One of his jobs was to sit on his ornate throne and listen to the pleas and complaints of the people. He hated it. He was so bored that he would throw large pebbles at people cheering whenever he made contact. Hitting a face got the most points. The least was when it bounced and hit a foot. No one knew when it was coming and he threw them at the smallest peasant to the most important aides.
One day his wizard and chief confidant took him to the side and showed him two short sticks.
"Those would be fun to throw," the pharaoh said.
"They are not for throwing," the wizard said. "They are magic sticks and they can make wondrous things and help you calm your mind."
"How do they work?"
So the wizard produced some string and showed the pharaoh how to knit with the two sticks.
The pharaoh was a good student and learned quickly. He was soon knitting everywhere he went but he discovered something. Whenever he tried to take his knitting off the sticks, the stitches would fly back on. Even more distressing, he could only put his knitting down when he went to sleep, or when he was holding a baby or hugging a friend. Otherwise, the knitting flew back into his hands. At first this dismayed him, and he thought about severely punishing the wizard, but because he really enjoyed knitting, he chose instead to continue to knit. He knit while watching the chariot races, he knit while he ate, he knit while he was at his meetings with his advisers, he knit in his bathtub, and most importantly, he knit while he sat on his ornate throne listening to the complaints and pleas.
Because he was knitting he felt calm and focused. He no longer wanted to throw pebbles at people. He listened carefully and began to make wise and caring decisions. He no longer had tantrums and when he met with his aides he wasn't interested in making huge empty buildings as tributes to himself. Instead he wanted to help the people produce wool and other animal fiber. He lent money to set up silk farms and cotton fields. The woodworkers became experts at refining the magic sticks. Soon the country prospered as the people learned to make this wonderful new fabric and the materials for it and because they were happier they became productive and were better able to provide the needs that a city has.
Meanwhile the pharaoh kept on knitting. He knit and knit and knit, and the scarf he was making grew and grew. The scarf inched its way through all of Egypt and went up north. At first the people didn't know what this thing was that was so lovely and just crept along. They studied it and soon figured out that they could cut it and join it back together and the people were happy with their new scarves. They also figured out how to make their own knitted clothes.
When the scarf made its way up to the north countries they studied it and decided that they could do this marvelous work too and use a bunch of different colors to make patterns and pictures. They also discovered that by making these items they were doubly warm.
In one country a young woman accidentally put a hole in her work and then decided to put more holes in her work and so liked the effect that she showed everyone and the people began to make beautiful lace shawls.
And when it crept back down to the western countries by the great ocean, they figured out how to make all kinds of twisting stitches that meandered over the fabric and made interesting designs.
One day when the pharaoh was old he went to his wizard. "You cursed the sticks, and forced me to knit," he accused his adviser.
"I did," the great wizard admitted. "But I took the curse off long ago. You have chosen to knit all these years."
The pharaoh put down his needles and they didn't fly back into his hands. "But why did you do it?" he asked.
"Look out the window," the wizard said.
The pharaoh looked and saw the beautiful gardens and the happy productive and prosperous people who waved at him with big smiles. "There are no poor, no beggars, for the ones who can't provide for themselves are provided for by those who can. You have done a great thing here. Far better than any statue or pyramid could do."
And so the pharaoh picked up his sticks and continued to rule with his knitting in hand. And the people loved him.
As a tribute to this pharaoh, this weeks 75% off yarn is Faroe, a chunky acrylic, cotton, wool blend that would make lovely hats or a scarf. We have four colors so come in early to grab it.
Regular Price: $6.00
Sale Price: $1.50
Remember, this special sale is only until Saturday, and once it's gone it's gone!
Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who with others is in de Nile about her knitting stash.)
Oh stop rolling your eyes and groaning. You knew that was coming.