The News From Gee’s Bend
September 15, 2003
Here’s the current status of Bricklayer (my knitted tribute to one of Loretta Pettway’s quilts from the Whitney Museum’s Quilts of Gee’s Bend exhibit last spring). At last count, 7 rounds of those courthouse steps had been knitted. Only 3 or 4 more to go, but it’s a long way around at this point.
Sunday night, faced with a 2 hour ride in the way-back rumble seat of the family vehicle, I decided to try some Extreme Knitting. I grabbed Bricklayer — endless garter stitch, around and around– and knitted away on it in the pitch darkness. All was cool until it was time to cast off the strip. What to do? Put it back in the bag and squander a perfectly good hour of knitting time? No way!! I fished out of my purse my trusty emergency mini-Mag-lite, held it in my mouth, and cast off, say, 150 stitches. Then, I had to hold the light in my mouth as I picked up another approximately 150 stitches on the other side. Can you spell ‘certifiable’?? It was the sort of feat only a triathlete of our craft could even attempt. Really, though, it’s time to research the miner’s hat for these late-night car rides–I used to think wearing a light on my head would be too weird, but after holding one in my teeth I’m thinking, it’s a fine line and it seems I’ve crossed it. Definitely crossed it.
A word about the Mag-lite. Naturally, I came up with the great idea of carrying a flashlight in my purse only after the blackout, when I was thinking about what I would have done if I had been in the subway or an elevator with the tykes when the lights went out. My practical pal Lis has had a mini-Mag-lite on her key chain since 9/11, and it helped her walk down many flights of stairs in the dark during the blackout. It’s a cool thing. A talisman against scary situations, and the new essential for the knitting bag.
Summer is over. Hurricane Isabel is en route. The languid beach knitting days of 2003 are over.