Somewhere, not so far from here, there is a land of Nearly Perfect People. In that land there lives a girl called Eve Day Knight. What made Eve Day Knight nearly perfect was that every time someone in the world said “Good Evening,” “Good-day” or “Goodnight” Eve just got more and more good. Eve had a grandmother who was absolutely perfect. That was because she had lived longer, had the same name or so very nearly the difference is so small no-one notices it. The grandmother decided it was time to teach Eve how to knit. She showed her how to cast on stitches. She showed her how to plain then purl. She showed her how to rescue stitches when they slipped away from the needle’s point. She showed her how to join the wool at the seams so that the knot need never show in the body of the work.
The grandmother told Eve to knit a sampler all by herself. Eve cast on 23 stitches and knitted purl then plain on one row and plain then purl on the next row. She discovered moss stitch. She ran to the grandmother and in an excited voice cried, “Look what I’ve found. If you do it this way, then that this is what you get.”
The grandmother stared sternly at Eve. It was a long time since any of her grandchildren were as quick to pick up knitting as this. Secretly the grandmother was very proud of Eve, but it doesn’t do to show it. Like moss, pride has a knack of rubbing off on people who don’t deserve it. Instead putting a sharp tone on her tongue, she said to Eve, “You didn’t find it for it was never lost. All you have done is uncover a family secret and I will thank you never to tell anyone.”
This was not the response that Eve was expecting to hear. She thought her grandmother would say what a clever girl she was. But the grandmother kept Eve’s cleverness to herself. This was going to be her new family secret.
As Eve had picked up moss stitch of her own accord, the grandmother decided the child was ready to go straight onto Fisherman’s Rib. This stitch is an even greater secret as it is shared by so many.
The grandmother could tell when Eve was ready to knit a complete garment all by herself. How could she tell? The tension of the thread between her fingers flowed taut but not tight, easily slipping over the needle instead of carrying a load of slack. Together they went to the shop for some wool.
This was no ordinary shop.
This was really a ship that looked like a shop.
The sign on the window said,
“This window was a porthole
until the Captain swallowed the anchor
and left his soul at sea. R.I.P.
On the doorstep was a sign that read,
From ship to shore
and shore to ship
be assured your wheels