I had a lovely encounter on the bus today which got me thinking about the pleasure of knitting and gift giving.
I got on the bus, found a seat and immediately turned my attention to my phone. A few minutes into the journey, the woman next to me apologised for elbowing me with her knitting needles, I was shocked to realise that I was so engrossed in answering emails that I hadn’t even noticed her knitting.
We fell to chatting about knitting and our mutual love of wool. It turned out that Mary had been knitting for 90 years! She had started when she was three and was still an avid knitter. She even taught knitting at the local primary school. She told me that she loved seeing the children’s faces when they realised that they could knit, and she told me about the joy on one young girl’s face when she was told she could not only keep her crocheted chain, but was allowed to take the wool and hook home to carry on practising. She said that knitting had kept her young and had allowed her to make friends with children of all ages.
We chatted for ten minutes, and as she got up to leave, she turned to me and dipped into her voluminous knitting bag, drawing out a small package wrapped in tissue ‘here’ she said ‘I want you to have these. They’re really easy to make. I make hundreds of them and I love giving presents to fellow knitting lovers’. And with that she nipped off the bus and was lost in the crowd before I could thank her properly. I delicately opened the tissue paper to find a pair of beautifully knitted slipper socks. Each stitch perfect and even, complete with a perfectly crocheted cord to keep them on.
So Mary if you are out there and happen to read this, Thank you. Your gift made me very happy, but the real gift was your story which lifted my day. It made me appreciate how good knitting is for us and how much pleasure we get from sharing our passion....but also how much time we waste on our technology, when we should be lifting our heads and connecting to the people around us. Just think what I would have missed out on if I had carried on dealing with emails!