For the Love of Pete (aka First FO)

Thanks to Julie at Knitted Bliss, I discovered Pinterest a few months back —and have since spent many hours on my new “online happy place.” The site is an endless source of inspiration for leisurely browsing and a quick way to reset the writing/editing mind (sort of a visual sorbet course).

Yet of the many delightful things I’ve stumbled upon there, this is my hands-down favorite. Those ’70s head scarves? Straight from the Learn to Knit book my grandmother bought me back in grade school. And the item I most wanted to knit. While I labored on my practice swatches of knit and purl, I pondered the flowers vs. stripes question.








But Grandma Doris had other ideas… And the yarn money. She showed up with two denim-y skeins of acrylic and insisted that I make the pair of slippers in the book. It would teach me increasing and decreasing. And, yes, I did argue that both were needed to make the head scarf, but in vain. Grandma D. was one tough cookie. So I knit the first slipper.

And looking back at it now these 35-odd years later (have I mentioned my pack rat tendencies?), my first reaction  borrows Grandma D’s favorite exclamation, “For the love of Pete! Her fixation on my finger-threaded tension really paid off.” I mean, seriously. Just look at those stitches. Amazingly even for a 10-year-old’s first project.

Given the clearly unworn slipper shown above, you can probably guess that I never knit the second one. In my mind, I’d proved I could make an FO, and I wanted yarn for that head scarf. To Grandma D., the job was half done — and not to be rewarded. And so the impasse began. (Did I mention that we’re both Tauruses? In fact, if I’d had the decency to wait another 3 hours, we would have shared a birthday.)

I didn’t pick up knitting needles again another 12 years. Yet since then, I’ve never really put them down. Thanks, Grandma!

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