It is easy to admire the great knitters of the past. They made all the warm clothing for their families, kept creative fires burning, invented all the great decorative stitches, and passed on the love from parent to child.
But some knitters just take the cake. I was reading Social Life in Old New England and this story just lept off the page:
“Sammy Samples and Elizabeth Allen of Manchester, Massachusetts, were aided in their wooing by a dream, which came to him in Scotland and to her in her New England home. She . . . was in “meeting” when her lover first clapped his eye upon her . . . . she made no difficulties. Later, when left a widow, Elizabeth married Colonel Crafts of Revolutionary fame and kept a thriving inn.
"Even then hers was an adventurous and colorful life. Once, when sailing on a packet to Boston for her supplies, and improving her time by knitting, the sail of her craft veered suddenly and she was plunged into the sea. Tradition says she still kept on knitting and took seven stitches under water before being rescued.”
(Mary Caroline Crawford; Boston, Little Brown, and Company, 1914. Library of Congress http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001261680)
Elizabeth Craft, no question: you win the Intrepid Knitter Award for all time!
Ms. Craft's story is an object lesson in focus, centeredness in adversity, and the fully female trait of having to get things done regardless of cost to self. A word to the wise, Elizabeth: It is ok to call for help.
Willingly will I “improve” my time with knitting; but don’t count on me to do it underwater.