Gordian Knit

Gemma sat knitting in her corner. “Miserable cow,” thought Albert. “She never says hello to anyone, just scowls. Maybe that should be a new type of stitch. The knit from above, the purl from below, and the scowl from the side. Why was she always so grumpy? Others at Open Hearts seniors daycare centre just accepted that they were old and lonely and tried to be cheerful. She must be a good knitter though. Guru Baba’s disciples had asked her to make a dozen hats for them with holy symbols. A pile of them sat beside her, and this looked like the last. I’ll try being nice to her today, thought Albert, even though it’s never worked before.

He said, “Hello Gemma, how are the hats coming along?”

She didn’t look up and said, “I’m still working on them. Can’t you see?”

“Which symbol are you making now? It looks like a black spot.”

Despite his skills as a carpenter, roper, and archer, Albert had never understood the mechanics of knitting. Yes you made a row of loops and then pulled another row of loops through them. But what about shapes and patterns? And how do you make stripes? What about this black circle? How do you make something round in a square piece of fabric?

Gemma responded to his interest. Her speed of knitting doubled and then doubled again. She’s faster than Jesse James drawing, he thought. Before he knew it, she’d finished the final hat, and also completed a pair of red socks and small grey jumper. “Wow!” said Albert. “Lady, you are one mean scowler.”

“What do you mean by that?” she said crossly.

“Oh sorry, I meant that you are one mean knitter and purler. You, know a real fast stitcher.” He was digging himself into a hole here. He’d better stop.

“Shall I show you how?” she said. Nobody expected Gemma to say or do nice things. Albert was ambushed, and the only thing to do was accept.

He proved to be a natural knitter. It seemed that decades of of steer roping and quick draws had lasting effects. His hands responded intuitively to any kind of action. By the end of the morning he had produced a pair of brown trousers and possibly the world’s first knitted cowboy hat. It was a little floppy but sat on his head well.

Irene guided James over to Gemma’s corner. James was unresponsive since his third stroke but he sometimes had bursts of action. He’d performed well in art class recently, making an abstract painting in shitty browns. Maybe he’d take to knitting also. A double-breasted blue jacket and matching overcoat soon graced his shoulders. He was the most sartorially eloquent stroke survivor in Lucerne.

Zoe had finished her shift in the kitchen, and Smuel was on break till it was time to drive people home. They came to try their hand. Both were hard workers and within an hour they had produced a fancy knitted rug filled with Persian lozenge designs, and a pair of curtains. Then they looked at each other, unsure where to place these items. James saw that their thoughts were of a home together, but with Zoe already having a partner, this wasn’t likely, at least yet.

The manager Mr Amin returned from meetings at The Authority. “Thank God that’s over,” he said. “A day of talking and paper-pushing. Lots of time wasted with nothing achieved. It looks like you have all been busy though.”

Gemma was enjoying being the centre of attention for once. She said, “Come on, Mr Amin, you must have a go too. What do you mean, you can’t do it? It’s really easy. Don’t you practice meditation? Just keep your attention focussed. You’ll do it.” Within one hour Mr Amin had produced a lace tablecloth. The next day he made a royal blue cloak filled with the forms of suns, moons and stars. It was a knitted galaxy. “I saw this design once in a French palace,” he said. “It looks quite good.” He decided to send the cloak to the Queen of Canadia.

The next day Gemma brought special yarns. There were scented wools and edible wools, and some with sparkles; water proof, fire proof, and transparent ones too.

“Those look wild,” said Albert. “What shall we do with them?”

Gemma said, “Word got out about Guru Baba’s hats. Now Dr.Bungawalla is interested in using yarns for detox, and my spiritual guide Ozwald Malchizedek (OM) wants to try them for soul cleansing.”

“How will he do that?”

He won’t,” said Gemma. “We will. We will twist seven wools in holy colours and swallow their ends. After cleansing our digestive systems and collecting as balls within us, they will untangle and emerge from our behinds.”

“Are you crazy?” said Albert.

“Not at all. We will knit them all together and create a new fabric for our lives.”

“What kind of fabric?” he said.

“One with an extra dimension.” She jabbed a needle at Albert’s hand, and he jumped back instinctively. “The scowl.”

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One Response to “Gordian Knit”

  1. Gets better and better.

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