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Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Christmas I got a gift that I would never have dreamed about getting or giving.

It all started when……

Sometime in the late fall when the Lorna’s Laces sock yarn arrived I started having a daily chat with the Black Purl. It would kindly but firmly tell me that it needed to be in my stash. I would pick it up and hold it lovingly and dream of a flawless pair of socks. On one occasion, the two perfect skeins ended up sitting in my knitting bag all day only to return to the shelf with the other sock yarn that night. You see they were too beautiful to just be abandoned stash yarn, and I was too busy to make them into the monumental socks they were destined to be. So they would continue to chant their mantra and I would leave them on the shelf night after night hoping the next day the ideal buyer would walk in to the store.

One Saturday, Carl (Greensboro’s sock knitter extraordinaire) was in the store and observed the now all too familiar ritual. This time there was an alternate ending. As I returned the sock yarn to the shelf, Carl asked if I was going to buy the yarn. I replied that although I really loved the skeins, I had neither the time or the $$’s to knit the socks. Before I could end the ritual with the usual sigh of resignation, Carl had scooped up the two skeins and they disappeared into his project bag. I clearly remember the feelings of remorse for letting them get away conflicting with the elation that they would become wonderful socks from the best sock knitter I know. I comforted myself for the next few days knowing that they would one day become spectacular socks, better socks than they would have if they had gone home with me, and even though I would miss them, it really was for the best.

Days passed and I thought of the skeins less and less as the time before the holidays got increasingly busy. Then one night (precisely, December 19 at 5:27 pm), Carl handed me a brown REI bag with tissue paper stuffed in the top. A Christmas present!! I pulled out the tissue paper to find the most beautiful pair of socks that I have ever seen. The Black Purl Lorna’s knitted from our Cheryl’s sock pattern. A double sentiment! I knew just how the misty-eyed Dobby felt!

I have never considered knitting an item for a fellow knitter. I have given yarn, gadgets, or gift certificates, but it never occurred to me to knit for other knitters. I mean, isn’t part of the fun of knitting the process of how the stripe pattern changes as you turn the heel of the a sock, the feel of the yarn as it moves along your needle, the time that it takes form each stitch, giving this random pile of fiber an identity? I can now tell you that there is another articulation of knitting. The part where you notice the feel of the drape of the fabric, how the stripe pattern changes on the heel that someone else turned, and that they took the TIME just for me, how they considered fit and if I would like the gift. I finally get it ….the reason for prayer shawls, legacy knitting, and why we knit. There is great love in the pieces that we knit, but the ones we get are magickal! So get out your needles and do not fear knitting for your fiber friends because I PROMISE it will be the most valuable and cherished knitting that you will ever do.

Tina of Spinners Ridge and the Greensboro Store


Mandy said...

What a great gift, and story, too! I have given handknit socks to my mom and sister, both knitters, and I feel so good because I know they'll appreciate them and take care of them properly. You never know what a non-knitter will do with lovingly knitted handknit socks!!

HANNAH said...

I TOO lusted after the Black Purl. What a fantastic outcome! Thanks for sharing such a great story! Purls ARE better than diamonds!

HANNAH said...

Oh yeah, WAY TO GO CARL! I had some sneaking suspicions that you were some kind of sock SuperHero!

Anonymous said...

Oh Tina- what a beautiful sock story...
Someone gave me a handknit scarf for my B'day one year. I was so touched. Knitting for Knitters- what a great idea!

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