I found this story someone posted on a yarn-crafters forum to which I belong. I put tears in my eyes for sure. Kind of a happier Gift of the Magi story.
Normally I say no to any and all requests from neighbors. I just don’t know many of them that well, and I don’t want to knit for them. However, the family that lives in the apartment below mine are really really good people. She is a single mother and her son is the best behaved child I have ever met … ever. He confesses to any wrong doing, he does odd jobs for some of the elderly and disabled tennents for free, he does all the clean up and feeding of their dog (without being told … ever). Did I mention he’s 13? He’s a great kid and she works two jobs to make sure they have what they need.
Anyway, back to the story. He came to me today and shows me a clipping from a magazine. It’s just an advertising picture, for laundry soap I think, and the woman in the picture has on a really pretty scarf as an accessory. He tells me that his mom would like that and he wants to make it for her, could I teach him how. I examine the picture and it’s a lacy kind of pattern, this is the closeet that I could find. I told him that I would be happy to teach him to knit, and help him find a pattern for a scarf his mom would like. He’s happy he wants to make it for her for Christmas, he’s got a little time. I dig up some needles and some “learning” yarn (red heart) and we go over the basics. He’ll be back tomorrow so I can check his progress.
Then his mom catches me taking out the trash. She’s holding a very worn hat. It’s her son’s favorite, wears it all winter, I’ve seen this so I kow it’s true. There’s a huge hole and she wants to know if I could mend it. Looking at it, there is just no way to mend this it’s just way to worn. It needs a proper burial. Turns out his granny made it for him a few years ago and it’s finally just worn out. Then she asks if I could teach her to knit so she can make him a new one for Christmas.
To me this is just funny and I couldn’t say no. So I told her she’d have to get a set of needles and some yarn since I’ve got none to spare. She darts off to Wal-Mart and comes back. I go over the basics with her and send her off to practice. In the meantime I’ve printed off the scarf pattern and this one for the hat (since it most looks like the one he’s worn out).
I’m wondering how their learn to knit for each other journey will end up. I have a feeling I will be asked to make the items for them, which I might do if they really try but can’t knit well enough to make the things they really want. They are trying after all. The son has made four simple garter stitch washcloths already, it’s been about four hours since I showed him the stitch. It looks good, nice and even, I think I may show him how to purl tomorrow. Mom on the other hand …. needs an extra pair of hands I think.