Between Stitches

 Brown striped wool hat

Knit. Knit. Purl. Purl.

My eight year old is sitting in the dental chair. The hygienist is clucking gentle assurances in Polish. This does little in terms of actual assuring. We’re here for an entirely routine cleaning. Still, her eyes seek mine, where I’m seated at her feet. My fingers continue their way around the rim of the hat.

Knit. Knit. Purl. Purl.

But my eyes remain locked on hers. The whine of the polisher’s pitch heightens and her eyebrows, the most expressive I’ve ever seen, search for explanations. I smile. I hope she reads in it both sympathy and reassurance.

 Brown striped wool hat

An entire conversation passes like this—exclusively through our eyes. It is made ludicrous by the pair of red protective glasses that the hygienist has place on her. They would be more at home in a 1970s sci fi flick than in the shiny sterility of the dentist’s office.

The hygienist fills foam trays with gooey fluoride and places it in her mouth. At last her eyes relax. She knows this part. It’s unpleasant, but it also signals the end. The hygienist sets a timer and I add another row to my hat.

This always surprises me, her being unsure. I often say she was born 30 years old. When she was four she sat silently as a team of doctors sewed a row of deep tissue stitches across a jagged tear in her chin. It is almost startling to be confronted with that level of serenity.

The timer dings. She is released from the clutches of the dental chair. I tuck the hat into my project bag. We head to the door as she slips her hand in mine.

 Brown striped knitted wool hat

Particulars

Geography

I am not a fast knitter, but this was a quick project.  I whipped it up during the in between moments: waiting in doctor’s and dentist offices, sitting in the theater waiting for children’s concerts to begin.  It didn’t have a chance to go far afield.

 

Anatomy

This was another hat made from a few balls of yarn that a friend gave me to use up.  These two brown skeins were tiny, neither one large enough for an adult hat, so I used both to make this striped version.  I tried the free pattern, Oliver’s Cap, because I was intrigued by the intentionally conspicuous decreases.

 

Soundtrack

 
 Brown striped knitted wool hat