Friday, December 23, 2005

Posting will resume (hopefully) after Christmas. But if work doesn't let up, I won't be here much until after the New Year.

I've been busy - unfortunately not knitting.

(BTW - Can the Jennifer who responded to my wish for the USB directed missles please email me? I've tried to respond to you a couple times, but have heard no response THANKS!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ah, kids that knit. What fun they can be.

I've been having a great time this fall and winter teaching a group of 3-5th graders to knit. 14 of them. (10 girls, 4 boys) We only learned the knit stitch, because we were knitting bandages for World Health. (I'm giving them a learn-to-knit handbook next week - Lion Brand gave me permission to print out copies of their online PDF for the class - and I'll hopefully teach a couple to purl and such) Out of these 14, I think I ended up with 4-5 Knitters. The rest are all trying still - which is amazing in and of itself... there are a couple kids in there who are having a really rough time of it, but every week they pull out their needles and TRY. Really. A couple of them have had their knitting ripped out three and four times because it was unsalvageable. They can see that their knitting is not even, has big loops, dropped stitches, looks like a boot (direct quote, there). They still TRY. Every week, they try some more. They might only try for 10 minutes of the half-hour we're together, but not one has given up. This is the best lesson I've learned in my weeks doing this. (I love these kids)

Background - this knitting class is part of an after-school program at my church called Logos. Starts at 4 with large group activities and snack, then at 5:15 they break up into small groups for Worship Arts and Bible Study. At 5:45 the ones in Worship Arts go to their Bible Study, and vice versa. At 6:15 they have dinner, and they head out around 7. Its a good program, my daughter participated last year. Knitting is part of the first Worship Arts time, along with choir, handbell choir, and Reader's Theater, and a couple more options. We're only doing knitting for the first half of the year, next semester I pick up either Reader's Theater or Puppet Theater (not sure which at this point). Last year I directed the Good Friday play second half, and first half directed the choir. The woman who runs the Worship Arts section lets me play to my strengths, and have fun.

Last week I was a bit late (2 minutes), and the kids were in our room knitting when I ran in. The group time before knitting time had run to loud music, it seems. I come in to a room with 5 small groups of kids, overhead lights off, table lamps on. Very quiet, focused group enjoying the peace and tranquillity of knitting. Talking quietly, doing handwork. It was impressive.

We started in October. By next week, we'll have 4 4foot bandages knit. Some will be a bit wide (25 stitches instead of 15), because in the first six inches the knitter added a few too many, but got the hang of it and it seemed a waste to start over. We'll end up with a couple more bandages, because I'll graft together the partials.

And, there will be 4 or 5 more Knitters in the world. Today, one girl brought in a scarf she had started, out of lavender Fun Fur (I think... some furry yarn, anyways), that she is making for her mother for Christmas. (Definitely a Knitter.) (Especially the part where its some too-short-amount of time until Christmas, and the scarf is about 5 inches long) Another was telling me a couple weeks back about how she and her mom sit and knit while watching TV. One of the boys was telling me how he and his mom plan to spend much of the winter knitting and watching movies. Another boy was telling me how with these needles, he has 6 pair. Most don't want the class to be over next week. I know I don't. (I haven't quite worked out how to fit in a Knitting Circle in my schedule yet... but I know of another half-dozen kids at church who knit, and a bunch of adults as well. I'd like to encourage them.)

Tomorrow - I get to gush about my blog readers. TTFN!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Busy. What is it about December that brings out the worst in the busy-ness? What, Christmas? You think?

I've been running 5 ways from Sunday for the last couple weeks. Haven't made a dent in my Christmas shopping. (I don't do Christmas knitting - but that's an entire different blog post). My house is an unmitigated disaster. Work is piling up. Both kids have nasty colds. (The little one was up doing the seal-bark cough and labored breathing at 1am...fortunately, we have the nebulizer and meds on hand at all times)

But, this is not a blog post to complain about my busy life. NO! Its a blog post to celebrate the joy of being a knitter. I have a story! (I, actually, have 2 stories. The second may wait until tomorrow, though.)

On Thursday last, I was stitting doing Greeter Desk* at my daughter's school. Its an easy job, and I bring my knitting. Sometimes I have other projects to do as well, but knitting is my standby. So. Thursday one of the buses was late, and one of the secretaries came out to watch the kids get in, so they knew about how long to hold attendance for. She noticed my Jaywalker sock, and went nuts. Evidently, some of the school staff has a knitting group. This woman mostly knits scarfs, but loves it. I also had my purple Birch along (and, for that matter the finished Moss Birch, cause it can get chilly at the Desk) She dragged me back to the main office because I had to show my sock off there. The women ooh'd and ahh'd over my shawl, but couldn't get enough of my sock. These knitters want to knit socks. They asked me to do a sock class for their group. Now, I've only knit 2 socks at this point - I tried to demur. Didn't get me anywhere. I think I'm doing a sock class in January.**

In the course of this, I also found that the librarian runs a knitting group for the kids one morning a week (my knitter does not attend... she'd rather talk to her friends in the morning. I may continue to bug her about this one.)

OK. Story two punted until tomorrow. TTFN!

*Greeter Desk - sitting at a desk in the front entryway of the school, saying a cheery hello to everyone who comes in, and making sure the non-staff members go sign into the office. The first person someone coming into the school sees, as only one door is open from the outside during school hours. When we had lockdown drill a few weeks back, I had some rather uncomfortable feelings about this....

** Any and all ideas for doing a sock class welcome. I think I'm going to do a mini-sock for the class, since just doing one toe and one heel is a huge confidence builder - at least it was for me.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Reaching for straws here....

Does anyone read this blog from England? I want these:

USB Powered Air Darts

But Marks & Spencer doesn't ship overseas... I can't find them from a US source.

Ah well. Someone here will carry it eventually...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Here it is. A Jaywalker sock. I'm working mine from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in the Rainbow colorway. I'm really enjoying this pattern. And, I've only got around 6 more inches of foot left to go before I get to start the toe! Wow! (Aren't big feet fun)

I had a crisis of conscience after I finished the heel - you see, I liked the way the colors sat on the heel better than the way they pooled on the leg. I was considering starting another sock pattern with the second skein, then making a decision... but then decided to just keep going. I need the wool socks, I've been so cold this winter so far.

This month has been really interesting. Work got... hectic. Its still very busy, but less so in a worrisome way, and more so in a kick-it-up-a-notch-and-get-moving way.

My knitting kids are doing great - we've got one finshed 4 foot bandage, and 2 more very close to done. We've got a couple weeks left of class, and whatever we've got done then well graft together to make bandages. The kids are still having fun - a couple of them are really into knitting - they've been knitting with their parents while watching TV and movies.

Other than that, in the last month, I had a chest infection and my pleurisy seems to be coming back, so I'm dragging a bit. And busy, which is not a good combo. This is my excuse for not posting for a month.