will not slip upon
Eve gazed around the store in wonder. There was wool by the ball in the barrow-load. Hanks of wool were heaped in their hundreds. There were colours and variegations of colours such as you have never seen. Eve had no idea of how much these wonderful wool’s might cost for she had never heard of anyone asking the price of anything. Within the world of Nearly Perfect people it was taken as given as what you pay is what you get. So the price of things was not fixed by what people had, but rather by what they had not. The grandmother went to the bargain counter and selected some wool. Eve tried to hide her disappointment. Her grandmother had chosen skeins of grey wool. It looked drab and very ordinary. How could she turn such a common looking colour into something really splendid?
As this bargain basement wool had been skeined instead of wound into balls the grandmother sat Eve down, held her hands wide enough apart to hold the wool while she wound it into a ball cupped within her hand.
As she watched the wool unwind from the skein, Eve noticed that among the grey were flecks of black and little flecks of white.
Not for the first time Eve wondered if she had spoken her thoughts out loud. It sometimes seemed that her grandmother could hear what she was thinking for this is what she sang as she wound the wool.
You haven’t yet met the fellow
to warrant you knitting yellow.
You’ll never know where’s he’s been
the one for whom you knit in green.
It may be that when you’re dead
You’ll wish that you had knitted red.
Eve listened to her grandmother and watched the strand as it unraveled from her hand into growing balls of wool.
The grandmother was getting on in years and her arms began to ache with all that moving. Just about as much as Eve’s arms ached in being still. So they swapped over and Eve did the winding while the grandmother held the skeins.
And all this while there were still people saying “Good Evening,” “Good-day” or “Goodnight.” Sometimes a person could say all three in one day many times over. So Eve Day Knight got to be an even better sort of good.
“Well,” Eve thought to herself, “if I can’t have bright, exciting colours and I haven’t graduated to feather stitching, then I must make a garment fit for a King.” She started to cast on the stitches and while her fingers were busy her mind started keeping up. The idea came to her that she might be slow at knitting and that a King would get fat before she finished. So she cast on some extra stitches, just in case. How was she to know she could knit like lightning? The grandmother played the piano and watched Eve at her knitting. When the grandmother was sure that Eve was keeping in time with the metronome on top of the grand sounding piano she closed the lid and went to bed. She was the kind of grandmother most children would like to have. She let Eve stay up as late as she wanted.