In the midst of surely what will be known in American history as a lousy time, Bernie Sanders inadvertently made knitting cool.
When my youngest daughter was a toddler, one winter I cracked open a knitting book my mother had given me from her stash and taught myself to knit two-stranded mittens. In those days of diapers and playdough and winter isolation, I experimented with yarn weight, needle size, and colors. The prettiest mittens I knit had one cuff gnawed by mice when I left the pair overnight in our sugarhouse.
When we moved from one house to another and we jettisoned so many belongings, I considered that particular knitting book before I packed it in a box. At that point, I wasn’t sure I would ever knit another pair of mittens, but I packed the book, more out of sentimental affection than anything else.
This morning, I pulled the book from the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I was looking for a pattern after offering to knit my brother a pair of mittens. In the center of the book, I found pages of one daughter’s artwork. She had a set of Noah’s ark stamps as a little girl, and had carefully stamped and colored a scene.
This daughter went through a period when a hand-me-down paperback Noah’s ark book was her favorite bedtime tale — all those animals and Noah’s family cozied in a handmade boat, first having a party, then enduring through a tediously long journey, with the rewards of the olive branch, the dove, dry land, and the rainbow at the end.