Major Surgery

I had a great day teaching at Knit One today. All my students were exceptional and I enjoyed everyone. But the end of the afternoon was special. (Unfortunately, I have no photos, don’t usually photograph my students) Elizabeth was a lovely woman who brought in a beautiful, simple mens crew neck sweater she had knit five years ago and was unhappy with. She also brought in her husband, Joe, the intended recipient. He was a wonderful fellow. Turns out the sweater never fit him, it was just too short. She had knit the sweater from the hem up and wanted to lengthen the body but didn’t want to tear out all her hard work. We tried it on Joe and determined the exact length he wanted. He left the shop and we scrubbed for surgery.

I have done this procedure in the past but it still takes your breathe away when you take scissors to knitting, especially someone else’s knitting. Yes, I cut the ribbing off the bottom of her sweater and then we pulled out all the little pieces of wool and gently found all the stitches and slowly placed them on a new needle. I did run a lifeline about 2″ up from the cut edge, which luckily was not really necessary, but made me feel more confident. It worked and she was thrilled.

This is knitting mojo at the Phd. level, and it looked great when we were finished.

But what was astounding were all the life connections we discovered while I cut her sweater apart. She worked with Fred Rogers for 30 years. Mr. Rogers is considered a saint in our town, where he grew up, graduating with my husband’s uncle. His presence is felt every day by the students in our schools and everyone in our community. We swim at the McFeeley-Rogers Pool. The high school includes an unparalleled art collection funded with significant donations from the McFeeley-Rogers Foundation. Many good works. His sister “Lady Elaine” still lives here.

Elizabeth grew up in the town in Massachusetts where I went to boarding school, just down the street to be exact. Her brother and sister went to the same small college as our youngest. Her sister owns a house on Martha’s Vineyard, arch rivals and next door neighbors of Nantucket, my home. We decided we were destined to meet one day as we seemed to have zero degrees of separation.

Elizabeth is a true lady, full of calm and grace. It was a treat to spend this afternoon with her.

Wish I had pictures of the surgery, you would have been impressed.

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