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Archive for November 19th, 2003

Another Busy Day

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

I have had my share of busy days lately. One big reason is that I realized my classes at Foster were going to slow down almost to a halt until the second week in January, so I decided to go looking for a retail holiday job. Since last Friday I have been working the cutting counter (cutting lengths of fabric) for JoAnn Fabrics, the same store where I have been teaching knitting for two terms. So now I’ve changed my status there from contractor to employee, at least for six weeks.

It’s sort of amazing, I thought I would just sort of do the job as a constructive way of filling the slow times. I had no idea I would really love it! It is hard when there is a long line, I always want everyone taken care of instantly, but with cutting fabric you learn that you must do it properly and that sometimes takes more time than we might like it to take. Yet we have quilters come in and if I cut the fabric 1/4″ too short, they may not be able to do their project. Even 1/8″ can mess things up. So I’m learning to just do a good job for the customer and hope they appreciate the care I’m taking.

What is great about this job is that I get to interact with so many people who are doing creative projects. I’m supposed to ask people what they are making. Knowing what they are making can perhaps help me do a better job for them, and surely it makes them feel more listened to.

The stories I hear, they are wonderful… a woman today was making gifts to be auctioned at her church for charity. Another woman was making a quilt from cotton flannel for her sister who had moved to Colorado. One woman was making a little fun purse for a granddaughter, another woman was making a quilt for a grandson. A man bought a *lot* of red cotton velveteen for a new Santa suit since his last one had worn out in the lap area from kids climbing up and sliding down.

Everyone has a story and I enjoy hearing every one. It isn’t even like it takes longer to serve someone when they are talking with me, because I can let them tell me all about their project while I’m cutting their fabric.

So my feet may hurt a bit more for a month. I’m getting less sleep… I have had two days that were 12 long hours away from home because I am juggling my Foster Center work, my yarn dyeing/shipping, my computer consulting and my holiday job at JoAnn’s. Just the same, I love working, I really love working. I can deal with it for six weeks, and then things will slow down for me in January.

CityKidz Fill the Room
This afternoon I had fourteen knitters again at Foster. I’m sorry that the early kids left before I snapped this photo, but I just had to brag. The girl in the front left chair is holding her first project knit in the round. She is making a Christmas stocking and will be ready to learn how to decrease for a toe next week. After that we’ll be adding an afterthought heel.

The girl behind her is wearing her newly finished purse around her neck. The yarn was a gorgeous purple/hot pink/cobalt/emerald acrylic variegated yarn someone donated (thank you, whoever you were). She worked it on a small set of needles and took her careful time putting it together well. Today she started a water bottle holder in hot pink Encore and some sort of furry yarn, a very odd kind of chenille. That is her first knitting in the round project, too. I’ll be teaching her I-cord for the handle of this next project, as it is strong enough to hold a bottle of water without detaching from the body of the pouch that holds the water bottle.

All the kids have a story I could tell, or two or three, but I won’t tell them all today. I do love these kids and I wish you could see the ones who left early. Of the kids you see here, four walk to Foster and six are specifically dropped off just for knitting, and picked up again. The kids who left earlier are also neighborhood kids who walk. Tomorrow I will have a different group of kids who are dropped off, but the walkers often come two or three times a week. I love that!

A Smiling Sweetheart of a Toddler
At Habibi Dancers’ rehearsal tonight, one of the dancers brought her daughter who is such a cutie. She loves coming to dance with us, her mom gives her a scarf or veil to dance with while we dance, and she has a lot of fun. Well, when she got ready to go she looked so adorable in her red hat and coat I had to take a picture. She knows about pictures, as soon as she saw the camera she gave me this lovely big grin. Isn’t she just adorable?

Connecting with Tony
I finally connected with Tony, my best knitting friend, yesterday. He is still knitting different swatches with different hemp yarns. I’m learning a lot from him in that department, since I’m such a wool fan. I’m hoping he’ll pop by on Saturday (we are having a bit of a party, sort of for my birthday which is actually the day after Thanksgiving and therefore a bad day for having a party). I’m getting excited to have all sorts of good friends and musicians here for much of a day this weekend. Now if I can only find places to put the huge quantities of yarns and wool, somewhere other than the living room where they usually reside!

Project on Hold
I tried to make some handwarmers from a sort of old fashioned pattern I found but the first one turned out way too big for my little hands. I love the yarn (washable worsted-weight in hot blue-purple), so I really hate to use it for something so big I might end up selling it at my art fair on December 6. I really wanted this yarn for me. Now I need to think about it all.

Tomorrow I’m being interviewed by a newspaper reporter for a sort of profile article on me. She found me through my blog, kinda cool. I’m always afraid of being misquoted, but I told her so up front and she made me feel that she would get it right. We’ll see. It’s flattering that someone thinks me interesting enough to interview, you know???

Off to go to sleep hours and hours earlier than usual. I’m so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. See you soon.