Following is an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel-in-progress. Maggie Reynolds, one of the three cousins in The Widows’ Club Book Four (I know, fancy title) is a knitter, like moi. I’m having her take credit for my knitting so I can take credit for the word count in this post.
Maggie draped the knitted shawl over the dressmaker form. She wanted to take a few pictures of the shawl for her photo album. She was trying to keep a log of her knitting, a portfolio of sorts although she had no intention of marketing her skill. It just seemed like a smart thing to do since she was the proprietor of a knitting shop. Edna Ridgeway, who had left the shop to Maggie in her will, had spent 30 years growing her business from a tight corner in the local hardware store to its current location in the middle of main street, its storefront nestled between a coffeehouse and a bookstore. Somehow, Maggie thought, she needed to always be able to prove that she was worthy of Yarns2Dye4.
Of course, she also needed to take pictures because she never knew if she would keep anything she had made. In years past, she often gave away her knitting, usually without thinking too much about it, and then regretted not having a way to remember what it was she had cast off. Some of what she knitted went to her cousins or friends in town, but she also donated quite a bit. She loved making baby blankets and little sweaters and dresses, and of course she didn’t keep any of those since she didn’t have any children of her own.
So she bought herself an inexpensive Canon Powershot and proceeded to document (as she called it) her work. It was also a nice way to show how a different yarn might work with a particular pattern. In this case, the pattern—Damson by Ysolda—called for one skein of Malabrigo Sock yarn and US size 6 needles. Maggie loved one-skein projects since she often found herself buying the odd remaining skein of a discontinued color lot. And she loved this pattern in particular, with its sloping sides that made it easy to keep on her shoulders and to tie in front.
But she didn’t have any Malabrigo Sock yarn handy when she decided to knit up the shawl. Well, she didn’t have an odd skein from the store stock. Instead, she picked a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. It was slightly thicker than the Malabrigo, requiring US size 7 needles, and also of spun of a few different fibers: lamb’s wool, silk, nylon, and kid mohair. The Malabrigo was 100% merino.
She was quite satisfied with the end result, so much so that she knew she wouldn’t keep it for herself. Not too long ago, on her birthday, a dear friend had made a knitting bag for her. It was light blue denim, lined with pink flannel, and a green-and-pink flower appliquéd onto the front.
Maggie loved that bag and since she had toted her shawl project around in it, she thought the shawl would make a good gift in return. One generous, creative act begets another, and so it goes.
After snapping a few pictures, Maggie put away the camera. She removed the shawl from the headless dressmaker form and pulled it over her shoulders. She wanted to wear it just once before letting it go.
Marie A Bailey
Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.