Knitting came into my life
with the first baby sweater my grandmother crafted.
The creamy white sweater
boasts three small buttons
and a spray of spring flowers — candy pink, lemon yellow, sky blue.
The flowers rest on perfectly knit rows
like iced decorations on a petit four.
When I turned ten,
my grandmother presented me
with two long wooden sticks and a rosy red ball of yarn.
It was time I learned to knit.
My first efforts were weak.
Holes dotted my early scarves,
where I let stray stitches wander away.
My grandmother chatted amiably as we knit —
about new plants in her garden,
purchasing corn for the ducks of the nearby pond,
plans for a family mystery trip on the weekend.
Occasionally, she would reach over
to examine my stitches.
She was generous with praise,
but quick to school me on corrections.
“You only get better with practice.”
I did not knit through my middle and high school years.
When a college roommate wanted to learn,
I picked up wooden needles
and my hands fell into
familiar rhythms – knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one.
This evening, I will sit on the couch —
soft, silky cashmerino wool in shades of smoky gray
dancing across my needles
as I knit the lace pattern of a muffler
to guard against an early spring chill.
I can almost hear my grandmother’s voice
regaling me with stories of the ordinary,
woven with two sticks and a ball of yarn.