15 July 2007

The Sock Lady Takes a Train Ride

This morning, I walked myself over to 30th Street Station, to take one of the commuter trains north to visit my friend Lisa, and hang out with her for a while. It's about a half an hour train ride, which admittedly is not anywhere near how long some people spend on their daily commute, but I knew that I would want to have something to do, for at least part of the ride. The Sockapalooza socks-in-progress project was my choice. Since I am working on the foot/toe of sock #1, it's knitting that doesn't require counting, or other types of close attention, plus it's a portable project. I figured if I got pretty close to the end of, or even finished that sock, I could start working on the foot/toe of sock #2 later this week.

I got myself settled in a three-person seat by the window, all to myself. (Not many people heading that way at 10:30 a.m. on a Sunday ...) I got out my train ticket, then got out my knitting to get started. The train stops in downtown Philadelphia are really close together, so there was a lot of stopping and starting at first, but then we were headed for a bit of a stretch until the train stopped again.

The conductor came by, to punch my ticket, and saw me knitting my sock. He said, "Good Lord, ma'am, what is that?" I responded that it was a sock, and he looked skeptical. But there were other tickets to sell/punch/check, so he proceeded down the aisle. About 5 minutes later, he suddenly sat down next to me, and asked if he could see my knitting close up. Now, I will admit that before I became a knitter, if I had seen someone using what looked like several porcupine quills to do something, I'd be curious too. But you can't tell me that this guy doesn't see dozens of, er, interesting things every single day. Anyway, he asked me to show him how the needles worked, so I knitted a round, and then he wanted to know how I got the yarn to stripe. Since it was self-striping yarn, I just said, "Magic." Well, you would have thought I was playing to a packed house in the Catskills, he thought that was so funny! Then he said, "Sock lady, you're a real pip," and got up to get ready for the next stop. After a few more stations, it was my stop, and when I got off the train, he said, "Sock lady, you have a good day, God bless you."

I had a blast with Lisa, and my trip home was totally uneventful, as most of the other passengers, and the conductor, seemed to be snoozing most of the time.

But I kept thinking about the conductor on the earlier train, and how genuinely interested he was in talking about my sock knitting. And it occurred to me that he probably doesn't have many interactions with passengers during the week, like he did while we were talking socks. I hope that it gave him something pleasant to think about for the rest of his shift.

And I have to admit, I didn't mind being called "Sock Lady" at all; and if God was giving out blessings, even better. Far be it from me to question someone else's good wishes for me.


gfh said...

Sock Lady - that is one fantasic story:)! Love it.

As for teaching my cats to knit - I'd love to have an extra paw to help me out sometimes (fiddly dpn's), but I think they think it's more fun to make me work:).

Carol said...

U R my sock lady and I M UR carol.

I am high on fatty carbohydrates from my trip to coal country. Here is what they served at the shower: chicken tenders, sliced roast beast, sliced ham, shells in red sauce, sausages w/ peppers, pierogis, stuffed grape leaves, pasta salad, green bean thingy, scalloped potatoes, lettuce salad, fruit salad (in watermelon carved to look like cradle), rolls, pita. Also an entire dessert table w/ 2 sheet cakes.

I am just catching up w/ your last posts. I am SO rockin'. Rockin' and bloggin'.

And I will remain,
Your Carol

Kelly said...

Some knitted socks sound lovely

Carrie K said...

It's so much fun when someone else truly appreciates the Sock and its Knitting. Seriously, that sounds like a great encounter. There are times when I feel like a time traveler, showing off my knitting.

Carol said...

What a cool story! I'm really behind again. I have internet connection issues in the evenings and it's really getting on my nerves now that it's cut into my blog reading. Have a great day Sock Lady :)

Coffespaz said...

"Sock Lady"...too cute!! When I was taking the train on my regular commute to work, we had some really nice conductors. It was wonderful to see a happy, smiling face! I bet you made his day. :-)