by Maria Ruiz
Maria often shares stories with us about Santa Barbara history, her travel all over the world, her dogs, and life.
Knit, purl, knit, purl. I can do that, I thought to myself. My youngest son needed a sweater and I wanted to expand my skills, so I leafed through the knitting patterns in the book. There was a Norwegian pattern with white snowflakes and reindeer at the top. I had never knitted a pattern with two colors, but I was going to try.
I am not an expert, but I had lots of time so why not start a project of learning? The bottom of the sweater was blue and the white stars and reindeer were only across the tops. Slowly I worked my way through the back, the two fronts and one sleeve. Now on the last sleeve, I got about three inches up and ran out of blue. This would be where I learned to check dye lots and how impossible it is to match a color. But I had worked too hard to just give up. I bought a skein of the closest blue and went home.
I finished the sleeve and the odd blue was very visible. My five-year-old didn’t see the flaw and wore the sweater to school that year. By the next year, he had outgrown it; I placed it in the bag for the Salvation Army and thought no more about my project.
Several years later I had to go to a meeting in a new neighborhood where I was in the process of getting lost. I passed by an elementary school and noticed little children leaving the school yard. Most found their mothers quickly and hastened away, leaving one little boy standing by the gate. He was wearing a blue sweater with a pattern at the top. My eyes went instantly to the left sleeve. There it was—the odd color at the top.
I don’t know how many children have worn that sweater, but I felt so good, knowing that it passed through others’ lives, like a part of me contributing to them.