An old fisherman, who worked his boat alone, would spend some time knitting when the fish were not biting or when he just wanted a break. He'd turn off the motor, anchor the boat, and work on an intricately patterned gansey sweater. It was a lonely but contented life.
One day he spied the most gorgeous creature sunning herself upon the largest rock of a small outcropping. He put down his knitting and starting waving. She didn't notice him, so he shouted, "Hey! What's your name?" Of course the unexpected sound startled the mermaid so she dove into the water and swam away.
The fisherman was compelled to keep bringing his boat back to this spot, of course. He often would see his mermaid (that's how he had come to think of her--as "his"), but if he brought his boat too close, off she would go into the water. So he started anchoring his boat at a distance. He would sit and knit and watch her from afar.
Day after day, as his knitting project grew in his hands, the mermaid started watching the fisherman as much as he watched her. The movement of his hands and the rhythm of the needles intrigued her.
One afternoon, she cautiously swam close to his boat to get a better look. As excited as a schoolboy, the fisherman proudly held up his sweater for her to see. When she smiled, he got a great idea. He would teach her to knit! She would have to stay out of the water to do it. She'd sit on her rock, and he would bring his boat closer to instruct her!
The mermaid took to knitting, if you'll excuse the cliché, like a fish to water. She and the fisherman became great friends.
This bags was one of her early designs.