Mind your Ps and Qs

I’m a big fan of Miss Manners.  Don’t look at me like that.  Miss Manners is not about shrimp forks or calling cards or white gloves or ladies’ maids.  She is, of course, well versed in those things, but she’s not trying either to halt the onrush of progress or to make anyone feel inadequate for not having dedicated their lives to collecting eclectic dinnerware.  She’s trying to do something both simpler and far more difficult.  She’s trying to encourage people to be mindful of the way their actions effect others…and then to consider modifying their actions to make that effect as pleasant (or at least as unobtrusive) as possible.  This is quite a challenge, and of course, she does it with impeccable style and more than a bit of wit.

One of the themes that often pops up in Miss Manners’ writing is that of holding up your end of the social contract.  That’s really what you’re doing when you r.s.v.p. promptly or invite your friends over for dinner or send off a thank you note.  The goal is to extend kindnesses to others and to return the kindnesses that have been extended to you.  The napkins and stationery are just window dressing.  They’re nice, but they matter much less than the underlying intent.

So with that in mind, I want to send you all a thank you note.  Now I can’t really do this in the traditional sense.  I can’t get out a note card and a nice pen and write to each of you.  What I can do is realize that by making my socks and testing my patterns and voting for me on SKA and spreading the word about this odd little endeavor of mine, you’re doing me a kindness.  I want to thank you for it and do something for you in return.  So I’ll be releasing the next pattern (the lacy ones I showed you last month) for free.  The pattern is with testers now, and I’ll be working on the second sock over the next few days.  I’ll be spending a few days somewhere picturesque at the end of the month, and with any luck I’ll have these ready to release in early September.