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
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
Gotta love 'em.