all that jazz


When I began the Kid’s Camp at the corporate employer the goal was to get kids to knit stuffed animals (remember those horrible little arugurumi creatures!?). Every bout of kids turns up total failure: not a single child has finished a project. I’d blame myself, but I refuse to take credit for this failure: expecting 6-year-olds to learn the cast-on, knit and bind-off, plus the single crochet in two 2 hour sessions (with a week’s span between the two sessions, no less!) is RI-DIC-ULOUS! But progress was made: my first session resulted in one child crying, another jamming her needles up her nose and another somehow ending up with a skein of yarn in an IMpossible lump of knots. I’m really ashamed of this, I assure you. The second group of students ended with one girl completing a solid half of an octopus, all mastered the knitted cast-on and 2 of the (five? I think?) managed to successfully knit a few rows. This last class seems pretty hopeless, but we’ll see how I salvage it tonight.

You see, children under ten, I find, cannot focus for two hours straight: their small bladders give way, their attention-spans work against them and their motor-skills, especially under the age of eight, are antagonizing. Over ten? Few problems. I firmly believe that if the camp ran, say, two weeks, with an hour everyday, I could get some results. My theory is, though, that when at the end of two hours arrives, the kids are frustrated, confused and feeling pretty crummy about their lack of results. The last thing they want to do is go home and practice immediately: which is what they need to do, to commit it to muscle memory. By the time week 2 with another 2 hour block arrives, we mostly review what we already learned. Inevitably there is one mother who insists her child should master all the skills required for a sweater, and inevitably some student thinks she deserves all my attention (it’s never the child correlating with the demanding mother, either).

I’ve learned from this:

  • don’t push kids to do what they don’t want to do when they really are trying–let them be comfortable with what they CAN do.
  • DO push kids when they have needles up their nose–that isn’t something a kid should be comfortable with.
  • Definitely let the kids take bathroom breaks, but have a designated time in which EVERYone makes the trip to the bathroom. Also, make sure none of the children find an empty cart and go for “rides.”
  • Make sure the parents understand: everyone learns at different rates, and maybe they’ll have an octopus or cuddly fish for their room–but they very well may not.
Advertisements

I apologize for my apparent hiatus from (most of) the cyber world. My reason is not so exciting as KnitLuck’s. Really, the picture at the bottom of the blog says it all–congrats to you, Angela!!

I’ve been doing a lot of spinning–some with my handmade/gift spindle and some with my new (and shiny!) spindle made by the woman behind Butterfly Girl Designs. . . this is my pretty new spindle, which is much prettier, shinier and awesome in the flesh. Er. Stone.

Another reason for my disappearance? Well. That silly little etsy shop seems to have attracted the attentions of an editor at Lark Books. It might be small, and it might prove to be a dead end–but I, along with some other indie designers, were invited to submit designs. Specifically, cowls, capelets and collars. This is a little taste of what I came up with:

Lark Books-1Lark Books-4

Unfortunately, I am short and stubby and my neck is no different. I’m wondering if these are worth submitting; even moreso, I wonder if its worth trying to rewrite the patterns, perfecting it, etc. before June 12th. You see–I only found out about this opportunity¬† a few weeks ago, with the given deadline of June 12th. I have one pattern written, notes (illegible notes!) written for the others… but I certainly have no time for a test-knit. Any pointers, opinions or otherwise (the good, the bad and the ugly, really!) would be great in regards to these little knit-endeavors.

Never mind that. I suppose I can find some use for my little diddly-doos. Meanwhile? I’ll keep on going as I tend to go: slowly, diligently and sometimes a bit haphazardly.

It seems to work for me.

Usually.

I declared this MaNoWriMo, too, didn’t I? May-Novel-Writing-Month, that is. Well. Now I can’t concentrate. Isn’t that the way it goes. Any kind of challenge seems to be counter-effective in my case, unfortunately.

That’s me, shouting across cyberspace, because I have been so very far away from the blogosphere, the echoes are bouncing off the walls in the dark little cave I’ve been hiding in. Oh, sure, I tweet here and there, but mostly? I putter about and knit, spin, read and write–all are endeavors that cause me to neglect you, dear reader.

Ah–Purly News:

  • A woman would like to sell our NeedleBooks in her Needlepoint shop in New York. She thinks they’d be handy to hold thread! How clever–hadn’t thought of that use…
  • I’m working on a cozy+mug=Mozey. This Mozey is manly and uses sock yarn for a great, versatile fit… that is not why it’s manly. It’s manly because of the earthy colorway.
  • I finished my sock! Now I need to start on its mate… oh boy!
  • Our shop has made some sales! That’s really exciting–have a look-see, I knit a bit, but the hot items are the cool knitting gear, etc. that my mother makes.

I think that is all. I don’t even have pictures!

Oh, I finished that yellow scarf. I hope to have pics up soon. It’s Gorgeous.

Books are great, when I have time to read….

Er. Literature-Lane. Not “lit” as in the slang “lit.” Umph. I’m reading as much as possible now that I’m grad-school-bound. I mean, it occurs to me that I’m really not that well-read. I was talking to a good friend on the phone the other night; a friend who, though not graduate-bound is intelligent and well-read. Most of our book-related conversations are peppered with his mentionings of must-reads and classics, famous (to the literate) names and so on–and my responses are always “who’s that?” or “what?” (only sometimes because of cell-phone malfunction). Perhaps I can turn a passable phrase, but I cannot attest to having absorbed the works that (should) impact my writing. I’ve read blurbs and blips, but said friend suggested that I read before the June residency–a good suggestion. I would really hate to be one of the youngest students in the program and exemplify my naivete in not knowing much at all about writing-stuffs.

You see, when I first applied to Goddard, the director of admissions recommended I be prepared, at least, for a rejection, given my young age and the inherent lack of experience that accompanies our twenties. Early twenties, at that. I fearlessly applied anyway, and the director of admissions called to personally welcome me. I relayed this to said friend and after a lengthy discussion of his name-dropping and my refrains “who’s that?” and “what book is that?” and he so kindly said, “you might want to read–people who go to grad school will know these things.”

That may sound harsh. But it’s totally true, and I know B says this only with my best interests at heart. I mean. I already told Stephen Dobyns that I didn’t know who he was, but I was glad I met him… Yes. I said that. To Dobyns. To his face. *God. I’m such a tool.* I blush to think I said that at nineteen and I would hate, at twenty-three, that I would make a different, but equally embarrassing, literary faux pas.

GOD. “Reading” does not even exist in my listed categories of tags. ‘Nuf said.

That would be “Ay-va” not “ee-va” and she’s my new head. Er. For hats and such. I really like making hats. This should be a useful thing.

img_6796

Also, I was accepted into the low-residency program at Goddard. That is very much exciting and I am thrilled… I am sure to have time to work on my writing now–because it is, you know, sort of mandatory.

If anyone has any suggestions toward the subject of spinning merino top, please let me know! I am quickly learning that a drop spindle could just as well be called a throw spindle when in my hands. Some fellow Ravelers were talking about this (well, they called it a “toss-spindle”–I’m not so kind to mine, maybe).

Spin, drop, spin, spin, drop, drop, drop.

They talk about finding a rhythm.

That would be my rhythm

(spin drop

drop spin…)

Syncopated for a little jazzy-snazzy variation on the theme.

I have come to the conclusion that learning to spin is not an endeavor for the faint of heart–in the sense that it takes much practice and much failure before one sees much improvement.

As for the writing: I am still doing that. I’ve given some thought to my fiction these past few days. Hours. Eh. Time is malleable. Oh, but the spin-subject plagues me. Right now, the subject could go so many different ways. If any of you dear readers have a particular burning curiosity that you would like me to follow up on, I’d appreciate any questions, comments, quips, quotes cares or concerns! (Ahem, Teabird, dear Ravelry friend… L, dear long-lost, hope-to-see-again-soon friend, my favorite commenters!!)

Next Page »