Skip Navigation

Click for Lion Brand Yarn Home Page
Our Yarns
The LB Collection
Martha Stewart Crafts
Lion's Pride Woolspun
Vanna's Collection
Our Yarns
Yarn by Weight
  • free patterns
  • special sales
  • new items
  • 15% off coupon
    US orders only
    view past newsletters   Click to view newsletters and subscription choice
Lion Brand
     Yarn Studio
     Retail Store, New York, NY
Lion Brand
     Yarn Shop
     Retail Store, Colonie, NY
Lion Brand Outlet
     Retail Store, Carlstadt, NJ
Find a Store
post code:
more options   Click for more store-locator options
Home : Community : Newsletters & Stories

Newsletters & Stories

Favorite Articles
Stories from the Prayer Shawl Ministry
Charity Stories

Click here to share your story.
Nursing, Knitting Needles and Grumpy Old Men
By: Mandy Attonito

He was just a crabby old man who was not at all happy about being in the hospital (though I don't know many who would be). So Mr.Grumpy McGrumpsalot spent the morning grumbling about his breakfast, the lack of good things on TV, the doctors being late to see him . . . anything he could find to be crabby about.

Then about lunch time, his daughter came in to sit with him and what did she bring? Her knitting.

So of course when I came in to give my patient his insulin, I pulled up a chair beside his daughter and we started chatting yarn. She was knitting on U.S. size 17 needles, which I hate, so we discussed the finer points of small needles versus the jumbos. We talked yarn content, acrylic versus natural fibers, favorite books, etc.

I mentioned something about being self-taught since no one in my family knew how, and a little smile spread across the daughter's face.

"I had a great knitting teacher, " she said . . . and looked over at her dad sitting in the bed.

"My dad taught me."

Turns out Mr. Grump learned to knit from his mother during the Depression.  He was a small child, but his mother taught all 7 of her children to knit -- girls and boys -- so that they could save money by 'recycling' yarn from old sweaters and knitting them into new ones. And as I have learned from our older generation, the Depression seems to still live in many of them, so he continued to knit through his tours of duty in Korea and into adulthood -- never letting an old sweater or a worn out pair of socks be wasted, but instead turning them into a new creation.

From that point on, Mr. Grumpsalot was not so grumpy. We talked yarn for the rest of my shift (he's not a fan of "all those newfangled yarns they have out nowadays -- what's wrong with good ol' wool?"), and he told me stories about knitting onboard ships during his Navy tour in Korea.

Tonight, I'm going to make some copies of my old WWII patterns and bring him some needles and yarn tomorrow -- he'll be with me a few more days at least, and I'm sure he'd rather pass the time with some yarn that "those stupid smut shows on the dang television".

Gotta love 'em.

Authored by Mandy Attonito

Mandy is a nurse 'in her day job' and writes the Lion Blog '
Just Let Me Finish this Row' where this article first appeared
separator separator
Bookmark This!  separator
Sign up for our Newsletter  
separator Share This!  separator About Us separator Contact Us separator
  Font Size:   
Click to view page with standard font Click to view page with larger font Click to view page with largest font