A knitting tale…..


“Hey, Coyleen, look! I can knit!!!” Ella exclaimed to her older sister.  “Ella, you have only learned to knit, you can’t actually knit a garment yet. Don’t get so excited. There’s still purling left to learn and then you really will be able to knit something other than a silly scarf.”

Ella looked at her sister with a scowl and a thought to herself, ” Why does she have to be so damn nasty? Why can’t she just be happy for me that I’ve accomplished this tiny thing?” But instead, she simply looked at her older sister and said, “Okay, why don’t you teach me to purl then? Obviously you know how to do it and I need to learn so, teach me.”

Coyleen looked at Ella with her big eyes, trying to decide if she wanted to do that right now or not.  Eventually she decided to go ahead and show her how to do it. “Okay, Ella, I’ll show you. Get your needles out and we’ll get you purling. So purling is the opposite of the knit stitch. Where with the knit stitch you are going in from the left to the right, front to back; with purling you go from the right to the left and the yarn is in the back. This will create a very smooth fabric on one side and a bumpy fabric on the other side. It’s called stockinette.”

Ella watched and listened to her sister, trying to pick it up quickly knowing that nothing irritated Coyleen more than having to repeat herself. Ella inserted her needle into the next stitch just like Coyleen and pulled her yarn through the loop. She went to the next stitch and saw Coyleen’s lips twitch just slightly into a small smile, Ella must be doing it right.

“You know, Alex is the one that taught me how to knit. He taught me the purl stitch first cause he said that it was much easier than the purl stitch. What do you think?”  Coyleen didn’t talk much about Alex, so when she did, Ella hung on every word, trying to glean some kind of information on the man.

“No, Coyleen, I didn’t know that. And yes, I agree, the purl stitch is much easier than that knit sticth, but now that I’ve got the knit stitch down, it doesn’t seem that hard. How did Alex learn to knit? And do you guys knit together?” Ella asked this last question with a small smile, imagining the two of them sitting at home knitting on the couch while watching Dr. Who. This was not how she envisioned her perfect sister spending her downtime. She had always thought that Coyleen spent her time being like Martha Steward, everything in it’s place and a place for everything  “hmmm, I wonder why Leen is giving me this glimpse into her life that I’ve never had before. It’s nice, to actually behave like sisters that are close….”

Ella and Coyleen had only a few years difference between them in age, but that few years was enough to cause a fairly large gap between them. They were not very close growing up. Coyleen was always so perfect and everyone loved her. She was well behaved and pretty and always said exactly the right thing. She was acceptable in good society. Ella was almost the exact opposite. She was awkward and blurted out whatever came into her head, which usually was not the right thing to say! Yes, Ella was pretty, but not in the same flawless way that Coyleen was. Coyleen had the flawless classic beauty that people would say was comparable to Katherine  Hepburn or Susan Hayward. Perfect, porcelain skin; large, doe-like eyes that saw everything; and a beautiful mouth with just the right amount of plump in the bottom lip. She was classic beauty. Ella was also very pretty, but in a much more girl next door kind of way, like Meg Ryan.

Coyleen was watching Ella very closely while she was purling and knitting and could tell that her little sister was lost in thought. “What are you thinking about right now while you are doing this? Your stitches are so even. Mine are never this even.”  She said with the slightest of frowns.

Ella was surprised by the tone in Coyleen’s voice and answered with a very vague, ” I don’t know, stuff… How you’re so much prettier than I am. And you seem so freaking perfect all the time.”

This made Coyleen giggle rather loudly and so much that she even snorted a little bit, which got Ella going into a fit of giggles herself.


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