you have to take a crack at it, too. It's fun getting everyone's point of view.

    jck - baking soda rocks!

    manager mom - the yarn harlot rocks!

    nadine - we Americans (well, the United States part, anyway) are crazy that way. Everyone talks about reducing their carbon footprint, but then we insist on the use of energy-consuming tumble dryers. We like to eat our cake and have it, too. Which I like to think can be an endearing trait, up to a point.

  18. Hey! Just poppin' in to say hi; lost your link somehow the last few weeks. Anyway - oh, yes, I've left laundry in the washer for a few days before, glad to know the tip.

  19. I've always wanted to meet other bloggers, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the entire state of New Mexico.

  20. I'm not really depression-era I don't think. ;-)


    Oh, wait, I'm not your neighbor either. Am i????

  21. ree - no fear - my neighbor had suggested it before you did. And if I'm not depression-era, neither are you.

    marie - I think you may be right.

  22. THIRD try at commenting now...

    Really, you think it was poised that I couldn't help myself from sniffing her coffee as it went by? Talk about pathetically needy. I am pathetically needy for caffeine. Also, she said you were FUNNY. I heard her. Don't be so modest.

  23. I'm grinning ear to ear because I'm so pleased for you having such a splendid weekend! Yay!
    wonderful things in your blog today!

  24. Peace and creativity - heaven!

  25. Male knitter? Bwa ha ha ha ha. Ok, I just couldn't help it. I have the craft skills of Mac & Cheese...

  26. Now that you are feeling so fired up about laundry can you come over to my house and do some?

    Your yarn posts have been so passionate of late-it's good to see you all worked up.

  27. Damn.. I feel jealous about all these cool knitters you met.. and I don't knit. So I must be super needy.

    And if you ran away to the affirmative action nunnery... you would have all this time but no one to knit for. Unless of course, you just mailed them home. oh wait - that might work.

  28. That is a wonderful weekend...right down to meeting the male knitter (but knitting podcasts?)

  29. That sounds so very fun. So it wouldn't count for anything if your children were Catholic for you to become a nun? Just wondering...

  30. So. Incredibly. Jealous.

    I am leaving to go pout now.

  31. One of the reasons we bought an old house inside the town limits over a new house in one of the housing developments was the lack of a home owners association.

    I can and do hang my laundry on the line, at least the musty smelling towels. Then the kids complain because they are stiff feeling.

  32. AnonymousMay 12, 2008

    I'm a crochet harlot, but that's neither here nor there. Tip for people with dishwashers... put your kitchen sponges in one of the silverware baskets, to clean and disinfect them. They last longer, and don't get stinky.