Itís Friday morning at the Knit-Wit! Weíre getting together to crochet tablecloth squares. Judy finds us a pineapple pattern, so hooks in hand, we settle down to work.
Tillie breezes in with her saucy little Pomeranian who goes everywhere with her. She dotes on Peepers with his fluffy white fur and red bow, holding him like a baby. He has an eager face and lively eyes. Privately, I realize this dog is much smaller than an average cat!
Handling the dog and her crochet hook is just too much for Tillie, a talkative lady in her early sixties. Her blond, dyed hair looks almost reddish. She drops the little fella to focus on her needlework. She knows how to crochet, but not how to read patterns. Judy patiently reads each segment aloud, with long pauses in between for Tillie to make the stitch. "What am I supposed to be doing now?" Tillie wonders. Then Judy reads slowly the exact instructions for how to do another corner shell stitch.
A customer comes into the store needing more yarn. Her husband waits awkwardly by the door. "Where do you hide the cards?" he jokes.
Peepers has hidden under the chair again. He turns round and round until he creates a messy nest of yarn: an unraveled skein of Betsyís cashmerino, mixed with ecru thread and other snippets that decorate his little body like a scarf. He barks to go out for potty time, so Tillie sets her work aside. She carries him outside while we all try to untangle the snarl of various yarns encircling the old chair.
We can hear him yipping from all the way outside.
The UPS man in his brown shorts arrives with large boxes which we know contain luscious new yarns. "Knit faster!" he commands us.
Tillie returns with Peepers and they settle down. "Isnít the liddle baby cute?" she asks, holding the dog up like an offering. After three times Iím obliged to agree. We toil at our small squares that are forming slowly. "Now chain 3," Judy instructs. Peepers gets away and we donít see him for awhile.
We finally miss him and there he is under the chair again. Sara, who drives a school bus, has left her purse near the chair. "What happened? Thereís a hole in my purse!" she cries. Peepers has chewed through Saraís purse, leaving a gaping hole. After a few minutes, Sara leaves for the day abruptly, with subdued scowls on her face.
The rest of us feel our ears ring as Peepers lets out a nonstop chorus of shrill "Yip yapís" for the longest time. Iím astonished at how deafening the bark of such a little dog can be.
Tillie comforts Peepers in every way she can. At the entrance to the store looms the owner of an insurance business down the hall. The gray-suited woman has her hands on her hips and spits a little as she raises her voice, saying, "Your dog is disturbing our telephone conference. We can hear him all the way down the mall. We canít hear our voices, or the phone. Please get your dog to stop barking!" she shouts.
"Itís a customerís dog," Judy says calmly.