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Archive for October 4th, 2003

A Very Good Day

Saturday, October 4th, 2003

Great day starts at Foster Center
What a great day I’ve had. I got up early to go to work at Foster Center. I had expected three students but when I got there I had five. How wonderful that was. The students were just perfect for what I teach. I enjoyed them, and they appreciated what I was teaching. (This is a class for computer novices to learn what Windows is, how to interact with it starting with how to click, drag and double-click, and ending with how to work with menus and a brief overview of what a program such as Paint looks like.) I am very good at this sort of basic class (my students are typically smart retired women who never had a chance to learn computer skills on the job, they drink in the information eagerly) and I just haven’t had many students in the last year. This week I had eight on Thursday and five today. I was thrilled.

Knitting Kidz
After the class was out I had a little lunch hour and then my computer lab was open to the public. It was me and two lovely neighborhood kids I have worked with for several years now. They are sisters who like both computers and knitting. They started by playing a computer game and then they asked to knit. In the end I taught them how to make tassels. The younger one made nine large tassels before she was done. The older one made a few tassels and a few small pompoms.

These elementary-aged girls have a brand new baby sister in the last few months. Well, as I was working with the girls I was putting away some new donated items. I found one bag which looks like it was donated through Yarn for Ewe. It was maybe 30 by 16 inches of a wavy pattern, mostly garter stitch, which looked like it was the beginning of a baby blanket. The donor had put the remaining yarn in a bag, pulled out the needles and put the blanket in the bag with the yarn. I put the live stitches back on a circular needle, and bound off the piece while the girls were there. It was a good size for a sort of “binky” blanket that a kid might drag around for comfort. I gave the piece to the girls to take home to their brand new baby sister. They were pretty pleased.

I often give out prizes to knitting kids, so this was sort of in line with the prize idea. It made us all feel good and now I know that the knitting that donor did was not wasted. The leftover yarn will be used by another child for another project soon, as well.

Tapestry Crochet Discovery
After work I went to JoAnn fabric briefly, trying to connect with my supervisor in the education department but I was too late. However, I found a magazine I might not have noticed six months ago. It’s called “Crochet Fantasy presents Fashion Accessories.” Well, it’s a lot of things in lacy patterns (shawls and stoles for example) and a few hats, belts and handbags. But the prize, and the reason I got it, is almost the last project in the magazine (number 18 of 20). It’s called “Gone to the Dogs Purse” and it’s done in tapestry crochet.

Tapestry Crochet! Now I have a name for the wonderful technique I’ve tried to explain to other people for a long time. This is how the cotton multicolored berets I wear all summer are made! The author of the article is Carol (Norton) Ventura, PhD and I guess she has put out two books on Tapestry Crochet by Interweave Press over the years. She learned about this type of crochet in Guatemala in the Peace Corps in 1976. I’m so glad she has taken the time to share information with us.

She has a little tapestry crochet necklace pouch pattern on the internet (picture above), for those who want to give this technique a try with only two colors and not a lot of time investment. I don’t really need more things to do on my “pending projects” list, but I bet I don’t put this off very long.

A Dinner Adventure with Brian
When I got home I curled up on the floor (we have a large old-fashioned heat vent on the floor where I sit all winter, like a cat might) and started reading the article by Dr. Ventura. I didn’t read long before Brian got home from work himself. He brought me a bouquet of hot pink carnations, my favorite. How sweet he is. He brings me carnations occasionally but went out of his way to do it this time, since it’s our anniversary tomorrow. They are just beautiful.

We decided to hurry ourselves over to Altu’s restaurant because it was 7:45 and Temesgen Hussein, the Ethiopian musician, was playing but only until 8:30. I’m so glad we went.

The place was packed. Every table was full and there was that wonderful sound of people talking to one another and really enjoying the company of friends. I just love that sound! The food was good, the music was good, the atmosphere was great. We ate every single bit of food on our plate. We got the family style meal, mild chicken with an onion-based sauce and garlic lentils (the Saturday special, a wonderful dish). It comes with salad and her wonderful cabbage as well. I’m still full and it’s two hours later! Yum.

Now we’re home and Brian is learning a new tune on his banjo so I have live music in the house. That is a luxury I know most people don’t get. I’m planning to go back down to the dyeing studio and rinse out some wool roving I started earlier. Then I may just sink myself into the floor on the heat vent again with my Tapestry Crochet article, or I may start planning the next project. I have had a few projects in the wings and maybe tonight is when another one gets a chance at making it to reality. We’ll see.