the unexpected guest

Posted on Posted in interviews, Uncategorized

i have been waiting for today for a long time . . . and finally, my waiting was over!
no, i did not get new yarn. no, i did not get new knitting books.

today i got a visit from ethel. chub creek ethel! i know you’ve been waiting for an interview. i know it’s been a while; sorry about that. i am working on getting some juicy interviews and finally i scored!

i was a little nervous before she got here, i’ll admit it. it’s just really hard to get interviews with people who are famous in podcasting. so i busied myself getting some refreshments ready.

i hopped around a little when i heard the door knocker. it took some doing to get her into the house and get settled; that is usually the case when someone visits here for the first time. the house is both striking and dumbfounding. i mean, there’s a grand piano in the stair hall. and bicycles. (we SO need to get rid of that piano . . .)

oh! yes, ethel—i can hardly believe she finally made it over. she even got a little dressed up.

finally we settled in the TV room for a talk:

me: ethel, who taught you to knit?
ethel: The Lord, sweetheart.

me: wow! i didn’t know he had the patience for it . . . i guess with his whole flock hanging around, he was bound to take it up at some point, eh? and how long have you been knitting?
ethel: Goodness me… well… I remember attempting to knit a nice pair of mittens for Winston Churchill…. he always looked so chilly.

me: you’ll have to tell us some time how that went! and we know your favorite needles, ethel, but what is your favorite yarn?
ethel: Well if I told you that I’d have to kill you, sweetheart.

me: really—and is that a reaction you learned from the lord too? well, in any case, we should switch topics! which knitting magazine do you like best?
ethel: Hmmm. Have you read “Knit Knack Paddy Whack Space Evenly Along the Row”? It’s in large print.

me: it’s important to see what you’re doing alright. wouldn’t want to make lace when what you intended was bobbles. and, it sounds like it might make a good ed whacker!
where do find yourself shopping for knit stuff most often?
ethel: Ed keeps trying to convince me they sell yarn at the tractor pull, but I haven’t fallen
for it yet.

me: oh, that certainly sounds like hogwash. it’s hilarious how men think they can say anything “yarnish” to us, and we’ll just jump in the car and do whatever they want. speaking of which, do you plan vacations around visiting new yarn shops?
ethel: Well, this weekend I’m planning to lock Ed in the shed. That’s enough of a vacation for me… hopefully this time he won’t dig his way out.

ethel takes a break to use the loo, and i peruse her ginormous knitting bag . . .

my, it’s full . . . what the heck do you think she has in there??

oops, here she comes. (she’s settling in and opening the bag—OMG! out comes the project . . .)

(is that the biggest blanket you’ve ever seen, or WHAT???)

me: (hesitantly, and unable to take my eyes off her knitting) do you knit items for ed?
ethel: Only when he gets on my nerves. Then I spend all day making him try things on.

me: (laughing) that should fix his wagon! how much does ed know about your yarn stash?
ethel: I’m not sure… but I keep finding rat traps next to them.

me: does ed ever comment on your yarn purchases, and how?
ethel: Ed doesn’t see very well, so I just tell him I’m buying a roast. He can’t tell the difference.

me: i have a friend that does that; she shops for yarn on the same night she shops for groceries; one plastic bag looks just like another to her husband!
tell me, does ed help you with knitting tasks like balling yarn?
ethel: Oh heavens no. That would be like asking him to do something really complex that takes patience, like flushing the toilet.

me: let’s get back to you; do you have any favorite knitting programs on TV or the internet?
ethel: I’ve been watching “Sex and the City” but I tell Ed it’s “Socks of the Knitting” and he doesn’t know any better.

me: and what about this subversive knitting; any interest in that?
ethel: Oh you mean knitting outside the box?

me: i guess you could say they are the same thing—subversive knitting is a little more anarchist. are you a subversive knitter in any way?
ethel: Not really, unless you count that time I tried to knit that straightjacket for Ed. He wouldn’t let me try it out on him.

me: i think that would count . . . are there any knitalongs or clubs that you belong to?
ethel: Our nearest neighbor is twenty miles away, and Ed won’t let me drive the tractor.

me: tractor, huh; please tell us more about that. i’m sure everyone is curious.
ethel: Well since Ed smashed the car while he was trying to play with his iPod we’ve been relying on farm equipment.

me: i see, hmmm, and they worry about people who knit while they drive . . . what has been your biggest knitting challenge so far?
ethel: Well the straightjacket was tough, but that didn’t hold a candle to the time I knit that bust of Abraham Lincoln.

me: wow, i’d like to see that; got any pictures? we’d like to hear any special tips or tricks that have helped you.
ethel: Just learn to wield those needles, honey. They can get you out of a pretty pinch if your husband gets too amorous.

me: oh, see, that’s how we differ i guess; i don’t mind at all if my husband gets amorous! but i’ll keep that tip in mind in case i ever feel differently.
ethel, if you could be a famous knitter from history who would you be, and why?
ethel: We’re all famous in the eyes of the Lord, sweetheart.

me: your holiness is really admirable!
and lastly, if stephanie pearl-mcphee is the yarn harlot, who are you?
ethel: Sometimes Ed calls me a knit picker, but I get him right back because he’s a knit wit, and then I poke him with the turbos.

me: well, ethel, thank you so very much for taking this time to talk to me. i know the readers of knitspot will love your candidness on their behalf; we so enjoy getting to know every famous knitter as a real person. goodbye!

wow, wasn’t that awesome? i really enjoyed it. the only let-down was afterward; it was SO quiet once she left . . .

please, everyone, drop a note to dave at chub creek for helping to get ethel over here this afternoon. and listen to his show on monday night!

3 thoughts on “the unexpected guest

  1. I think that is one of my favorite interviews you’ve done…. And I always drink bengal spice and knit… Its my favorite tea…..

    Hope your enjoying your weekend…


  2. Ethel sure has a groovy felted tote…I LOVEEEEEE it!! Oh and seeing her toe tips peep out from her knitted blankie reminds me of the wicked with of the west when her feet were popping out of the house hahaha! Well, anyways, I think Ethel is quite the pip and I loved your interview, as always…your site is maaaaaauuuuvvvvvvellloussss daullinnng!!

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