Monday, August 31, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I've been wanting a nice hooded cardigan, a flowy, Eileen Fisher sort of deal, and last week I found a pattern I liked in a book called Knitting Simple Jackets. Of course, any sweater called "Cashmere and Silk" broadcasts pretty loudly that it's going to hit you hard in the pocketbook, so I immediately started looking for substitute yarns. Maybe a nice merino on sale? Something soft and drape-y that wouldn't actually cost twenty bucks a skein?

Or how about ... acrylic?

Oh, no, you say, anything but acrylic. I have to admit that as a rule, I'm not an acrylic yarn gal myself. But I'm not against it, either, as long as it's soft and pretty. And the silvery blue heather Caron's Simply Soft is very soft and pretty, and so on Friday I spent $26 for 2,200 yards of pure-T plastic yarn. I felt darn good about it, too. Well, I do worry how it will wear. Will it start to pill immediately? Will it lose its shape? But for twenty-six buckaroos, I'm willing to take a chance. And so now I have about eighteen inches of my fabulous hooded sweater knit. I'm keeping it away from open flames, of course.

I'm going through a phase where I'm trying not to feel guilty about stuff that most normal people don't feel guilty about at all, ever, like knitting with acrylic yarn, which is probably environmentally unfriendly but better than dumping my leftover ceiling paint into the creek, or buying Oreos for the kids' lunches, which is not at all defensible, except that they're yummy and Jack and Will like to eat them.

My sins against humanity and the environment are many, but sometimes I just get so tired of trying to be good. I mean, don't tell, but on occasion I even throw away paper. Normally I recycle every scrap that comes my way, but there are days where I just say, What the hey! and toss that ol' dehydrated woodpulp into the trashcan.

And I never, ever buy florescent light bulbs, which I realize is a sin of the highest order, but I just can't have my house lit like a subway station bathroom. I'm prone to mild depression, have I mentioned that? Florescent lightbulbs would send me over the edge.

And sometimes, when I go to pick up Will, I don't turn off all the lights in the house.

So there you have it: I am bad. I sit around knitting acrylic sweaters and watching "Gilmore Girls" re-runs while my children are running around like madmen at school, high on Oreos. I turn my AC way down at night, because I can't sleep when I'm hot.

I understand if you never want to read this blog again. What if my badness rubs off? What if, after reading this post, you decline to rinse out your cans before recycling them? What if you start buying tomatoes at the supermarket instead of growing them yourself? What if you start buying them out of season? What if you start buying potatoes that aren't locally grown? Inorganic broccoli? Laundry detergents with phosphates? Hot dogs made with number two red dye? It could happen. Stop reading now! Save yourselves!

Still here? Oh, good. And now, if the spoon doesn't spin around in the drawer and make the knife laugh and laugh and wake up the snoring dog, I'll tell you the story of Uncle Wiggily and the First Grade Boy Who is Very Cranky after six and a half hours of school.

Next time!


Gretchen Joanna said...

I want to hear the story about the spoon and the knife.
And I don't usually spend much time rinsing cans I will recycle, because using water needlessly, here in California, is the very worst sin.

Tracy said...

I wash cans and jars with my regular dish washing...I always have a sink load to be done anyway. But you know what? Sometimes the recycling crate is full and I just need to get stuff off my bench ~ and then I throw it in the regular rubbish bin. Do you hate me now?! LOL.

Oh, and sometimes I use potatoes that are a little bit green and I don't always follow the 2hr/4hr food storage rule. Ehh, none of us have gotten sick or tried to die yet.

Pom Pom said...

Oh Frances, you're so funny! I can't wait to see the sweater! I have to tell you that the Winn Dixie movie will cheer you even though of course the book is better.
What a good idea - a knitting project for the school time quiet! I love it when you post! xopp

Danielle said...

Frances, you are with the cultural zeitgeist right now. Frugality, IN! Reducing your carbon imprint and eating locally are so last year. So proudly wear your acrylic sweater. My grandma would be proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Lol, loved this post! You are such a tonic Frances, you crack me up! I am a secret acrylic knitter too but don't tell anyone...hahaha!

I throw away mayo jars instead of recycling them, because:

a) I would use gallons of detergent trying to clean them, therefore harming aquatic life.

b) I can't be bothered washing them. That's the truth.

(Such shocking revelations!) :)

Gumbo Lily said...

I love you still!
And here's a funny thing...we don't even have recycling where I live. It costs too much. So there. We have our own dump here on the ranch.

Do tell about the spoon and the knife. Does the cow jump over the moon?


Angela said...

I have 6 tupperware containers of stock in the freezer still waiting resurrection as soup- so last week I THREW AWAY a chicken carcase without the usual ritual of stockmaking. We ran out of time tonight and still hadn't eaten, so we came home from a meeting at church via the fish and chip shop [actually that is an eight mile detour] And I knit with acrylic.
Mea Culpa!!! You are not alone.
Thanks fo rmaking me laugh - and do tell the story about Uncle Wiggily x

Pom Pom said...

This quote made me think of you, writer friend.
"I write whenever it suits me. During a creative period I write every day; a novel should not be interrupted." ~Francois Mauriac
Frances and Francois . . . smile.

Dulce Domum said...

Frances, you truly are a bad ass, and for that reason I've nominated you for an award. You deserve it for being such a rebel.

Niki RuralWritings said...

I'm not leaving you yet, I've just found you!!! (from Ducle's blog, we are co-award-ees)


I knit (and even crochet!)with acrylic all the time and don't even bat an eye about it!

Nice to meet you :-)