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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

September 2, 2014

All mixed up! The months, that is. A week ago, end of August, it was 47 degrees out on BackPorch and I, shivering in my summer robe, was thinking it was time to haul out the winter woolies! Here it is September and the thermometer read 72 in the pre-dawn hours with humidity so thick I could’ve spread it on my toast. Hmm—maybe not. Well, thick enough that I didn’t care to linger.
Hey! It’s New England, known for its changeable weather, right? Guess adaptation, aka deal-with-it, is the key to contentment. Hope I can say the same in the middle of January.
Speaking of January, little Bitsy is learning how to knit—scarves and mufflers in particular. Papa Fivel whittled down some tiny knitting needles from some sturdy oak twigs—she’d tried to learn on Mama’s bigger ones, but kept hitting herself in the nose. Well, you see, the best way to learn is from your mistakes, and she made many of them. First it was the issue of dropped stitches, leaving holes big enough to peek through—cute, but not so good at keeping out January winds.
“Rip out your work, back before the hole…” Mama said, “then pick up your stitches and start over.”
Bitsy scowled. “…but Mama! I spent a long time getting this far… can’t I just stitch up the hole?”
Mama smiled sympathetically. “No dear. You must take pride in your work; do it right and you’ll enjoy the results. Cover your mistakes and you’ll always think about them being there.”
Well, that was last week. Now the scarf has taken on a rather misshapen appearance—narrow at the top and getting wider-by-the-row. Not only that, it’s long enough to trip over!
“Ah, dear Bitsy… you certainly have learned how to make the stitches, but now you need to recognize what they look like after you’ve knit them, and where to pick them up on the next row.”
“Huh?” Bitsy heard the inevitable before Mama uttered it. “Don’t tell me I have to rip it out again….!!”
Mama smiled again. “Here… let me have it. I’ll bring it back to where you started increasing and then help you see where you should pick up the next row.” She began unraveling rows and rows of Bitsy’s pretty rose scarf. Bitsy covered her eyes. “I can’t watch… all that hard work… ohhhhh Ma-a-a!”
“I know, dear. But this is how we learn. You’ll see the same to be true for so many things in life. We have to tear out our mistakes over and over, but then we know better when we try again.”
Last night, Bitsy tried the scarf on and they decided it was long enough, maybe a bit too long. “I don’t know how to end it, Mama… how do I stop?”
“Yes, there’s certainly merit in knowing when to end something…” Mama showed her how to bind off the stitches, and there it was… a hard-earned, well-worked pretty rose scarf. “Thank you, Mama. Do you think I could make a hat now to go with it?”
“Of course you can. You can do anything, as long as you are willing to learn.”
Smart lady, that Fivelina.

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