Posted by: Deanna | January 12, 2008

Knit One, Purl Two

I learned to knit from Mrs. Matthews when I was very young. She was my neighbor’s mother. The Parkins lived next door long after I moved from my childhood home in California. I was a regular visitor next door as Mrs. Parkins was a sweet lady who recognized a lonely little girl. I would help her in her yard, dusting her house, or just followed her around jabbering away about whatever was important to me in my little world.

Her mother was often at the house. Mrs. Matthews, most times, would have her knitting with her, the sound of the needles clicking away as she worked on her project always drew my interest. Sometimes I would sit near her, hands stretched out, with a hank of yarn draped over my fingers, while she wound and wound until it was a colorful ball of yarn she could work from. I don’t recall when the subject came up, but one day she sat me down and showed me how to knit. She made the most beautiful afghans for family and friends and, one day, I hoped to be able to recreate that beauty.

I never quite mastered the art of knitting. I can knit and purl and sometimes it forms into…something resembling what I started out trying to create. Not too often, though. But every now and then the urge to click those needles will overcome me and I’ll forage through my various boxes of craft things, dig out a pattern I think I may be able to manage, pick out a ball of yarn waiting to be transformed into something beautiful, sit down and try to recall how to cast on.

It usually ended up back in a little ball after tearing out the pitiful attempt. I’m much better with crocheting.

During my visit to California in November I met a little girl named Emy. I had been crocheting scarves and she was drawn to the bright colors of the yarn in the bag near my feet. Striking up a conversation with her, I asked what color blanket would she like if someone were to make one for her. Without hesitation she replied,

“One with all the colors of the rainbow!”

I told her that I would work on that for her, letting her know that it would probably be after the New Year when the holiday hustle and bustle was over.

Over the weeks that followed I thought often about what kind of blanket to make this sweet little girl. I knew she would probably like anything I made for her but I wanted to try and do as she requested. Give her a rainbow!

Maybe Mrs. Matthews was smiling down at me, because as I picked out the yarn for my project I was drawn to the side of the aisle that held the knitting needles. I perused the choices and then picked up what I thought would be a good size, perfect for knitting up a rainbow.

Without a pattern, and really no idea how I was going to go about it, I sat down and cast on a bunch of stitches and started knitting. It wasn’t too long before the yarn I had chosen began flowing from the needles in, what I hope to be, a perfect rainbow for a little girl.

Here’s what I have so far.


Of course, Boris just thinks it’s wonderful and doesn’t quite understand why he can’t sleep on it. But he agreed to pose with it.


  1. Oh what a wonderful story. I just love your way with words. I was there at the time. But reading it from your view brought me to tears! Emilyn is going to LOVE this. I hope you don’t mind if I forward to Nikki this post. I will ask that she not show Em so the blanket is a complete surprise for her. I only wish that you & I both could be there when she receives this wonderful gift.

    Love you!

  2. I can so relate to your story as I sit here reading, thinking about the bundles of unused fabric for quilting not too far away from me. You could have not give me a better story! Tears welled in my eyes! You are truely a special person. Emilyn is going to love it! And thanks to Boris for sending his love too. With much appreciation- Nikki

  3. That is a beautiful blanket and she is going to love it! My mother taught me to knit when I was ten and I make afghans for people I love also. I just finished a baby blanket for a lady I know who is due in May and now I’m working on one for my “other” son who is giving me my first grandbaby in July.

    I find knitting is about the only thing that soothes me when I am agitated and need to keep my hands busy. I tried crocheting and just couldn’t get it right. My brain kept trying to translate the pattern into knitting. ~ Monica

  4. What a great story! I’m a knitter, and I recently just taught myself to crochet. (thus why I immediately clicked on your being crafty category!)I’m the opposite of you though, I really took to knitting and had a much harder time with crochet. Just reading the patterns had me confused and frustrated for weeks! LOL I’m working on a ripple afghan now, I figure if I’m not a master crocheter by the time I’m done with that, there’s no hope for me. 🙂

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