Title: Drop Stitch
Author: A.j.
Rating: General audiences
Notes: All Little Red's fault.

Summary: Liz. And knitting. Um.

She'd always loved her mother's hands. It's an odd sort of love. They aren't pretty. Elsie Weir's fingers aren't long or tapered. They aren't graceful. Her fingers are short and knobby, and her nails bend and tear easily.

They are not pretty hands, but they are useful hands. Used hands.

In June of her fifteenth year, Elizabeth came home from a long day at neighborhood pool and laid down for a nap. She woke up an hour later with a rather severe cold. Three days later she'd officially slept herself out, body still hurting but awake.

Her mother had come into her room then. Feet bare and pearls off for the day, Elsie had smiled at her sick baby girl and handed over that first set of knitting needles and a skein of loose blue wool.

"Like this, Elizabeth."

Her mother's fingers had been graceful then. Looping yarn over metal quickly and efficiently. The first row started and perfect. Elizabeth had watched those hands and thought they could do anything. Make anything better.

Elizabeth wanted hands like that.

Her first scarf had been eight feet long and lopsided at the blue end. She'd finished it the week her cold - a stubborn, stubborn bug - had finally disappeared. It had been August when the last row had gone in. By then, the yarn had been yellow and her own hands had been sure with the needles. Not perfect or even efficient, but sure.

Twenty years later, she looks down at her hands, listening to the needles click and watching the yarn loop, keeping careful count of her stitches. The cotton is an off-white because they don't haven't quite figured dye out yet. This Atlantis' first full crop of cotton, and nearly everyone in the city had been damn surprised when she'd offered to spin it. Yarn is something she understands.

It reminds her of her mother. And while her own fingers are long and graceful on a computer or pen and her fingernails are strong and beautifully formed, she sees Elsie in them.

And it makes her smile.