Thursday, July 16, 2009

Madame Defarge and Mary Poppins

The past few weeks have found me taking my mom and dad to their respective doctor visits, which allows for a lot of down time for me. Because I like to keep busy, I have taken to bringing a basket of knitting with me.
While I was at the VA hospital waiting for Dad to have an x-ray, I noticed a little boy watching my every move. He leaned over to his grandmother and asked her if she knew how to do that. She replied that she did at one time but it had been too long since she had done so. It was the perfect lead-in for a sweet conversation ending with me giving her the pattern and her promising to give it a try. Her grandson asked her if she would teach him. He's seven and, I think, the perfect age to give a pair if knitting needles and a simple project.

I hope she does teach him. I could tell he was very intrigued by the whole process and, when you think about it, would be very helpful with hand-eye coordination, math skills, patterning, all the things a boy needs for school!

I love the way the pattern leads you into a perfect circle with single point needles. Virtually mindless to accomplish, once you get the rhythm of the pattern.

I'm giving you a few links of you want to create a washcloth for yourself. The second link is for the one I have made here. You should definitely treat yourself to a hand made wash cloth in your bath- Something special for someone special. You deserve a little luxury. :)
I used a skein of Paton's Grace cotton yarn and size 3 Brittany birch needles. I love these needles. They are soft in the hand and the yarn slips perfectly off of them. They are a dream.

My other project this week has been to read Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers. Can you believe that I have never read the book that inspired the movie?

I have to say that I think Disney did Mary Poppins a favor. In the book she is haughty, short-tempered and rather rude. Disney definitely softened her.
There are the familiar tales of Bert, the Match Man not a chimney sweep; Uncle Albert Wigg, who laughs himself to the ceiling; Miss Lark and her terrier Andrew, the very spoiled dog; The Bird Woman and stories that were new to me- The Dancing Cow, Mrs. Corry and her huge daughters, a trip around the world, and the twin siblings of Jane and Michael, John and Barbara.
Whew, sorry about that run on sentence.
Here's a bit of the real Mary Poppins, from the chapter entitled Christmas Shopping:
"Just look at you!" said Mary Poppins to herself, particularly noticing how nice her new gloves with the fur tops looked. They were the first pair she had ever had and she thought she would never grow tired of looking at them in the shop windows with her hands inside them. And having examined the reflection of the gloves she went carefully over her whole person- coat, hat, scarf, shoes, with herself inside- and she thought that, on the whole, she had never seen anybody look quite so smart and distinguished.
But the winter afternoons, she knew, were short, and they had to be home by tea-time. So with a sigh she wrenched herself away from her glorious reflection."
That's Mary Poppins to a T- a bit full of herself. I wanted to like this book, mainly because Mary Poppins was a movie I loved as a child and still do today. I remember going to the drive-in in Braintree to see it with my parents and little brothers and wishing that I could have a house with a nursery and a need for a nanny. Thank goodness I did not read the book then, or I don't think I would have the same feelings for the nanny that came on the East wind.
I think things will be getting back to normal soon and I will have more time to accomplish the things I need to do around the house. Still, this has been a nice diversion from daily tasks and I am grateful. Sometimes it's just nice to escape.


CathyJean said...

Your knitting is beautiful!! :) That's something I never learned to do, but fortunately my daughter knits and has gifted me with mittens, a scarf and some dish clothes :)

Utah Grammie said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the knitting@ So beautiful..I only knit long plain scarf that I don't have to think about..and when the yarn's gone..I'm done. Which I had patience (and talent!) like you do..

I have never read Mary Poppins either - I think I'll have to know..thanks for the recommendation :-)

Nan said...

If you can find Mary Poppins in the Kitchen, I think you'll love it. I couldn't read MP but this one is terrific, and I use many recipes from it.

Monica said...

Thank you for the link to the pattern for your washcloth -- yours is beautiful. I think I will get out my yarn and needles today to begin one. I like your idea of making it with the Grace yarn -- it must be very soft.