Ariadne’s Thread by Stella Pierides

I have wanted to learn to knit for a long time. My mother knitted, her mother crocheted and they both embroidered. For the first half century of my life, I bluntly refused to touch a needle. Then, out of nowhere, I felt the urge. I googled immediately.

I learnt that once a week, knitters, stitchers, and crocheters from all over London meet and knit together. Stitch by stitch, loop by loop, they aim to take over the world and turn it into a warm, benign, woolly place, where humans knit together, refreshed by cups of tea, glasses of wine, cream cakes, and scones.

Rich and poor ladies, ordinary women, Oxbridge blue-stockings, illiterates, persons of various religious persuasions, and origins gather under one roof to knit and teach the learners. For free! Is that for real? I asked. Come and see, they replied.

Armed with wool and needles, I went. The Festival Hall, bathed in sparkling lights lit up the river; it overflowed with good-natured crowds. The knitters sat clutching their instruments, fingering the wool. Wine flowed, fairy cup-cakes, scones flew into mouths to the tune of clicking needles. I felt lost to alpaca, mohair, merino, cashmere.

I am a beginner, I said. Welcome, they replied. Feeling a huge grin mark my face, I picked up my needles. At last, I had found my way home. Afterwards, it dawned on me: had Penelope really wanted Odysseus back, wouldn’t she have given him a thread to find his way home?

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10 Comments

Filed under Stella Pierides

10 responses to “Ariadne’s Thread by Stella Pierides

  1. Nicely drawn connections here, Stella. I really like the tone of the story and the way it brings her to her conclusions.

  2. I want to live in this warm, woolly world. Wonderful voice, and could you please tell me how to cast off? Peace…

  3. I loved this, not just the style and poetry, but the fact that it was about knitting (which I just started learning) and mentions Odysseus (I’m a sucker for Greek mythology). Just beautiful and homey.

  4. guy

    Debout, les tricoteurs de la terre
    Debout, les crocheteuses du monde

    etc. etc….

    C’est le chandail final
    Groupons-nous et demain
    Les tricoteurs sera la genre humain!

  5. Deborah A. Upton

    Good feel, good thoughts.

  6. Nicolette Wong

    surprising story for its homeliness…(i like to knit too, though i rarely do it)

  7. A lovely tome, like the tone and setting details. Well done.

  8. Pingback: Week #35 – Loose connections | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  9. Kim Hutchinson

    Love the ending, the way a big idea hits when you’re doing something so everyday. Nice work.

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