life


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.

I do have pictures of the spinning.

Ah, ah! Wait, first, I have to torture you with news in the way of Kid’s Camp at Corporate Employer, where I will be promoting (and then teaching!) children from the ages of five to fourteen the fine art of knitting.

Yes.

Five.

to.

Fourteen.

We’ll be knitting little critters, knit entirely in garter stitch (the good) and using simple techniques such as k2tog’s (the bad). I say that a bit sarcastically because I’m guessing a fourteen year old would get it–but, then, they’d probably also be bored to death with these lame little creatures.

Five-year-olds? Casting-on, knitting, knitting two together and binding off? Then crocheting little tentacle-legs for the octopuse and crochet circles for the poor Angelfish’s eyes? RIggggghhhhht.

even my critters look a little bit on the dorky side:

Oscar the Octopus & Andy the Angelfish hanging out.

Oscar the Octopus & Andy the Angelfish hanging out.

I’m curious about comments–lame? unreasonable expectations of the little ones? a total misfire of “cool factor” for tweeners? and teens?

I’ll be knitting into the wee hours, trying to improve poor Oscar and Andy, and attempting to have my example shape-swatches ready for tomorrow’s demo.

Awhile back I started this blog-resolution (sort of) to write/research about spinning in America–hand-spindling, to be exact, but wheels would be fine, too. Now I’m officially saving up for a wheel and I’m uber-excited about that. Though it appears I’ve abandoned the idea, I haven’t; yes, I tend to flit from here to there, and I tend to pick up projects and abandon them as quickly as I did them in the first place. Which is quickly.

I’m still kicking around ideas fo research to do with spindling. I learn new things about the art of spinning everyday… it’s the researching the history part that isn’t exactly thrilling me right now. It’s kind of baffling that so little research/study/commentary exists. Well. Maybe not.

It’s the whole “Big H” vs. “little h” history thing. Because Man writes History (historically speaking), things like housework, of course, become petty things, things that don’t magnify Man–in the opinion of Man. How the sweaters of fishermen came to be, or how the bloody socks of the U.S. Revolutionary War were knit by hand by loving mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and lovers–it doesn’t matter. The fact that Man fought the sea and won, conquered fish and ate, fought bloody battles and defeated nations… well. I suppose that’s much more important, eh?

I think of it as a tapestry; we are all tiny threads, and when our lives weave together our singularity: weak, fine and extremely thin: becomes part of a greater whole: a dense fabric, strog and warm, full of rich colors portraying, perhaps, a story through the tapestry’s larger picture. When one sees a tapestry, one most likely does not focus on one thread, or even one small group of thread: one focuses on the thing in its entirety. We do that in our human lives when we look at the humans around us. We have preconceptions and misconceptions about other nations, other cultures; or even within our own cultures, we stereotype on many ends. Our worldview stems beyond looking at one color or one section of the tapestry; we examine this thread of sub-culture or that thread of culture and that thread of ethnic identity.

Fascinating. Really. All that to say, I’m workig on deciphering the threads of the spinning sub-culture, folks.

So. It’s June. Wedding bells for a lot of people–thankfully not for me! But, in general, I appreciate love, and all that goes with it. The fact that I’m content with my singularity (Finally!!!) does not mean I don’t admire and appreciate those sorts who give it there all to someone else, commit and care for another being …

That’s why I’ve started listing these little angels:

W-Angel 1-3

holding wedding bands with a love charm:

W-Angel 1-6

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.

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