Theodora loved to knit. Most evenings, after the evening meal and the dishes were done, she would sit in an armchair with the television turned on, and knit. She knitted to relax. She knitted mainly for other people; pullovers, and scarves, and hats, and mittens, and socks. She was a good knitter. You couldn’t tell the difference between her knitted item and a bought one. And she liked to knit stylish things that looked to be the latest in fashion.
“Who knitted this?” asked the Managing Director of Homeknits Ltd (the largest home-knitting company in the world, although most was done by machine). He had stopped a passer-by in the street who was wearing a beautiful pullover which had been a gift from Theodora.
Before you could say “Bob’s your uncle” Theodora was hired to hand knit items for Homeknits Ltd (the largest home-knitting company in the world, although most was done by machine). She worked for eight hours a day. It had one advantage: she could work from home.
After two years Theodora quit her job. She never knitted a thing again in her life. Nothing can destroy a hobby more than a job.
I’m not sure if the huge international following of this blog uses the term “Peggy Squares”. In New Zealand the term goes back to the early 1930s when a six-year-old girl called Peggy started knitting squares (6” by 6”) and getting her mother to darn them together to make blankets for the poor during the Great Depression. It caught on. Every girl and boy in the country began using mother’s unused wool to knit Peggy Squares.
I grew up knitting Peggy Squares. Most boys of my generation did. Boys knitting was commonplace until it was associated with girls only. Sexists.
I THINK that Peggy Squares are different from Granny Squares which I believe came later and are crocheted. Is this right?
Anyway – Peggy and Peggy Squares true or not… every country claims the origin of most things except viruses.
It was 1932. Tommy was seven. He had knitted three Peggy Squares and was taking them to school to go on the pile intended for blanket making. An old spinster aunt called into Tommy’s house. “What are you doing knitting? It’s woman’s stuff,” said the aunt.
Tommy never knitted again. Funny how one little comment can force the whole world into a box.
Bethany and Lawrence stayed at home to avoid catching (or spreading) the rampant virus. They had enough to survive on. Would one of them suddenly take ill? Had they already picked up the virus and as yet it hadn’t showed? Were they in fact virus-free? Was a virus-filled droplet sitting on the store-bought egg carton awaiting a victim?
The fear was in the waiting. Waiting. Waiting for something that may or may not happen.
And then Lawrence felt a slight tickle in the throat. Was this the virus? Would it get worse?
Bethany began to knit her fourth scarf in a week. She couldn’t concentrate for long enough to knit anything more complicated.
Meredith Scantlebury wasn’t simply horribly nasty; she was horrible AND nasty. Whenever there was a Pot Luck luncheon for those in the Stitch and Bitch Knitters’ Guild for example, Meredith would furtively go from dish to dish and drop in something yucky. That way she ensured that everyone else had a horrible-tasting dish, and her contributing dish was simply terrific.
Once she tipped half a bottle of Tabasco Sauce into Angelica Merklebach’s sliced almond fruit cake. Another time she stirred half a cup of kitchen detergent into Frederica Swingenhammer’s creamed corn. The deviancy went on and on.
After several pot luck dinners had come and gone people began to realize that Meredith’s dishes were the only dishes that were edible. Perhaps she had something to do with the inedibility of everyone else’s contributions?
Angelica and Frederica took things into their own hands. When Meredith loudly, ostentatiously, and triumphantly removed the lid from the silver platter holding her delectable sweetbreads, they were crawling with maggots. Maggots!
All of the knitters of the Stitch and Bitch Knitters’ Guild gathered around and roared with laughter. Meredith stormed out and was never heard of again. Her left-behind silver platter was donated to the local theatre. It was filled with kitty litter and the theatre cat used it as the need arose.
Over the years Granny Suzanne had skein after half-used skein of left-over wool. In her younger days she had been a prolific knitter. These days, with rheumatism and fading eyesight, her knitting output wasn’t quite so productive.
Winter was setting in. She knew that her three grandchildren living with their mother “just down the road” would be feeling the cold. She couldn’t afford to pay for their heating, but she could knit, albeit with effort. She would knit warm clothes for her grandchildren and their mother.
Scarves, gloves, socks, and woollen hats were the order of the day! A bit of red, a flash of blue, a stitch or two of green… The job was done, and most of her leftover wool was used.
The grandchildren didn’t tell granny but they hated the items. “It looks like we’re street urchins,” they said to their mother. They threw the woollen items away and went to thank their grandmother. But when they visited their grandmother she was sitting in her armchair, dead.
Joseph had spent seven years pondering little other than the Fermi paradox. It was his job as a scientist. Every morning he would go to work and for eight hours would ponder the Fermi paradox. Then he would come home and prepare dinner and still think of nothing other than the Fermi paradox.
The Fermi paradox deals with the contradiction between the lack of evidence for extraterrestrial life and the high probability of the existence of alien intelligent life. If the universe is so big, then it’s sensible to say there is intelligent life way in advance of ourselves. But where are they?
Joseph pondered this question day after day, year after year. Like most things there could be a simple solution. And then Joseph became overwhelmingly obsessed by it. He went to see a psychiatrist.
“Do something else in the evenings,” said the psychiatrist. “Take up a hobby. Get your mind to think on other things.”
So Joseph took up knitting in the evenings. It was while following a knitting pattern that Joseph saw the answer. It had been staring him in the face all along.
Aunt Lola was a drunk. She’d start drinking at about nine o’clock each day and would be drunk as a skunk by lunchtime. She used to knit, and half the time she didn’t know if she was knitting purl or plain, but it didn’t matter because she had no clue whether she was making a pullover or a pair of socks.
And selfish! She’d ask if anyone wanted a chocolate, and she’d produce a big box of chocolates, and when all the kids said “Yes!” she’d take a chocolate and unwrap it slowly and pop it in her mouth and say “Ha ha ha”. Everyone else got nothing as she slowly sucked on her chocolate.
And dirty too. I don’t know if she ever showered. She stunk. Apparently when she died they had to use a pair of scissors to cut her underwear off. It was stuck to her skin. Yuck!
She was one of the nastiest people I have ever met. A total conniving vixen, if you ask me.
Finally, I’d like to thank her kids for asking me to speak at her funeral today.
When old Mrs Bradshaw wasn’t knitting she was sewing. How she could sew a button back on a shirt in thirty seconds without hardly looking was anyone’s guess. How she could knit the most complex pattern while watching television was a marvel.
And generous to a fault. She would sew doll’s clothes for every doll in the street. There wasn’t a girl with a doll within a radius of a mile who hadn’t at some stage knocked on old Mrs Bradshaw’s door. And out came the clothes patterns: books and books of fashionable clothes designs. It was a girl to girl thing. Old Mrs Bradshaw would spend hours discussing and suggesting. You’d think the doll was about to walk down the carpet to the Oscars.
Year after year, old Mrs Bradshaw won the quilting section at the annual craft show. No one minded her monopoly on the first prize.
“Yes of course, dear. You buy the wool and I’ll knit you a pullover. What sort of pattern would you like? You get the fabric and I’ll make you a quilt. Yes, yes. Bring your trousers here and I’ll take them up.”
And all for nothing. She never charged.
To think that now she’s dead. Dear old Mrs Bradshaw. Always so generous. Even her pre-planned death notice stated: In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Salvation Army’s charitable fund. Her funeral was packed.