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knitting

I used to knit. For a very short time only. I will write about my two knitting projects.

Believe it or not, when I was in high school, there were still actually switchboards in companies answered by real, live people. One of those people was my friend, Caroline. She was out of high school and worked at the Lansing Oldsmobile plant. She took calls all day and “patched them through” to where they needed to be. (without the aid of a computer).

She also did a lot of knitting (probably off company time) and she offered to teach me how to knit. I didn’t get interested enough to take her up on it until my later years in college. But I still lived in my parent’s home and she was right across the street, so we ventured into the teach and learn process together.

I had a simple request. I wanted to make a neck scarf for Tom, my fiance, so that he could keep his neck warm against the cold Michigan winds and snow as he crossed campus to classes and returned back to his college dorm.

I picked an olive green yarn, Caroline probably chose the needles and off I went. It was a simple repetitive pattern, I think something like— knit two rows, pearl two rows.  I began this project late in the fall and intended it to be a Christmas present.

Come Christmas time, I was wrapping up perhaps the shortest neck scarf on record. There was a little problem of time.  I attended classes, worked twenty or more hours per week, including Saturdays, I coached girls’ high school basketball and in between all those things, I knitted….a little.

Tom was such a champ about it. The scarf, with wear and a little stretching over time, just made it to close in front where he tucked it into his winter coat. He wore that scarf a very long time, maybe even a few times after we were married and moved to Kentucky, during one of their rare cold, windy winter days.

Size was a problem with my second project too. Only the opposite. I chose to make a white cable raglan sleeve sweater for my brother serving in the Coast Guard off the coast of Alaska. Caroline coached me all along the way. But somehow, this sweater turned out gargantiously large.

Dave was  5 foot 9inch medium male frame build. This sweater that was only supposed to be Large turned out somehow in the 3X-4X size and the long sleeves may have fit King Kong.  Caroline “blocked it”, shrunk it several times and it still was more than Large. But I mailed it off to Dave.

I haven’t knit since. I sew, I photograph, I write, I paint….I do lots of things I would do less of IF I were using the time to knit. But I have never lost my fascination for it and admire greatly the knit crafts I see from friends.

If I did knit, I would be interested in making knit caps for newborns and bringing them to the hospital maternity wards. Or I would love to be in a group of women who knit Prayer Shawls and distribute them.

But as I said, my knitting story is a very short story indeed, and I don’t see any sequels on the horizon.

yarn balls

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My hands get cold when I become frightened or nervous. My feet get cold in the winter. And they stay cold, it seems.

I am at home a good part of the day and so I have the luxury of not having to wear shoes often. I like that. Maybe it is my  twelve years lived in Lexington Kentucky that sways my yearning toward bare-footedness.

Then also, it could be the sweet childhood memories I can conjure up of times my brothers and I romped and rolled around in the long, green grass on the front yard of my grandfather’s Wisconsin farm.

It could be the aging process adds something toward the yearning of soft, “free” feet not hemmed in by ill-fitting leather or canvass that scrunches the sole and pinches the toe. (I think it also hampers the soul within).

I try to buy correct-fitting shoes. But I have come to suspect that shoe stores have a secret marketing technology that they do not share with the unsuspecting public. I think they have a “magic floor” that I dutifully walk up and down, discerning that at last, “Yes this is the pair that fits perfectly, doesn’t hurt in any place, and looks good on my foot.” This is the pair for me.

Somehow, that same pair of shoes begins hurting on my feet within the exact week I brought my favored purchase home. That is why I have more shoes in my closet than I really want to have. I do not have a fetish to buy massive amounts of shoes. It does not excite me beyond reason to find my way to the mall for yet another pair of shoes.

I’d be satisfied with one casual pair to wear with knits and jeans, one dress pair that looks good with skirt or dress slacks, tennis shoes and gym/and walking shoes. That’s not asking much. But I have a few more than that because…..well, most just begin to hurt after awhile and I hold onto the fantasy that the next pair will be perfectly pleasing.

So in the meantime, I go shoeless a lot. In the winter, that means my feet are often cold. Until recently.

My good friend, Agnes, brought me two pair of personally knitted wool socks. If I could wear them outdoors, I would. Those socks are perfect partners to my feet. They hug them and follow every contour of my foot and toes. They are warm and I am mesmerized by the knitted patterns into both pairs.

They are an easy meditation in themselves and often in my resting position  in my favorite chair with feet up, I enter easily into that quiet, sacred place within, feeling the comfort and warmth in my feet streaming all the way up to my heart.

They don’t fit like a glove. They fit like a pair of socks made with love.

That, to me, is a perfect fit!

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Amen. Praying Feet.

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