Mystery House



We Got One Back!

The other day, I took the car in for an oil change.  The M.E. always thanks me profusely when I take time out of my workday to do this, but I secretly enjoy it.  I mean, what’s not to like about a completely uninterrupted, guilt-free hour of reading or knitting in the middle of the day?

This time, I chose knitting.  In the waiting room at the dealership I’d barely settled in, mentally tuned out the television which was jangling the Price Is Right theme song, and worked a few rounds on my sock when a woman came in and sat down next to me.  Her hair was cut in a short, gray bob, and her knobby hands were a Dalmation’s coat of brown spots.  I noticed her sneaking a peek at my knitting and sensed her trying to resist and remain quiet, but she was powerless in the presence of softly clicking needles.  She munched morsels from her little bag of Chex Mix for approximately a minute and a half before asking, “What are you making?”

*

I smiled and showed her, explained I was making my mom birthday socks.  This woman wasn’t simply trying to make conversation.  She really wanted to know about the sock and what I was using to make it, and confessed that she used to knit but hadn’t for many years.  She’d been quilting instead, and was getting a bit burned out on it after making a king sized quilt for her daughter and realizing that the only fun part of the process had been choosing all the fabrics.

“My son,” she said, “wants me to make him socks.  Argyle.  I have an old pattern I used to use, but I don’t know where to get the yarn.  They didn’t have any wool at Hancock Fabrics and he’s into natural everything.  Only wool.  I suppose I need to go to a specialty store, but I don’t even know where there is one anymore.”

Well.  What more does a Stash Enabler need to hear?  We had a good 45 minutes to talk about local yarn shops and why they would be of more help to her than chain stores and what the new sock yarns were like and how much they cost and how to get help from the LYS owners with finding just the right yarn for her vintage pattern and how on earth her son got the idea he wanted argyle when they’ve been out of style since, well, the last time she made some.  Her eyes became brighter and brighter as we chatted away, as she watched stitches hop from one of my needles onto the next.

“You’ve inspired me.”

She said it several times, and I could tell she was dying to get to a yarn shop, itching to go home and practice to see if her knitting chops were still intact despite a touch of arthritic clumsiness.

A little arthritis wasn’t going to stop this lady.  She wanted to knit.  I thought with pleasure about how wide her eyes would grow when she walked into a shop brimming with yarns in a palette of hues which left the browns, grays and dark greens of 1950’s wool in the dust.  Inhaling so many colors and textures and possibilities would make it hard to forget about knitting again.

It’s marvelous for the craft that knitting is being
embraced every day by new knitters, that it’s in no fear of trodding
the dinosaur’s path of, say, weaving jewelry out of hair,
and that each new generation of knitters brings with it different
flavors of creativity.  And how splendid for our collective knitterly
soul it is to know that yarn and needles are powerful enough to seduce
a person for the second time, to bring someone back into the fold, and
that if someone you care about wants a pair of socks, it’s never too
late to start over and relearn a craft you once loved.


*No violas were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

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Comments

  1. * Chris says:

    What a great story! You go!! 🙂

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  2. * Connie says:

    That is pretty cool – BTW – argyles seem to be showing up again…

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  3. * Kitt says:

    What a sweet story! I wonder if you’ll ever run unto her again.

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  4. * kmkat says:

    Awww. I think you earned yourself a special place in knitters’ heaven for that. That lady’s life is improved for having met you.
    I do believe I recognize that sock yarn — Koigu, right? I’m just finishing my first pair from Koigu and, although the colors are a bit different, the subtle striping on the foot and large-scale-flashing on the leg are exactly the same. 56 or 60 st on US#1s, right?

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  5. * kmkat says:

    Awww. I think you earned yourself a special place in knitters’ heaven for that. That lady’s life is improved for having met you.
    I do believe I recognize that sock yarn — Koigu, right? I’m just finishing my first pair from Koigu and, although the colors are a bit different, the subtle striping on the foot and large-scale-flashing on the leg are exactly the same. 56 or 60 st on US#1s, right?

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago


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