Elvis the lion puppet has entered the building
Sunday February 18th 2007, 2:22 pm
Filed under: Knit

Last week, I was waiting for an elevator up to my doctor’s appointment, and an elderly man in a motorized wheelchair and his bored-looking attendant came around the corner to wait for the doors to open with me. He looked just like an age-progressioned version of the dad in the neighborhood, growing up, whose storm door I had careened through as a little kid (see Kathleen’s afghan story on my main website), and I instantly liked the guy for that. So. His chair looked a lot like the one I use occasionally, and I told him that as I unzipped my purse and pulled out whichever random fingerpuppet came to hand. I explained that I keep one over the joystick on my scooter and find that it makes me instantly friends with all the little kids around me (very true), especially bored ones in waiting rooms. He needed one for his joystick, too!

The attendant still looked bored. The man was absolutely delighted, so she put it over his joystick. He asked if I’d made it, and I admitted that no, I do knit, but these I buy by the dozens from Peru–but they are handknit. He declared, Well, then, I have to pay you! I laughed, as we were boarding the elevator together, telling him, Hey: it cost me eighty cents. Enjoy!

I’d had a twinge while unzipping that purse, not knowing what kind of condition the old man’s mind might be in, given that his body had clearly seen better days. But his mind, heart, and sense of humor were utterly delightful; I’m so glad I didn’t hesitate.

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Could you link us to the site to order the puppets?

Comment by Anne in Wy 02.18.07 @ 5:12 pm

I bought my first ones from Pam Bell at Stitches West several years ago, including a penguin that instantly perched spontaneously on my joystick. After that, I googled “knit finger puppet” and bought some that way, and when that importer closed, I ordered batches of dozens at a time from someone in Peru directly, via Ebay, who represented a woman’s cooperative down there. Last time I looked, they didn’t have any up just then, but hopefully that was only temporary. I’ve been holding off because I expect to see Pam this week at Stitches again.

Comment by AlisonH 02.18.07 @ 6:36 pm

I thought of you one day a couple months, when the salvation army bell ringer didn’t have a hat. I had wished I had an unused knitted hat to hand her. I am thinking I should keep one in the car.

Comment by Teresa 02.18.07 @ 6:39 pm

That’s quite a compliment–thank you. I had one time I bought a beautiful fair isle sweater at a garage sale on impulse–absolutely gorgeous, but my kids were in elementary school and this was a man’s medium; it was going to take a fair amount of growing. Then one day, on impulse, I got it out and put it in the car, and a few minutes later there was a Salvation Army bellringer at Target. He said hi, I looked at him shivering, and asked him, How are you?

Well, actually, I’m cold, the guy admitted rather sheepishly. That sweater instantly sprang into mind. Oh! I ran to get it, offered it, and it fit him as if it had been knitted just for him. Perfect. And it wasn’t just an ordinary sweater, like I say, it was gorgeous.

The next time I went to Target, there he was again, only this time he was wearing that sweater. There was this instant moment of absolute peace on earth that passed between us as we saw and greeted each other.

I am so glad I bought a sweater that didn’t fit anybody yet for no reason other than, it was too gorgeous a design and colors not to.

Comment by AlisonH 02.18.07 @ 6:49 pm

Alison, I suspect that your life is just one coincidence after another and that you leave a trail of cheered people in your wake.

Comment by Marlene 02.18.07 @ 8:04 pm

Wonderful! I’m so glad you spoke up. Better the rebuff than a friend missed.

Comment by NeedleTart 02.19.07 @ 9:15 am

Alison, I have to tell you that the tiger among the amaryllis makes me burst out into giggles every time I look.
I must take a picture of the bunny puppet that mysteriously appeared here a couple of days ago…which now lives my my DD’s shirt pocket! 🙂

Comment by Karin 02.20.07 @ 7:09 am

Lions and tigers and bunny puppets, oh my! (It took a whole day for me to notice I’d written tiger when it was clearly a lion and to go correct that. I’m partial to tigers, as many here know. Lions tend not to cross my radar screen at all, by comparison. Maybe I should duplicate-stitch some stripes on Elvis there, hmm?)

Comment by AlisonH 02.20.07 @ 12:35 pm

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