He knows what he knows
Wednesday July 18th 2007, 1:04 pm
Filed under: Life,To dye for

Getting just the right color is a whole lot easier than it used to be. Fire up the dyepot, sprinkle a little dye, simmer briefly, and you’re done. Doing this in green brings back memories…

We were doing the VIP tour of the White House with our children, pre-911; my aunt, the wife of a Senator and daughter-in-law, years earlier, of another, brought us in. I don’t know if the regular tours had this, but for the VIP tours, a formally-dressed guide gave a well-rehearsed history speech in each room. We walked through George Washington’s dream, taking it all in in awe.

There was a bit of lag time before moving to the next room each time; we had to wait for the group ahead of us to clear out. As we stood in one, I was admiring a very old rug with an Eagle motif (believe me, that E was capitalized. Definitely!) that was set aside from where our feet might touch it. I mentioned to my aunt that the green color in it had most likely come from boiling moss to extract the dye. She thought that was very cool.

Stepping outside a moment in the Rose Garden, I looked out at the lawn and, when the guide was done talking about Jack Kennedy and the like, mentioned to him that President Johnson had thrown a party for the children and grandchildren of Senators on the White House lawn: there was a small ferris wheel brought in, pony rides, and an official-looking white pen with red and blue ink printed with the words “The White House” given to each child. I had been eight years old at the time. (There was no way I was going near that ferris wheel, but I could have stayed on the ponies forever.)

I remember coming home and telling my mom that President Johnson was a really nice man, and I hoped he ran for re-election. (I wanted to ride the ponies again.) She about died.Jacquard emerald on Fino

Meantime, the guide, thrown off his routine, stopped, looked at me, and demanded in all seriousness, “Which President Johnson?”

11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

That is so cool!

Comment by Sue H 07.18.07 @ 1:16 pm

*snort* How old was the guide? Sheesh!

I’d love to get to Washington, if just to get to the National Textile Museum. I’d bet I could spend days there. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Comment by Carina 07.18.07 @ 5:55 pm

It’s funny what can trigger a memory, isn’t it? You should keep writng down (or blogging) these bits as they come to you.

Comment by Carol 07.19.07 @ 4:51 am


Comment by Romi 07.19.07 @ 8:38 am

Memories are precious aren’t they and what triggers them off? I finally got your book today. Amazon UK were a real pain keep delaying. I found an alternative source. It is fabulous Alison and written instructions for those challenged by charts like myself:)
Amber in England

Comment by ambermoggie 07.19.07 @ 10:31 am

You gave me a good laugh! What an interesting story. Hope to have your book soon.

Comment by Karen in Oregon 07.19.07 @ 10:37 am

Another great story!

The yarn looks like it will be a nice rich green. Post pics?

Comment by Amanda 07.19.07 @ 12:50 pm

I need to comment more often, although I am getting better. You always bring a smile to my face and you are one of the sweetest people I know. Thank you for your wonderful stories.


Comment by Angie 07.19.07 @ 2:48 pm

Which Pres Johnson? What a hoot! How old did he think you are?

Comment by Lilly 07.20.07 @ 10:07 am

Linked here from a Yahoo group (Knitting or Lace Knitting…can’t recall since I’ve been here so long now 🙂 admiring your work and enjoying your anecdotes. Must thank you for sharing your patterns. Perhaps, now, Finally, I may have the courage to begin and Finish a bit of lace knitting…either Rabbit Tracks or Marnie’s Scarf. Wishing you Good Health. Thanks again for sharing your patterns.

Comment by Beverly 07.21.07 @ 9:16 am

[…] family was once on a tour of the White House when the guide (gotta love his question) pointed out the ancient but still-sharp-looking Eagle […]

Pingback by SpinDyeKnit 01.28.11 @ 11:59 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>