The little red sweater…point of view

[DAY NINE, Writing 101 prompt.]

The day was warm and sunny, although the occasional breeze made the elderly woman glad that she had worn a light sweater over her faded bluejeans and tee shirt.  She wore a straw sun hat, with a big sunflower design on it.   She often sat in the park on nice days, watching squirrels, or kids, or people strolling along or walking fast with their heads down.    Today the woman had her bright geometric print knitting bag, and was working away at a patch of knitting that appeared to be about a foot square.

The woman noticed the couple walking slowly along on an adjacent path, and peered at them from under the brim of her hat.  She had not seen them before, the tall pleasant looking man with the aluminum walking cane, and the pretty, fairly small  woman wearing office-clothes and a small purse tucked up under her arm.  They appeared to be in the mid-30s, and both looked serious…not to say somber, not really sad either.  (She was also a writer, and kept her long habit of observing potential “characters” as she went about her daily activities.)

The man’s eyes filled with tears, which he quickly wiped away with his upper arm…holding the cane.  wow, where did that come from?  Something about that old lady with the bright red yarn…reminds me of a sweater Grandma knitted for me that year she stayed with us.  I was fascinated with the way her hands and the knitting needles worked together, and the way the big ball of yarn just seemed to work up into the smooth knitted fabric… like magic.   Grandma was the person I loved most in the world… I was just six at the time, and I was her only grandchild.  She used to say how much I meant to her, and how lucky she was to be blessed with a grandson.   Hmmm, funny how that struck me when I saw that woman.

The man brushed something from the corner of his eye, and laughed at himself.

The young woman also noticed the Knitting Lady, and the bright red needlework in her hand.  A sweater for a new grandchild…wonder why she chose red?  Oh that’s an odd thought, why not red?  The new baby would get several sweaters…yellow, maybe pink or blue.  It must be lovely to be a grandmother…once a woman is a mother that is the natural thing.  I know that I will never have a baby, let alone a grand-baby.    My chance at motherhood has come and gone…left on a battlefield in Iraq.  But I hate it when I think like that…my husband and my only love has returned to me.  I guess that little red sweater stirred my motherly instincts…

The young woman smiled to herself, and she and her husband continued on their way.

The Knitting lady finished another row of the swatch of red fabric attached to her knitting needles, and inspected the work, counting stitches forming the beginning  of the leg holes across the fabric.  Satisfied, she gathered her things, wound  the excess of the red yarn onto the ball, and inserted the ends of the needles into it to secure them for the trip home.

She needed to finish that little sweater before her sister arrived for the weekend.

Well this is the last time I am going to waste perfectly good yarn, and my time, on that little mutt.  “If you eat THIS sweater, Miss Prissy, you can just freeze!”

8 Comments

    1. I just wanted to lighten it up. The man was hurt in the war and couldn’t have kids, and she was getting older and was disappointed because she was not going to have a baby. The red sweater and the nice old Grandma reminded them both of their situation.

      1. reading your story and mine made me think that we could write more about these characters. maybe develop a whole book around them 🙂 what do you think?

    1. She was really the most vivid character. The younger couple idea worked together, and I was trying to set up a contrast between the melancholy of their not being able to have a baby of their own…and the twist of the old woman’s actual knitting project. 🙂

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