I read a post by Catawampus* some time ago where she discussed the voices your parents leave in your head. She was talking about it in terms of parenting: as her small children were learning basic human interactions, she wanted to make sure the voice she left in their heads to guide them was one of kindness and fairness.
For example: "If the little boy steals your toy, don't hit him and steal it back. Ask him nicely if you want to play with it together."
This really struck home with me, not from a parenting viewpoint, but from a child's viewpoint. My family has definitely left voices in my head that guide my daily actions. I would even go so far to say that these voices (echoes of things my parents have taught me throughout my upbringing) have made as much of an impression in my decision making as the example of my parents actions.
It's from my father that I learned to participate, to communicate, to be involved, and to make a difference. For my father, it's all about people and the relationships you build.
From my mother I learned strength and dignity. She is the one who taught me the relationship with myself - how to take care of myself and how that will make me feel and think about myself. That how I present myself will affect how others see me. That classic is always in style, and that elegance is simple and understated.
My brothers taught me self preservation. How to pull the best wedgies, how to block a swiftly opening door without injuring my foot. To never pull someone's finger, even if they ask nicely.
And it's my mother's lessons that I'd like to talk about today.
(I know you're secretly disappointed it's not my brothers I'm talking about, but gross flatulence will have to wait for another day.)
On Sunday afternoon, after lazing around unable to get off the couch for hours, I knew the only way I'd feel better is if I got up, took a shower and forced myself out of the house. So around 5ish, I mustered up the energy and decided a trip to the bookstore was the way to go.
(How did I decide this? Well, the whole time I was collapsed on the couch Sunday I was thinking about what I wanted to knit next. Crazy, seeing that I had just knit for 10 hours straight, so much that I developed a crick in three fingers and a huge swollen callous on my right index, but there I was, itching for a new project. The only problem was, I had no books to look through. Hence, the bookstore. Maybe the only thing powerful enough to get my lazy ass off the couch that day. Ironic, yes?)
In addition to picking up a few classics, such as:
Last Minute Knitted Gifts (Yup, I'm on the Hourglass wagon)
Weekend Knitting (I knit on the weekends. Therefore, I had to have it.)
Scarf Style (Eleanor. I mean, really.)
I found this gem:
Which is where my mother comes in. This book is filled with classic styles (cover photo aside), with gorgeous understated details. Sweaters that would live in my wardrobe for years and years and years. Knitted tops that would be at place in the office, with a pair of jeans and boots, or with a cute skirt. Also, my mom is an actuary, so let me express this in math terms:
# of patterns in book I will knit & love to wear = K&W
# of patterns in book = PIB
K&W / PIB = ~85%
That's a pretty high ratio. So many books out there are tempting to buy for the 1 or 2 fabulous patterns in them, but you know you're never going to knit any of the others.
Anyway, this is my next project:
The yarn has been ordered and I can't wait for it to arrive. In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out a good subsitution for Noro Cash Iroha... can you guess what's next in line?
*whose blog is sadly defunct