Friday, April 25, 2008

The Nerve of the Man

Yesterday's entry was actually a letter to the editor in response to a previous submission by a gent praising knitting, or at least praising the receipt of knitted goods:

"THOUGH at present, Mr. Editor, a lonely and comfortless old bachelor, I still live in hopes one of these days of getting married ; and if I do, I trust it will be to a woman who is a great knitter. Of all the many accomplishments which adorn the gentler sex, I do assure them, from the very bottom of my heart, that I esteem knitting among the greatest.

This subject has been forcibly brought to my mind by the reception, a moment ago, of a pair of the most comfortable kind of woollen sock, from a good old aunt of mine, famous for knitting. The yarn is of the very best kind, hard twisted, and the stitches drawn so tight on the needles during the progress of the work, that the socks are as compact as apiece of buckskin; and then the heels are so substantially run, that although famous for kicking half a dozen holes per day through such hose as I purchase at the stores, I am sure these will wear me weeks [weeks!] without needing to be touched by the darning needle of my complaining washerwoman. [Hey guy, ever wonder why she complains?] I must confess, Mr. Editor, I was so overjoyed at the sight of these socks, that the tears absolutely came into my eyes on beholding them; and I could not resist the pleasure of immediately trying them on, and when on, they felt so comfortable that they at once revived all my youthful feelings, and before I was aware of it,I began incontinently taking the almost forgotten steps of UK double-shuffle, greatly to the annoyance of my sedate landlady in the lower story of the house [no wonder he goes through the heels of his socks--he's clogging barefoot]. Ah, yes! commend me to a knitter—that is comfortable.

When I get married, I intend my wife, with knitting needles in hand, shall be seated in her easy chair by my side, every evening that she is not otherwise engaged; I will then take up some book for her edification, and read aloud. Thus work and instruction will go hand in hand. [isn't it amazing that he's not yet married?] Ah, how the anticipation of the thing delights me! Would that I were to be married to an accomplished knitter to-morrow!

The German ladies carry their knitting-work to all places of amusement, whether public or private, and why should not ours do the same? In a time of great pecuniary national trouble, an eminent writer on political economy made the calculation, that if our women would knit as much stocking yarn as they foolishly misspend in street yarn, the national and private debt of the United States would be paid off within a twelvemonth. [interesting distinction--in other words, more women should make more things for men] How true this may be I cannot say, as I care little for political economy—but much, very much for knitting. I hope the ladies will not think me enthusiastic, as it is in their behalf I am pleading ; for I verily know that knitting is not only a highly useful, but a most agreeable occupation. Else why should some of our ladies have recently carried their knitting-work to the Senate chamber, to pass the whole day, to listen to the burning eloquence of Mr. Webster ; and why else do we find them knitting on board steamboats, and canal boats, on railroads, and even in stage-coaches, except аs an amusement to pass away the heavy time. [Um, maybe b/c it takes a helluva lot of knitting to keep a man in socks, especially one prone to clogging in his stocking feet] Commend me, then, to a knitting wife—a gentle being whom I hope it will yet be my happiness to possess! "

Signed, Solus [and no wonder]

From The American Agriculturalist, 1846

To which I would say, knit your own damn socks.


Annie said...

Where do you get this stuff?!

Rachel said...

I think this same guy called the shop a few months ago and tried to get me to knit him socks, 1846 or no!