You always knew where she was going to sit. Her pew seemed to have her name permanently engraved on it. And we blessed the person who sat in front of her. I do not remember her name but I can still “see” her face 50 years later.
I’ll call her “the knit picker” because that’s what she was. No matter who was talking to her knew she would always reach over to correct or readjust (to her liking) something about the wearer’s dress, collar, hair, jewelry, etc. I don’t know if she ever really listened to a conversation. Bless her heart, I think her mind was in a frenzy thinking about what she could do.
One fine, well-respected deacon had finally had enough! It seems the knit picker would frequently lean forward during the sermon and begin removing minuscule pieces of lint off of his suit.
So one beautiful sunny Sunday morning, the deacon arrived and sat in front of knit picker. I’m sure she was beside herself during the hymns because she couldn’t reach him. And there it was in front of her… a tiny piece of string on his shoulder. We always stood as we sang five hymns and all their stanzas! The time must have seemed like an eternity to knit picker! But alas, the deacon was needed to help collect the offering. Another delay! The soloist began to sing but our well mannered deacon would not walk down the aisle during her song. More delay!
Finally, the pastor stood to preach, the deacon sat down, and knit picker leaned forward
to firmly grasp the thread between her fingers. She pulled…but the more she pulled, the more thread began to appear. I wonder if she thought she was pulling the seam apart? But that didn’t matter; she continued to pull. By now, no one on the rows around was listening to the pastor’s sermon introduction. We were mesmerized by the lengthening piece of string.
Knit picker could have never known, nor even suspected what had happened in the deacon’s home before church. He had asked his wife to take a spool of thread and tuck it in his pocket. Then they threaded a needle to the end of the thread and carefully brought it out of the shoulder seam. Only an inch of thread could be seen! But a whole spool of thread awaited knit picker.
I will never understand how the dear deacon remained so still with eyes forward, “listening” to the pastor. The rest of us were shaking in silent laughter. Knit picker eventually gave up, dropped the almost 10 inches of thread which dangled in front of her for the remainder of the service.
It was probably the most successful and shortest “knit picker intervention” in recorded history! Knit picker learned a lesson that Sunday morning, but so did this young girl!